"I know exactly how hard it is to quit smoking. It's as hard to quit smoking as it is to start flossing. Mitch, you seem jittery. Yeah man, I'm about to floss."
--Mitch Hedberg (probably not a direct quotation--if you want legitimate research, teach a class)
It will come as no great surprise to you, Loyal Readers, that I inherited a bit of obsessive-compulsiveness from my father. Or at least I think I did. His parents lived through the Great Depression, plus they were crazy, which meant they used to steal ketchup packets from everywhere they went and then squirt them into a jar when they got home. So it's somewhat natural that my father can't throw things away. With the exception of hoarding dental floss, it's all quite organic in the Family Nut Tree. But I'm not sure where my particular psychological oddity comes from, other than perhaps a fear of the dentist.
I take obsessively good care of my teeth. I don't brush them constantly, because that's not good for them either. My usual routine is to begin with a rinse with a normal plaque-breaker-upper. My favorite is Crest Pro-Health, because I can using and not feel like I'm doing a shot really badly. (Corporate sponsor for my blog? You know you want to, Crest.) Then I brush my teeth. However, this is where I stop being a normal person. After I brush, I floss. Then I brush again. That first time was just for practice. A warm-up for the toothbrush. Then I end with a two-minute flouride rinse.
Right about now is where you guys wonder if you can continue to read this, or if you can still be my friend, or if you ought to return the necklace and get me a water pick for Christmas. (The answer to all three is "yes.")
But tonight I crossed a line. A line I had seen on the horizon, much like unemployment. But, like unemployment, I was in denial until I found myself hurtling over the line, straining several tendons in the process. Tonight I began by brushing and flossing my teeth in the "real" bathroom upstairs. And then halfway down the stairs to my basement lair, I felt myself being pulled toward the bathroom. I rinsed, brushed, flossed, brushed, and rinsed again. I guess brushing them upstairs was just to dislodge any food I'd saved for later or small animals that had begun nesting behind a bicuspid. (Even my cuspids are bicuspids. Yeah, don't pretend you didn't get that.)
Apparently it's not just starting to floss that can give you the jitters. It's the lack of flossing in the correct bathroom, or the lack of a flouride rinse. By the way, my favorite is Act. Cinnamon flavored. I bet I'd look great holding that in a promo spot. I have influence over literally dozens* of people. Come on, dental industry. It's time to back one of your biggest** consumers. You can pay me in electric toothbrush attachments.
*Probably not true. But like I said, if you want facts, teach a class.
**I have no idea. I suggest you do not look into it. Also, I straight-up lied in the next sentence. Cash or check only.