Now, I don’t know about you, but my parents go to bed about four hours earlier than I do. Pajamas and dental floss come out around eight o’clock and a late-night mug of warm milk and some idle newspaper flipping fills the family room before bed.
After they crash I always head upstairs for three straight hours of surfing around online. Yes, I take care of important business like slipping into Wikipedia rabbit-holes and obsessively tracking the injuries of my Fantasy Football players.
Anyway, back to last week.
It was late and I eventually turned off the computer before zombie-walking over to the bathroom to scrape my pearly yellows before bed. So there I was, scraping away, mouth full of foamy suds, staring at my dark sunken eyes in the mirror, when suddenly something … catches my eye! While still brushing I quickly glance down at my wide-open bathroom bag on the counter… just in time to notice a giant spider scamper right out.
Yes, this was the mother of all spiders too. No tiny porch spider or flimsy Daddy Long-Legs here. Seriously, it was a full-on what-the-heck-is-that kind of spider. The sort of thing you’d expect to find nestled in a box of papayas straight from the islands or hanging out on the dock at the cottage.
And then it struck me.
The spider was probably crawling all over my toothbrush all day. Maybe laying eggs in there. Getting its googly-eyes and legs all over my bristles. And that toothbrush was in my own mouth… right now.
I stared quickly into the mirror with steely, bloodshot eyes and asked myself what sort of man I was. Was I a frantically freaking-out over spider germs sort of guy? No, I decided right then and there, that I was not. I was a clean teeth at all costs kind of guy. I was too far in to go back and I needed to hit the pillow with a fresh mouth.
As the spider quickly scampered into the floor vent, my brain flashed back to late college days stumbling home from the bar at three in the morning. No matter what, no matter when, my roommate Dee would always break out his bulk-size dental floss and give his teeth a good plucking before bed. “I can’t go to sleep with furry teeth and stinkbreath,” I remember him saying back then. “Clean teeth at all costs, no matter what.”
And whether its finger-brushing at the fourth grade slumber party, borrowing toothbrushes at the dorm room sleepover, or scraping with leaves or sweatshirt sleeves on a mountain camping trip, there’s just something about going to bed with clean teeth that feels right. It’s the end of a long day and the start of a good night. It’s part of the crisp crinkly sheets, fresh pillow dream scene. And it helps complete your Pajama Metamorphosis.
Forget about the tired legs, drained kegs, and spider eggs.
Just remember to obey clean teeth at all costs and sleep tight.