We’re all familiar with the dentist, right? You know, the place where someone puts their hands in your mouth, does stuff to your teeth, tells you your gums are bleeding because you don’t floss enough, and tries to have a conversation with you all at the same time?
Yeah, that place.
I can’t say I’ve ever had a bad experience at the dentist. Is it my favourite place in the world? No. They don’t serve food.
Anyways, when I was about 8-years-old, I went to the dentist. Earth-shattering stuff here, I know. Before they called me in – or maybe it was after (?) – I don’t know, this was a long time ago. Regardless of whether it was before or after my appointment, I found myself in their washroom.
Their washroom was just a room for one person. The one where you lock the door behind you, and while you’re busy, you hear people try to open the door, at which point you let out a sigh of relief and look toward the heavens and thank God you remembered to lock it, otherwise…well, you know.
So I’m in the washroom.
Alright, just a regular pit stop. And then, like everyone should do after going to the washroom, I washed my hands. What a good boy I was. There was a pump dispenser sitting on the counter.
Pump dispenser…sitting on the counter…next to a sink…in a washroom…this is hand soap!
I put one hand under it and pressed down on top with the other – just like I had done my entire life.
All of a sudden it was in my hands and started travelling up my arm. I realized something different about it. Very Sherlock Holmes of me, huh? The soap wasn’t as thick as I was used to. It had a low viscosity. It was thin. It was almost like water, I thought.
But alas, it can’t be like water. This is hand soap! Green hand soap! Straight from the pump dispenser sitting on the counter…by the sink…in a washroom. Hand soap. It’s hand soap.
You know how public places, or even your friend’s house, have different soap than you use at your own house? Well, I thought this was another case of that.
Wow, this is super soap! Where did they find this?
I just assumed it was some really expensive, extra-powerful hand soap, that the dentist’s office could afford. I mixed it with water, washed my hands, and dried them.
When I was done my Mom asked me if I washed my hands. I told her I did and mentioned something about the soap. Probably along the lines of, “it was different.”
I showed her the super soap that had tried to crawl up my arm, just a few minutes earlier, and she started to laugh.
“Paul, that’s mouthwash.”
“This is the soap.” As she pointed at the real dispenser, which I had never seen before. Where did it come from? It wasn’t here before, was it?
Will the real soap dispenser please stand up? Please stand up. Please stand up.
She made me wash my hands with the real soap. I say “real soap” as if I used fake soap. I didn’t use fake soap; I used mouthwash!
Jokes on everyone else though, my hands smelled minty fresh for those short-lived seconds.
Maybe I was on to something. If mouthwash can magically make our mouths smell better, then why can’t it work the same wonders on our hands?
I never tried it again. The image of green liquid crawling up my arm is still in my head.
Man, public washrooms are complicated, aren’t they? Especially for an 8-year-old kid who is just tall enough to see over the counter and stretch their arm to reach the tap.
I’ll never forget this blunder. It’s one of the things I think about every time I go to the dentist. I still go to the same place, by the way.
Every time I walk by the washroom, the back of my mind goes, “That’s where it happened.” Over the years I’ve summed up the hilarious experience with the word “it“.
I wonder if it has happened to anyone else, or am I the only person dumb enough to accidentally use mouthwash as hand soap?
Please let there be others…