The other day I was in a local store with a friend of mine. As we meandered through the store we happened to pass a row of electric tooth brushes. Normally this wouldn't be such a big occurrence, but on that particular day it got my mind going and so, subsequently, brought about the question. You've gotta wonder if anyone has ever come along and, well, you know, tested them? They weren't plugged in but still, what if someone decided to see how the brush felt in their mouth. Then you've gotta wonder how many people have tried the ole' electric tooth brush out on their teeth. After having said this outloud, my friend told me,
"Until you mentioned it I never would have wondered that."
However, my mind was still going and it came to, what if you or I were to try the brushes out on our teeth? What would happen? What if you did it and didn't get caught. Then would you be added to the long list of all the others? Would this be the last time, or would it continue until you finally did get caught?
What if you did get caught? What if it was another customer who caught you. What would they think? Is it something like walking in on people having sex, going to the bathroom, or having sex in the bathroom? A situation where all you can say is,
after which you run away screaming. Or is this whole situation more like,
"Maybe if I act like it doesn't bother me, maybe they'll leave."
Perhaps they'd think, or at least you could try to convince them that this is all just some type of religious experience for you. The path to higher spiritual divinity through the proper massage and cleaning of your teeth and gums. The church of the clean mouth. Now, what if they are inspired by your boldness and they decide to try it out themselves? Then what? Do you try to leave and act like you had nothing to do with it? Or perhaps, you try to get more people to join you. What if you leave though? Then is this the end of it, or do you make it a habit? Do you try to go to other stores and begin your habit again? But let's think of what would happen if you stayed. If you went around and got, or at least tried, more people to join in the brushing craze, what would happen? Could you be arrested for starting some sort of cult, or perhaps, if it were popular enough, starting a riot? Perhaps they would simply ban you and all your fellow brushers from the store for a year.
Now, we also must consider, what if it wasn't a customer who caught you? What if it was an employee of this fine establishment? First off what would they think, and how would they react to this sight? Any of the above options could apply. But what would they do if they ran away? They have a responsibility above that of the average customer. Would they go to get a manager? Would they go get a cop? This brings up the question, is using and electric tooth brush, for testing purposes, an offense legally punishable? If it is what is the penalty? Technically it could probably fall under theft, because of the manner in which you are using it and the type of device it is. But it's no fun to consider technical points. What if you were to use a tooth brush, then get caught? Could you plead insanity or diminished capacity? After all anyone that is crazy enough to try this, or even think about it, must be at least a bit off-their-rocker. What if they were to charge you with a fancy charge, such as depraved indifference to human suffering. I mean just think about the poor people that could have been traumatized by seeing a person standing in a store tying out an electric tooth brush. What if you got off? Would that be the end of it? Perhaps again you would start in and establish a history of repeat offenses. But what if you got convicted? Would they make you go into an asylum, take counseling, or just stick you in jail.
Starting with the first one, the asylum. This leads to the situation where you're in a straight jacket, inside a padded room with doctors that look at you and say,
"What's he in for?"
"He was found using a tooth brush in a store, an electric on at that."
"Oh, boy. This boy's a regular loon. Make sure he stays medicated, and keep a guard out here at night."
Now what about the self-help group? What would a group like that be called? Tooth brush users anonymous? No too common. How about BRUSH? The Brotherhood of Really Unusual Shopping Habits. Meeting where everyone can talk about what they like to do at the store.
"Hello, my name is Bob."
everyone, "Hi Bob!"
"Thanks, well..um, my situations a little unique."
"Tell us about it Bob, that's what were here for."
"Well, I like to take the electric tooth brushes in stores, and I try them out, right there in the store."
Even more important to consider than the two above is, what if you got jail time? How would you explain that to your cell mates?
"What are you in for? Oh, armed robbery. Oh me...um...I'm in for, um...*cough*...Mnshufg...huh, No, not mugging!...It was um...Sorry, I didn't know I was mumbling."
This would of course continue until either you broke-down crying and through your teary eyes told them the truth, or until they finally gave up. Hopefully the later.
I always wonder these what ifs. It goes without saying that you've gotta wonder these things. Which usually illisotes the response,
"It could have gone without saying, but you just wouldn't shut-up!"
But if I were to shut-up, who could I trust would carry on my task of finding out what if?
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