The Electric Toothbrush

10:12 – Monday Morning – As I walk into Boots (Britain’s largest chain of pharmacy stores), three Boots related facts appear in my mind. They are:

  • Boots was founded in 1849 by John Boot.
  • Almost 2,500 stores nationwide.
  • 45% of Alliance Boots is to soon be acquired by Walgrens (largest pharmacy chain in the US).

The intention of my visit is to purchase a new electric toothbrush as mine has unfortunately broken after several years of assiduous servitude.  Within seconds I am perusing the electric toothbrush shelf.  My attentions soon fall on one particular item, the Boots Expert electric toothbrush 8000.  For the first time since the England penalty debacle in the football the night before there is a modicum of excitement.  Not only is this Boots home brand toothbrush a fraction of the price of its more illustrious peers (Oral B and Philips etc), but it is priced at a mere £12.49.  After analysing its features and comparing it to the others, I am more than satisfied that it suits my requirements.  Its features include:

  • Mains rechargeable.
  • 8,000 side to side oscillations per minute.
  • Ergonomic grip handle.
  • 2 interdental brush heads included.

I head to the till triumphantly, clasping my new toothbrush resolutely in one hand.

23:25 – I hurriedly cut open the toothbrush packaging and take out the 8000.  Despite checking the box thoroughly I am disappointed to discover that the two interdental brush heads I had been promised have not been included.

Turning my attentions to the toothbrush, I take a grip of the rather unwieldy ergonomic handle and press the power button.  To my surprise the 8000 emits a clamorous whirring noise, more vociferous than any electric toothbrush that has previously made my acquaintance.  The sound evokes a memory from my youth, of the whir of an ailing fan in a dilapidated room in a Third World governmental building, as a heavily perspiring official with bulging eyes stood over me, repeatedly demanding a large cash payment with ever more sinister overtures.  Back in the present, steadfastly ignoring this violation to the auditory senses, I insert the toothbrush head tentatively into my mouth.  The sensation is not a pleasant one, for the head is too large and inflexible for the delicate task at hand.  Contact with the gums proves to be extremely disagreeable.  I turn off the offending device and hurl it in the bin.  The whirring sound is still audible as I am overcome by a powerful lethargy and fall asleep some minutes later.

Thank you to those who bought my recently released book from Amazon.  There are now two very positive reviews on and one on


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