Because of tough economic times, NPR did a story about a woman who had drastically reduced her shopping bill by clipping and downloading coupons. I only half-listened, because I'm far too busy and disorganized to remember to use coupons, but at one point I heard her say, "No one should ever pay full price for toothpaste," and as she spoke I remembered that I had once heard that toothpaste brand-loyalty was among the highest of all products. It may have even been second to cigarettes. Anyway, as a consumer, I must be some sort of anomaly because have absolutely no brand-loyalty to toothpaste. I grew up on Tom's all natural chalk-flavored toothpaste, and anyone who can survive Tom's really can use just about anything. If nothing else is around, I'll even use Tom's black licorice-flavored chalk, which is just about the worst thing on Earth.
Or so I thought.
It just so happened that shortly after I heard the story, I ran out of toothpaste. I stood in the aisle at Walgreen's, and as I reached for a box of something (anything) I cursed the fact that I hadn't clipped coupons beforehand, since "no one should ever pay full price for toothpaste," and then I noticed that on the bottom shelf, way below Crest and Colgate and Aquafresh, there was a box of Aim toothpaste for a third of the price of everything else. Aha! I thought. I win! I get cheap toothpaste, and I don't have to carry a coupon to the register. In my excitement at scoring such a good deal, I only briefly wondered why Aim is so much cheaper than any other toothpaste.
I paid my 99 cents, and brought home a shiny new tube of Aim. Remember Aim from your childhood? I didn't, but it turns out that it tastes so bad it makes you want to fill your mouth with the refreshing smell of garlic after brushing. It puckers up the insides of your mouth and dries up your saliva, and leaves you feeling decidedly unclean.
In short, it makes me miss Tom's. And now I have to use it all up, because it doesn't count as saving money if you just toss it in the garbage when you get it home. The final blow was that my 99 cent toothpaste came with a free travel-sized tube of the same crappy stuff. It'll be a year before I can like the taste of my mouth again.