Tonight I saw a tiny little roach on my bathroom floor. I grew up in Alabama, where the 2-inch tree roaches make regular forays into your house and throw parties. So I wasn’t grossed out. I was a little annoyed, but mostly I was reminded of this factoid I once heard about cockroaches, that being that they like to munch on toothbrush bristles. This may just be some sort of old wives’ tale, but nonetheless I found myself looking at the ceramic toothbrush holder, wondering if the little guy on the floor, or one of his buddies, could scale the wall, climb on to the toothbrush holder, and from there ascend to the apex of my toothbrush and start munching. Pretty quickly I decided it would be a piece of cake for a roach to do that, if he or she so desired.
Then my mind set to devising some form of roach-proof toothbrush holder. At first I came up with a glass of water with a socket in the bottom, into which the end of the toothbrush could be inserted. The water would form a sort of moat around the toothbrush, fending off any roach-esque comers. But I thought that might not be completely roach-proof, as an ambitious or persistent roach might be able swim or paddle across the moat and then make his way on to the shaft of the toothbrush and upward to munch. I kept thinking.
It occurred to me that the most elegant solution would be to suspend the toothbrush in the air somehow; if there are no solid materials touching the toothbrush, then there’s nothing for a roach to climb across to reach the toothbrush. But how would you suspend the toothbrush in mid-air?
I haven’t completely figured it out yet, but right now I’ll have to sleep on it. If I make any more progress on solving this ridiculously non-problematic problem, I’ll let you know.