Listen, Isn’t A Suggestion

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

Do you know what would be a good commercial for a travel booking company – the desk clerk at a hotel on the phone saying, “Of course you have no toilet paper? You booked with Trivago. What did you do expect for 99 bucks, someone to come up and wipe your bum for you?”

The other morning having nothing better to do, I decided to take an hour or two and attempt to take my new toothbrush out of its package. I was lucky this time, I managed to get it out of its cardboard and plastic bunker in thirty-five minutes and only had to swear once, although I did break down sobbing a couple of times.

Why do toothbrush packers feel they have to do that? I’m sure the shrink-wrap is more sanitary than dumping a couple of hundred brushes in a box and sticking it on a shelf, or tossing the whole works into a bin at the end of an aisle. And I suppose the little suckers do hang better on those little pointy things in the dental section of your neighbourhood superstore. Not only that, there is lots of room down the sides to tell us all the advantages of buying this particular brand instead of the brush on the next hanger that comes from the same factory in Beijing and looks exactly the same. There is also space to show us the Canadian Dental Association crest that says, recognized by and not recommended by. It seems a little wishy-washy to me, but what do I know, I’m no dentist.

I’m sure my brush was packed this way to keep it out of the hands of people who can’t afford a brush of their own and go from store to store cleaning their choppers with whatever is hanging there unsealed and unprotected. I don’t really know if there are people who do that, but I live in constant fear someday I will be browsing through the drug section at Zehrs and find some guy’s false teeth bubbling away in a cup of denture cleaner.

It isn’t just toothbrush packaging  that drives me to drink, (it doesn’t take that much really). There are other problems like Band-Aids or Elastoplast, whatever it is they call those little strips we wrap around our finger before it falls off after a minor mishap like trying to ram a butcher knife through a pound of frozen hamburgers to separate the damned things because you didn’t get them out of the freezer when your wife asked you to the night before and now you have to volunteer to cook them yourself because you don’t want your wife to know you weren’t listening even though she’s  known all along you never listen anyway.

What I am trying to say is you are bleeding to death and somehow you have to get the Band-Aid out of the wrapper with your teeth since one hand is busy bleeding and the other is trying to tie a tourniquet around your wrist to stop the blood from squirting on the bathroom wall.

You can’t call your wife for help because then she will find out you weren’t listening when she asked you to get the burgers out right in the middle of Murder She Wrote. I hate to say it but sometimes it’s better to listen.

Finally after ruining at least three, you manage to get a Band-Aid out of its little prison and the sticky part is ready to go around your finger, chest, or limb (depending on how badly and where you were when you eviscerated yourself). Now you have to wrap it around the part that is bleeding. But you can’t because somehow you managed to stick both ends together and you can’t use your teeth because you don’t have any hands left to lift it to your mouth. (For a more detailed explanation of this dilemma please check back two paragraphs). Dialing 911 is out because even with toes as long as yours you can’t open your cell phone, punch out the numbers and then pass it up to your ear.

By then you are getting weak from loss of blood and you must face up to the fact that you have to call your wife away from Ellen before you pass out altogether.

That won’t go well, Ellen is on. And once Ellen is over she will be watching Doctor Oz and the doctor is interviewing a patient who’s sex-change operation went terribly wrong. Now the poor soul can’t use any public washroom and wherever he/she/it goes he/she/it has to make sure there is a tree handy.

Your wife will take one look and then say ever so sweetly, “What have you done? Why are there frozen hamburgers spread across the kitchen floor? Sometimes I think you don’t listen to me.”

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