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  American Midol

American Midol: Why Our Freaky Oral Fetishes Equal Big Business

Welcome to the era of the customized moment.

Meet Smiley, Pepsodent's unflavored mascot, who won't be getting VIP access to my mouth anymore.
It's a time when a programming Sherpa named TiVo works 24/7 to feed our demonstrated interests, plows through billions of products to bring us the newest available for our purchasing pleasure, and every friend has a signature ringtone, as endearing as it is disposable.

We are our own indelible works of art.

From blogs to vlogs to getting our country dream home built by the Original Lincoln Logs®, we can express our vision, experiences, and insights in concrete – and virtually instantaneous – ways.

Which brings me to the tantalizing subject of customizing oral pleasures...

In the Spring of 2006, there are no fewer than eight adult-targeted toothpaste flavors offered by Crest alone. The standard mint variations aren't too surprising – even cinnamon seems like it fits in the mix.

But they're branching out to unexpected realms, offering a Vanilla Mint, and my latest purchase, Lemon Ice.

Why would I buy toothpaste that boasts the same ingredient as my furniture polish and Swiffer Wet pad?

Because it got me thinking.

"Hmmm," I mulled in aisle 17, "How might lemon deliver that sparkling clean-mouth feeling? Could a yellow gel ever be a good thing for my coffee-stained teeth? Is this product something I could swipe on the rim of my vodka tonic next time I run out of drink titivations?"

A steady squall of excitement pushed me further.

"Imagine...every morning and night, experiencing something new, different, unique. I'd be in a category all my own! My parents would never go for a lemon toothpaste. Heck, most of America sticks with their boring ol' Pepsodent, just to save a buck or two. But I - I spend the extra cash for the experience! I invite a dose of the unexpected – a jolt of sensual adventure – into my daily routine. Singularity for an extra buck? What a steal!"

No doubt, other yearning consumers will be seduced by the call of domestic experimentation, which means cool million-dollar smiles for the toothpaste moguls.

Just for sticking something new in our mouths.


Enjoyed this American Midol column? Or diabolically incensed by its uselessness? Either way, you're invited to check out all of Lani Voivod's Midol spasms right here. Wanna sound off on this subject? Send your feedback to!

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