The Humble Toothbrush

Toothbrushes

As someone who runs my own business, I’m used to making difficult decisions. However, today I found myself facing one of the most challenging decisions I’ve made in a while. That’s right – I went to buy a new toothbrush.

Before you laugh, just consider what a complicated decision it has become to choose a new toothbrush. I spent several minutes pondering, bemused, in the supermarket aisle because I couldn’t decide between green and blue, soft and firm, springy head or non-springy head, tongue cleaning or non-tongue cleaning…

What I found particularly funny, other than imagining the sight of me scratching my head infront of the toothbrushes, was some of the marketing on the toothbrush boxes themselves. For example, the toothbrush that I ended up buying (because it was on special offer) was labelled as ‘professional’. Now, what exactly does that mean – can I call myself a professional tooth brusher? There seems little justification for being awarded this title. Surely I should have attended a training course, passed an exam and been presented with a certificate before achieving such an important honour?

Having graciously accepted this title (by agreeing to pay £2.50), I wonder whether it’s time for me to update my CV to include “professional tooth brusher?” Perhaps I could also include the fact that I do a ‘professional’ job of wiping my own backside too? (though I do say so myself!)

Onto another point now, regarding product marketing. I bought some toilet rolls today and on the packaging was a big star containing the text “Voted product of the year – consumer survey of product innovation 2009”. Have I been transported back in time several centuries? According to Wikipedia, “the first documented use of toilet paper in human history dates back to the 6th century AD, in early medieval China.” So, they seem a little late in recognising this fantastic “innovation” (and, lets be honest, our bottoms wouldn’t be the same without it). One wonders what other products of ingenuity received awards at the same time – the wheel, the cocktail stick and the hairpiece, perhaps?

I can imagine that the 2010 awards will see another ‘hard fought’ competition, with the innovation of the year being something like… ah, yes, that new concept called the ‘bar of soap’…

The Joy Of Text

Girl Texting a Friend

Whether you love it or hate it, texting has become a major part of our daily lives. From keeping in touch with our friends to competitions and promotional offers on television and radio, these days we struggle to be away from our mobile phones for any length of time.

I saw a classic example of the promotional use of texting today whilst watching daytime television. A quiz was sponsored by a de-congestant and they were enticing people to find out more information by texting the word “mucus” to them. Lovely! What next?…

Latest offer: Win a pair of underpants. Simply text the words “I’ve soiled myself and my spare pair are in the washing machine” to 63352

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had numerous discussions with friends about frustrating text message conversations. Based upon those stories, I thought I’d write a post listing some typically frustrating types of text chat. You’ve probably been involved in some of the following types of conversation before:

Textual Harassment

This label applies to those people who bombard us with text messages. I’m sure you’ve been in the situation before where you finish writing a text message, hit send and a reply arrives back on your phone before you’ve even had the chance to put it down and take a sip of your tea. By replying, you’re signing a mini-contract to waste the best part of your day engaging the other person in pointless chatter. What a waste of bloody time!

Textual harrassers will, invariably, end up becoming stalkers and/or participants in late-night radio phone-ins. Continue reading