That’s Not Toothpaste


I crawled home late. So as not to disturb my college roommate, I didn’t turn on the lights. I maneuvered my way through the dark to the sink to brush my teeth. Our room was one of those with a sink in it, a rare yet strange asset for a college dorm room. I reached for my toothbrush and toothpaste and began brushing.

Within seconds, I felt a strange tingling. I realized that the typical minty flavor of my Colgate was not so familiar. Suddenly, my sleep deprived brain connected the dots – realizing that I was definitely not brushing with toothpaste. Loudly and repeatedly, I spit into the sink, actually waking up my roommate (so much for being quiet).

I had to cleanse my mouth from the flavor of Bengay! Ugh, that’s what happens when two guy athletes share a room.  My roommate, Ben, flipped on the light switch in a daze as he tried to understand my behavior as I continued to alternate between spitting and gaging, pausing to point at the tube of Bengay.

Ben burst out laughing as I rubbed my cheeks which were suddenly numb from the ointment. I tried to tell him that’s not nice to make fun of me. But, I couldn’t really talk and I probably would have been making fun of him if he did this.

A wave of fear came over me – should I call poison control? Nah, I didn’t swallow anything. Eventually, my mouth was clear of the taste. I threw out my toothbrush and the Bengay. As I tried to fall asleep that evening, I told Ben that from now on I was only brushing my teeth with the lights on.

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