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This morning, while starting to brush my teeth, I remembered why I always start with my front teeth; the upper incisors, to be exact. Although I've been brushing my teeth this way for 60 years, the routine process did not always begin this way.
Flashback: Our first Arkansas home was in the country, about five miles outside the nearest town (population appx. 400). City-supplied water, if there was any, stopped at least 4.9 miles from us. When we moved to the farm we drew what water we needed from the well on the screened porch outside the back door. Many hundreds of buckets of water were pulled out of the ground before my father was persuaded that an electric pump and, at least, a cold-water line into the kitchen were in order. And so it was done.
Daddy installed a large sink on one wall of the kitchen. I think it came supplied with two faucets, but only one was operational (as I remember, Sister); I had already left home for college before hot water was available inside. If we needed hot water, we heated it on the stove.
A mirror and a substantial open shelf were on the wall above the sink. These served as a sort of 'bathroom vanity' (the 'bathroom' was about 50-75 feet away, a privy in the chicken yard). Daddy's razor, shaving cream and brush, the family toothpaste, our individual toothbrushes, my younger sister's cosmetics, and other personal grooming items required by two parents, three girls and one boy were on the shelf.
One morning, as I was getting ready for school, I selected my toothbrush, absent mindedly reached up on the shelf, grabbed a tube and squeezed a ribbon of white paste onto the brush. As was my practice in those days, I inserted the toothbrush all the way back into my mouth to the vicinity of my left molars.
Gag! Sputter, Gag, again!
Of course, you already know what I had squeezed onto my toothbrush, don't you? Yep! Brylcreem! --used by my father on the few hairs he had left on his head, and by my younger brother. The tube was the same shape and size as the toothpaste tube and, as I expected it to be toothpaste, I didn't even read the label. That experience changed forever the way I brush my teeth.
You can take my word for it: a little dab'l do ya!
Tomorrow is also a day.