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Gonzo ToothBrush Tech
2000-06-16 20:43:10


Weird Science
 
People are waiting in line just to kill your dog.
-- Doctor Murdock

 

21st century technology transforms the world of dental hygiene, as unsuspecting users find they've purchased not just an electic toothbrush -- but the InterPlak RTB2.

This crazy-sophisticated piece of dental engineering comes complete with the RTB2 Instruction Manual, a technical document cautioning technology novices not to misuse the power in its circuitry. Heed well its warning about activating the InterPlak RTB2. "[E]specially when children are present, basic safety precautions should be followed."

Humanity's pact with the technical world takes a sinister turn when it cautions about a series of important hypotheticals. Home users are reminded not to reach for the re-charging cord if it's fallen into a tub of water while still plugged in.

In addition....

• Do not use while bathing.

• Never use while sleeping or drowsy.

• Close supervision is necessary when this product is used by, on, or near children or invalids.

• Individuals with heart problems should check with their physician prior to using the RTB2, and should always exercise particular care with any oral hygiene device.

Okay, granted, some of the instructions are bureaucratic overkill. The first step, charging the power supply, reminds users to first "Be sure the electrical outlet is functioning." And step three -- "Apply toothpaste...and put brush head in mouth" -- probably is a little obvious. But if you think you've bought an innocent electrical gizmo, you're mistaken. "This equipment generates, uses, and can radiate radio frequency energy and if not installed and used in accordance with instructions, may cause harmful interference to radio communications." MacGyver could use it to jam spy transmissions.

By the way, casual users shouldn't mess with a different brand of battery. "Explosion may occur if other type battery is replaced."

The powerful dynamo also "should not be placed in municipal waste systems." Further down it explains that under various state and local laws, "it is illegal to dispose of this battery into our municipal waste stream. Please call 1-800-8-BATTERY for information."

After perusing the RTB2 manual, it becomes clear that the Feds are riding rough-shod over the rights of Americans who want to keep and bear dental equipment. There's even a full page on how the RTB2 complies with FCC restrictions on electric-powered toothbrushing devices. In this day and age AOL can merge with Time-Warner into a world-dominating monopoly -- but just try marketing an unauthorized toothbrushing device and see how far you get.

At this point you're probably saying "For cripes sakes, its a toothbrush -- not a lifestyle choice." But don't be a Luddite. Try to catch the beat of the new world brush...

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

iambic@pigdog.org


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