December 01, 2000
When I was a

When I was a kid, I loved joke shops, the sort of places that sold fart cushions and plastic ice cubes with embedded bugs. One of the jokes I never tried was the toothpaste that makes the victim’s teeth turn black.

Now that I live in Japan, I don’t have to be subvert. Binotomo “Nasu Detrifice Jet Black” is an actual product on the shelves and is a pricey, high-end toothpaste at that. It’s one of the more disturbing toothpastes I’ve ever tried.

The package is pretty. A black label sports a jaunty purple eggplant and white lettering spells out the name and tag line: “To keep your teeth in perfect condition use this detrifice night and morning.”

I managed perfect condition only one morning. Taking off the cap, I squeezed a dab onto my toothbrush. The product lives up to its name. It’s black. It’s also salty and slightly gritty, like chalk, with a very slight flavor of vegetable. It’s so slight that I can’t tell you what vegetable though I’d guess eggplant (nasu is eggplant).

But the most disturbing ascept is that it creates copious black foam. I looked like a rabid dog from Mars. Mornings are bad enough as it is, I hardly need to feel like an alien canine, so I put the toothpaste into the cabinet for an emergency. Or a really good joke. Posted by kuri at December 01, 2000 06:44 AM

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