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    Two Things I Don’t Understand

    1. Changing Your Smoke Alarm Batteries

    Every year when we set our clocks back or forward for Daylight Saving Time, they always tell you to replace your smoke alarm batteries.


    When the batteries in my smoke alarm die, my smoke alarm lets me know by making an unbearably annoying noise. Usually starting at like 2AM.

    I’m not arguing that smoke alarms aren’t important. (Quite the contrary. I’m a big fan.) I’m just saying that it seems dumb and wasteful to change your smoke alarm batteries before it’s time.

    2. Tooth Brushing Time

    The standard advice has always been to “brush your teeth for two minutes.” I get that.

    But now that I have a Sonicare, I find that it too wants you to brush your teeth for two minutes.


    The two-minute recommendation is, I assume, a function of the number of brush strokes the average person can deploy by hand. And not a function of the actual clock time your mouth spends being brushed.

    With the Sonicare, I’m using about a billion more brush strokes per minute than I could when I brushed by hand. So why am I still supposed to stand there, supersonic toothbrush ringing my head like a bell, for a full two minutes?

    (On an unrelated note, I ended up having to get a tetanus shot this morning. I wanted to mention it here so that the next time I wonder “How long has it been since I had a tetanus shot?” I can just search the blog to find out. How do non-bloggers ever manage, I wonder?)

    12 comments to Two Things I Don’t Understand

    • Last time I got a tetanus booster, they gave me a little card to stick in my wallet that said when I had had it. I suppose that’s partly so if you’re found unconscious with a rusty nail next to you, paramedics can decide whether you need a booster or not.

      Of course, I also have a prodigious memory, so I can remember I had the booster in 2002, meaning I’m about due for one.

    • Erika

      Actually I learned today that these days they want you to get vaccinated every 5 years. Particularly if you’re at risk, if you work with animals or live in a rural area.

    • Slager

      Gee whiz, I can’t remember the last time I had a tetnus shot. So long that I don’t remember what it feels like. Daymn.

    • Slager

      I mean… “tetanus.” Not “tetnus.” Derp.

    • I use my electric toothbrush for as long as it takes me to play as many games of computer solitaire as I feel like playing. Seems to be working.

    • gabes

      how are you brushing and gaming, or am i being stupid in some obvious way I’ll regret later…..

    • I actually go longer. I think I am trying to scrape off my enamel or something (and this is with the s-care too)

    • Sara L.

      I hear you on the smoke alarm thing. And it truly does always happen in the middle of the night. How is that possible?

    • Heidi

      If it always happens in the middle of the night, that seems like a good incentive to do it before it happens. 😛

    • We’ve always ignored the change-the-battery nonsense. Our smoke alarm is perfectly capable of taking care of itself. (It’s got that I-will-annoy-you-till-you-die-or-change-my-battery thing down in a big way.)
      I don’t get the Magic Two Minutes, either. Sounds like sheer superstition to me.
      The other thing I don’t get is shampoo’s Lather-Rinse-Repeat. At what point do you break out of that endless loop? When you run out of shampoo?

    • Faye

      ‘Lather, rinse, repeat’ really isn’t needed except in the most dire of hair emergencies. If you’re washing your hair regularly, once is plenty. Someone in marketing realised they could sell twice as much shampoo with just three words.

      The same could probably be said for ‘brush for two minutes’ – you might not use any more toothpaste, but the brush will experience more wear.

    • Erika

      I’m right there with you, Faye! Last time I got laundry detergent it came with this giant scoop. I read the instructions and the BOTTOM line is the one you use for “full load of laundry.” Scam!!!

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