Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

How (NOT) to Sell Toothbrushes: A Moral Story

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Perhaps you’ve read the story.

It, like many, circulates through email.

Who thinks up that junk?

And yes, it’s SPAM – pure and simple.

And yes, you probably chuckled when you read it.

But there’s a truth – as all those stories purport to espouse, albeit quietly.

And yet, with this one, there’s an even higher truth.

For those of you NOT aware of the story, although it appears in various forms, it’s summarized as three little boys selling toothbrushes, two with what apparently seems little success.

The third sells or gives away feces disguised as a delicious treat, which customers consume.

When they find out they’ve eaten excrement, they need a toothbrush to clean their mouths of the filthy waste.

Naturally, as the story goes, the third little boy sold more toothbrushes.

But let’s quickly examine this story in more detail.

That’s like poisoning water to sell water purifiers and water filters, or putting water in gasoline to cause an engine failure simply to sell a rebuilt or new engine.

Who would do that? It’s a malicious deed, to be certain.

And who, after being so cruelly and horrifically deceived into eating feces would want to purchase anything else from such an evil trickster? That person has once already demonstrated no concern for anyone, and only cares for money.

Such effort is NOT salesmanship, nor is it “smart,” “cute,” “crafty,” or any other such ingenious deed.

It is wicked to the core.

It’s like laughing at another’s misfortune, calamity, serious injury, or death.

Superficially, the story seems cute and funny.

But the soft yellow underbelly is rife with poison.

It purports to tell a story – a just, good, and moral story – and yet, its deceptiveness is very keen, discernible only to the astute observer.

It’s no “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” story, where the message upon the cup reads “Drink Me,” or in real life where a skull and crossbones notates poison.

Not, it’s not so obvious.

And it is purposely so.

It’s more like the story of the venomous snake found in the Winter by a young Indian brave – a sidewinder rattlesnake, found in the desert Southwest of the United States which, almost frozen, begs to be picked up by the young Indian amidst the promise not to bite, and once warmed up, bites him – for that is a snake’s nature.

And yet this one story has far greater subtlety, and inflicts even broader damage because it is insidious, uses children in their innocence as an example, and appeals to our selfishly egotistical sense of success and performance… all at the expense of others.

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