Instructions? It’s like pulling teeth

John Ward
John Ward
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WARD’S WORLD: By John Ward

Possibly the joy of receiving something you did not yourself want in the first place is bit of a conundrum in some respects if the following is anything to go by. My teeth were all of a flutter as I unwrapped the parcel that had been sent by a well meaning soul as it contained a rechargeable electric toothbrush but not just any old bog standard model but this was – it had plastered on the box – a new, state of the art model no less and no doubt ozone friendly and lead free once I get into the instructions.

The teeth were still in flutter mode as I undid the flashly designed box but reading the forthcoming attractions as listed on the outside of the said box was quite something to somebody like myself who has for years just been used to squirting toothpaste out onto an unsuspecting toothbrush in order to do the daily teggie cleansing so all this is quite ‘hi-tec’ and the wonderful things I have been missing out on as follows, so brace yourself as you read on: ‘Daily clean + visible pressure sensor’ (the visible pressure sensor lights up if brushing too hard – naughty, naughty!) – ‘Oscillates’ (okay then, it jiggles around a bit) – ‘Rotates’ (goes round in circles although circles might get a mention later on) – ‘Pulsates’ (don’t sit on it while on a moving bus or coach is the best advice at this early stage) and various other items or snappy phrases to keep the reader happy that somebody has spared time from the latest space programme – that will be the repeat of the repeat of Star Trek – Episode 379: ‘They Don’t Like Us on the Planet Wazzo’ – in order to get this gadget sorted and supplied to us, the ever gadget hungry public.

On opening the box the inner delights are breathtaking as there is standard issue shaped polystyrene packing that has been hand crafted to accept the shape of the said toothbrush but shamefully, once out that sculpted bitty it gets binned of course but full marks to the head chiseller who sat and carved the shape out in the first instance. Next are the bits that are called the Charging Module or Power Base (tick only one option please) which was a small plastic looking deformed upside down (or inverted if you prefer) ash tray with about the length of a decent bootlace long cable with a plug on the end that goes into a mains electricity socket in order to power the device up as its rechargeable don’t forget and not to be confused with other varieties that use the humble throwaway type batteries that we all grew up with over the years as nowadays most small electrical items seem to be of the rechargeable breed or thereabouts.

Next the piece dar resistance as the French would say. The instruction sheet and not manual or book but sheet and I do mean sheet as once open – and while you may wonder, I got the tape measure out and it’s thirty eight inches wide, the English ones, by thirteen inches ditto again, deep and it’s in sixteen, yup, sixteen languages no less but English was included. On a warm summer’s evening, or Tuesday as we used to call it, I may wander to a ‘take-a-way’ type establishment and go in and point to this sheet and request paragraph seven and nine with a portion of chips plus side salad as a meal to see what I might end up with.

To be honest I find it utterly ridiculous to print such things as I will only read the bit that refers to the English instructions section and its total waste of both ink and paper as opposed to the real world of just printing off the part that is of use to me and would take up less than a page of A4 paper or smaller although the only other way it will be useful is if I get struck on the head and wake up and find I can only speak in Danish or Swazi – it could happen as dafter things have been known – and that might be useful then. Back to the plot, amigos. So I have to charge it up for twenty two hours Earth hours to reach its full power install and considering its only use is to swirl around and clean my teggies, that is a lot of power to be taking in but there you go although in other countries where they have more sunlight than us this process may be shorter but not being fluid in sixteen other languages thus it’s purely guesswork on my part of course, so there.

Day has passed into night and night into day and Joy of Great Joys I have the green light that says, no it doesn’t talk really but it indicates that it’s charged up and ready for use and this is quite an exciting moment here or rather in the bathroom where I shall conduct the experiment under strict bathroom conditions as in a quick squirt of toothpaste on the brush head or the bristle end if you so prefer and then open the section beneath the nostrils to be hereafter referred to as the mouth opening and switch on and hope for the best.

Apart from a gentle hum and a small brush swirling around on my molars, it seems to work as implied in the sixteen language broadsheet that I have only had personal use of one sixteenth of it to be precise. There is a two minute ‘timer’ or phase that you get to use it to do the brushing with or that equates to one minute each for the top and lower deck of teggies in real terms or you then go through another session so timing is all – those with teggies missing may get more from it as fewer to whizz around but this is pure guesswork on my part although it states that you should get seven days’ motoring from one charge which if I read my sixteenth section of instructions rightly, it only takes a short while as opposed to the initial twenty two hours worth originally to get it juiced up.

As it’s early days, I will try to keep up with this marvel or until the solar powered model arrives. Happy brushing.


Signal, sir? Go into the store car park