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.
• 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.
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."
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
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