Tuesday, May 5, 2009


When I was in sixth grade in Simsbury, Connecticut I attended Belden school on Hopmeadow Street. Steve Szedlak was my teacher that year. It was a custom at that time back in 1966 to give your teacher a small gift around Christmas time before the Christmas and New Year's vacation week.

I remember that year my Dad had received a gag gift from his office party of "Scotch flavored toothpaste". I thought that was an interesting gift and asked if I could give this toothpaste as a gift to Mr. Szedlak. My Dad said "sure" so that was my gift that year.

Mr. Szedlak opened all of his gifts at his desk while we students all watched. He seemed to get a kick out of the "Scotch toothpaste" and said something like "Rick, that will wake me up in the morning".

I have never seen another tube of "Scotch toothpaste" since that time back in 1966. Perhaps this toothpaste wasn't a best seller. Maybe some people bought this brand of toothpaste and were fired by their boss when they arrived at their job in the morning because their mouth smelled like Scotch although their teeth were sparkling clean. The boss wouldn't tolerate the smell of liquor so early in the morning before coffee break even.

Maybe there were cases where someone running late on leaving for work grabbed their "Scotch toothpaste" and toothbrush and jumped into their car. While he were driving he decided to brush his teeth. A local policeman noticed this car as the car started to veer from side to side as the person in the car dropped the toothpaste cap on the floor of his car and looked down to try to find the cap. The policeman turned on his flashing lights and signaled the veering car to pull over to the side of the road. As the policeman approached this car he noticed a smell of Scotch and saw that the driver appeared to be foaming at the mouth. The policeman to be safe unstrapped his pistol and approached the car with his gun held in front of him as he thought that the driver was either drunk or rabid.

The driver slurred his words as his mouth was full of toothpaste which was dribbling down his chin. He said "Ossifer Ize just brussin' mi teef; I nose I shouldn' bruss' n' dri' a de same tine bu I wus late fo wok." The policeman said "I think you've been drinking as you were swerving all over the road and you smell like Scotch"; I need you to please step out of the car and take a sobriety test." The driver then nervously swallowed his mouthful of toothpaste, wiped his chin and replied "Honest officer this is just a misunderstanding. I was brushing my teeth with "Scotch toothpaste". I promise to never brush with "Scotch toothpaste" and drive at the same time again. As a matter of fact I'm going to throw away this tube of "Scotch toothpaste" as soon as I get to work."

The officer replied,"That's probably a good idea. Having clean teeth is important but you shouldn't be brushing and driving at the same time or you could end up as a shiny toothed corpse if you swerve around and take your eyes off the road. I'll just give you a warning this time".

Perhaps that is why "Scotch toothpaste" is not a best seller. You could end up being fired from your job,die in a car crash, mistaken for having rabies, or accused of drunk driving. Remember to brush responsibly if you use "Scotch toothpaste".