Hugh Dixon: shiny new teeth
We Dixons are the sort of family that has almost every electronic gadget under the sun.
From set-top boxes to video streamers to three different breeds of games console; from phones to tablets, from laptops to phablets: if it's white and shiny and needs a charger, we've got it. You can play music in the loft and have the sound come out in the kitchen: it all works by wireless. Except when it doesn't.
And if Mrs D sends her obliging hubby out to the shops, but forgets to put organic spelt on the shopping list (so much more digestible than horsemeat, we find), then we have an app for it. Even if she is reluctant to use it and would rather phone up.
But don't get the impression that Mrs D is a technophobe. Only this week she came back from the dentist's with the last word in white, shiny, rechargeable gadgetry: an electric toothbrush.
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Now electric toothbrushes are scary things. Inside the box, along with the handle, are heads, brushes and nozzles for every orthodontic eventuality. There's a half-size DVD that will roger the innards of any computer you try to play it on. And there's one of those instruction manuals that unfolds like a map of the world, and boasts almost as many languages.
In all of which, from Farsi to Erse, is a dire warning: Do Not Turn On Before Putting In Your Mouth.
Ignoring this basic rule will cause toothpaste to spatter all over the bathroom walls: not a good thing when yours truly has spent his weekend engaged in chemical warfare with the limescale , and would be most displeased to see said walls messed up again.
So there it sits, its charging light flashing an eerie shade of green. You grasp it in both hands (it's damn heavy), attach your personally colour-coded brush fitting, apply the toothpaste, position the brush at an angle to the gumline, and gingerly press the button. The whole concern shudders like a Saturn V rocket just before blast-off – anything this powerful must be doing you good.
And if you're in town this weekend and you see a family whose gnashers glow a radioactive shade of blue, don't be alarmed: it's only us, showing off our shiny new teeth.