Strange things I think of while brushing my teeth

It’s fascinating how the brain, and in particular, memory works. It’s interesting the way memories form and associate. This is the reason that every living thing is unique, even if they have the same DNA, because since they cannot occupy the same position in space at the same time, they must necessarily have different exposures to their senses, which leads to different experiences.

Something that I find amusing about my own memories is some of the stranger associations I make between disparate things. One thing in particular tends to trigger memories that to other people, without context would seem to be completely unrelated, that thing being brushing my teeth. There are at least two things that I often end up thinking about when I brush my teeth:

  • The Goa’uld attack during the “Pretense” episode of Stargate SG-1

    A long time ago, I was watching the Stargate SG-1 episode “Pretense” in which SG-1 had to go to trial on the Tollan home-world because the Goa’uld Zipacna (Kevin Durand) was trying to get them to rule to allow the symbiote Klor’el to stay in Skaara’s body. While I was watching the episode, I was flossing my teeth as thoroughly as I could. I then paused during the scene in which the Goa’uld began their attack and went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and then rinse with mouthwash. Then I continued the episode. Ever since then, I sometimes remember the scene of the Goa’uld ships attacking while I brush.

  • The People’s Court, Bugs Bunny, and Pornography

    I think it’s safe to assume that this is probably the strangest thing to associate with tooth-brushing, but it makes perfect sense to me.

    One day, a long time ago (much “longer ago” than the previous one), when I somewhere between 6-9 years old (I was still going to King’s Road, so it would have been grade 1-4), I didn’t go to school that morning because I had a dentist appointment around noon. I decided to brush my teeth before leaving. (I can’t recall if I had been brushing normally and wanted to add an extra one or if I’d kept skipping it and tried to cheat by brushing just before the appointment 🤷.)

    While I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth with the door open, I could hear the TV in the living room loud and clear (I don’t know if my mother was actually watching or if she was in the kitchen or something—and now I can never ask her. 😢) While I brushed for what must have been an exceptionally long time, I recall hearing pretty much the whole case. It was about a woman who was suing a video-store because she had rented a Bug Bunny video for her son’s birthday, put the tape in the VCR in the basement where the kids were having a party, pushed play, then went upstairs, and when she came back down later, she was shocked to find that the video was actually a porno. (Many years later, I’d heard about other cases of people purposely switching tapes, but I think this one was a mistake.)

    If I recall correctly, the judge ended up ruling in her favor (because it was the store’s responsibility to check that the correct tape was returned) and ordered the store pay her some amount I can’t remember. So now, sometimes when I brush, I think of court, Bugs Bunny and porn.

Memories are weird.

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