Three Wise Guys: Fat Toothbrush Handles, Sci-Fi Depictions of Aliens, Cat Food Flavors

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By Joe Heim, Justin Rude and Dan Zak
Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dear Wise Guys:

Why do toothbrush makers insist on making handles that are too fat? They don't fit into the holders that were made for them. Drives me nuts!

Frustrated in Chevy Chase

Joe: I feel your pain, CC. I've replaced my toothbrush holder four times in six months just to accommodate the growing size of toothbrush handles.

Dan: There's actually a free toothbrush whittling workshop in Capitol Hill this Thursday. Just show up with your oversize brush and get ready to pare that sucker down to size.

Joe: I'm almost certain that's not true. Anyway, I called the folks at Colgate about this, and they told me the large handles "are ergonomically designed to fit comfortably and snugly in the hand" and that "while there is no standard size for toothbrush holders, an increasing number of manufacturers make holders with larger holes."

Justin: That's corporate speak for "just deal with it."

Dear Wise Guys:

Considering that no one would know from firsthand experience, why is the prevailing premise in most popular science fiction literature, cinema and television programs that aliens are evil and want to do harm to earthlings?

Gort

Dan: If the aliens were friendly, there would be no conflict and, hence, no movie. Can you imagine if the alien in "Alien" had burst out of John Hurt's stomach and said, "My word, I'm terribly sorry. Let's get some gauze for this chap"?

Joe: I don't buy the premise of the question. Mork was a friendly alien. And so were E.T. and Alf. And how about Jerry Maguire?

Justin: Jerry Maguire wasn't an alien.

Joe: No, but he was played by one.

Dear Wise Guys:

If a cat's natural prey is small critters like mice and birds, how come they don't make mouse-flavored cat food?

Phil

Joe: Cats can kill mice and small birds on their own. What they can't do is fish or take down a cow in a pasture. For those evasive species, they rely on the goodness of pet food makers to supply them with an infinite variety of tasty treats in shiny packages.

Justin: And they no more want a steady diet of mouse-flavored food than you would want to eat only Hot Pockets.

Dan: I once baited a mousetrap with a bit of Hot Pocket. We never caught the mouse, but the rest of the Hot Pocket was delicious.

A few weeks ago we answered a question about why deer that are killed by cars end up on the side of the road rather than in the middle. Reader Allyse Turner of Ijamsville in Frederick County wrote to offer her experience to explain this phenomenon:

"Having hit a deer with our minivan over Easter (by accident; we were not trolling for a cheap dinner), I can tell you that most deer are on the side of the road because of the impact. The damage to the outside of the van looked relatively minor compared to the distance it sent the deer flying. It landed on the other side of the road in a ditch. It took the state trooper a little while to locate it. Two tons of moving steel is no match for [hundreds of] pounds of venison!

* * *

* This week's motto was submitted by Christina Yao.


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