The Toothbrusher and Other Non-Combatants

I’m trying to pull together a full list of all the non-combatant characters you might find in the course of your battles with the forces of Oblivious Dumpage. I had a close encounter with one the other day.  The Toothbrusher.

This, too, can be used to offend your coworkers!

This, too, can be used to offend your coworkers!

Now, I’ve met a few of these in my time, and let me just point out that, while I’m a fan of oral hygiene, I find that at-work-toothbrushers tend toward a bit odd and a bit over-the-top. Is it really crucial to get an after-lunch brushing in? Or a 4:15 one?

I have floss at my desk. I generally only use it after consuming a peach or another hand fruit prone to tooth-stick-betweenage. But occasionally I feel especially hygienic, so I whip out the floss and do the whole spiel. Then I leave it on someone else’s desk. That was a joke.

But the Toothbrusher I recently encountered is so beyond all other inappropriate restroom conduct that I’m sure some won’t believe my retelling of the experience.

He brushed for a full four minutes before I left the loo.  And he was still going strong.

I actually washed my hands and stared at him to see if he was spookable. Nope. Impervious, invulnerable, invincible, unstoppable. I then proceeded to pretend to need tissue for my impressively-large nose and pretended to really work at my nasal passages for several minutes, all while trying not to laugh. I failed.

Finally, I gave up. He may still be there. Here’s the thing, though. Have you ever seen those commercials about how “our brand of toothpaste is far superior to the other brands while using the same ingredients”? Notice nobody in those commercials ever seems to be actually, you know, using actual toothpaste? Where’s the foam?

It’s running down this guy’s hand and onto his forearm. I AM NOT KIDDING!!!

I’ve actually seen this guy in there before but not reported on it, so I noted that as he approached the sink with toothbrush and toothpaste (in a sealed, brand-new box – I think he used the whole thing), he rolled up his sleeves. Good thing, too. Because the foam was covering his hands and running down toward his elbow!!!

My current theory is that this guy isn’t trying to clean his teeth. He’s actually using a wire brush and planning to put on a new coat of paint soon.

Now, I classify this guy as a non-combatant, because he never enters the stall.  And he’s really just using sink space.  True, he’s a deadly danger to Secret Agent Man, who will wait until everybody’s gone before he exerts himself.  And it’s possible he could throw off your Exit Strategy, because even his vigorous brushing doesn’t provide quite adequate Cover Sound.  So if you don’t want to be busted by him (even though he’s in an advanced vegetative state as near as I can tell), you’ll have to wait him out.  Which means another Stall Patron might wait him out.  Which means the Other Guy might want to Leave When You Do.  So you could be busted by Other Guy.

I guess Toothbrusher really isn’t a non-combatant after all.  He’s actually more of a Freak Earthquake That Damages Both Sides.  Emphasis on his being a Freak.

Oh, right. Other characters. They’ll have to wait for later. But here’s a partial list:

  • The handwasher (they actually exist)
  • The face/hands/feet washer (knew a Muslim guy once who did all these)
  • The hawker (yeah…ew)
  • The Janitor (use him against Secret Agent Man if you know his schedule)
  • The hairdo/shirt-tuck/ensemble checker (usually faked when there’s a Full House or Inadequate Buffer)

Maybe I’ll hit them sometime on the blog.  But they’ll definitely be in the book.

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