It’s About A Toothbrush (Except It Isn’t)

Let me tell you a story. It won’t take long.

This is Mookie.

Mookie is one of three feral cats who now live with us. He’s adorable, isn’t he?

Sweet as can be. Especially considering he was born in a barn a couple years ago to a very wild, slightly nuts feral cat, and wasn’t touched by a human until he was nearly six months old.

Mookie is just the best.

Can’t you tell?

One morning, a couple weeks ago, I was in the bathroom getting ready for work – hair, makeup, last-minute stuff. Sweet, friendly Mookie jumped up on the bathroom counter. Adorable fuzz-muffin Mookie spending some quality bathroom time with his person. Is that just wonderful or what?

Then, he walked over to my toothbrush, chewed on it, and walked away.

Yes, my bathroom is harvest gold and avocado and hasn’t been updated since, ever. So? That has nothing to do with this story. Let it go.

Now, you and I both know that a cat chewing on a toothbrush is gross.  (That toothbrush was instantly trashed.)

But, here’s the thing. It was quite clear from Mookie’s actions that morning that this was not a first-time chew. Clearly, he had done this before … just passing through the bathroom from time to time to take a little chew on the chewy toothbrush that sits there on the counter.

I had been brushing with a cat-chewed toothbrush.  For how long? Days? Weeks? A year? Who the hell knows?

I just know that even the most adorable cats in the world can’t be trusted.


And, neither can the Baltimore Orioles. Because they’ve been chewing on my toothbrush for weeks now.

You knew we were going to get here eventually.

On June 3, the Orioles lost to the Red Sox, 5-2. And, in every game since – 20 in a row as of Friday night – they have given up five or more runs.

In those 20 games, they have given up a total of 160 runs.

In that same span, the Orioles have scored 89. They have won just six of those 20 games.

I hate math, but even I know that winning just six of 20 games is not good. Not good at all.

Last night, the Orioles allowed the Tampa Bay Rays to score their fifth run of the game – and it was just the second inning.

And, when that happened, the Orioles tied one of those incredibly annoying records that baseball mathletes love to dig up: The last time a team gave up five or more runs a game in 20 consecutive games was when the Philadelphia Phillies did it in 1924.

Fun facts about 1924: Lime, lemon, and orange-flavored Life Savers were invented.

So was Kleenex. (Just in time, I guess, for Phillies fans to cry.)

In the Summer Olympics, held in Paris that year, France won the gold medal in “Literature.” (That’s right, until 1948, the Olympics awarded medals for art, music, architecture, and literature.)

“It Ain’t Gonna Rain No Mo’” was one of the biggest songs of the year. The Washington Senators won the World Series and the Phillies, by some miracle, finished two games out of last place, thanks to an even more miserable season by the Boston Braves.

The Orioles are very stinky right now. They are chewing-on-my-toothbrush stinky.

That game last night? Those five runs? It got worse.

It hurts.

You can say, “Well, every team has a rough patch. They’ll work it out.”

But you would be lying, because you know, deep down, that the problem with the Orioles is not a rough patch. It is not because a few players are injured. It is not because of a juiced baseball, or a difficult run without an off day, or a couple bad calls in a couple of games, or … or anything.

They are stinky because they are. Their pitching is sub-par and their hitting is spotty.

And, today, if the Orioles give up five or more runs to the Rays — and, to be honest, there’s no reason to believe they won’t — the Orioles will break that Phillies record that has stood for 92 years.

And, I think that’s probably what they’ll be remembered for when this season is done.

Look, I still adore Mookie, even though he’s a scoundrel and can no longer be trusted.

And, yes, I’m still hanging with the Orioles, even though I don’t trust them either.

Well, at least I can protect my toothbrush.



Photos of that scoundrel, but still adorable, Mookie, and of my retro-awesome harvest gold and avocado green bathroom: © The Baseball Bloggess

30 thoughts on “It’s About A Toothbrush (Except It Isn’t)

  1. My Detroit Tigers are on a 7-game losing streak… they have dropped from 2nd to last place in the division, and they are about 8 games under .500. So believe me, I can relate…. It’s not a few tough-luck losses, it’s a decidedly subpar season, so far. I never give up hope of ending with at least a decent record, though.

  2. Have you considered getting Mookie his own toothbrush? I mean, if he’s willing to brush his own teeth, shouldn’t you encourage him?

    As for the Os, well, ouch! Just keep reminding yourself that everybody in the AL except for the Astros is having a decidedly painful season. You’re not alone. I don’t think the math would allow 29 teams to finish under .500, but I’m beginning to suspect the AL has decided to find out.

      • Yeah, but (a) they’ve only been there for a couple of days, so it hasn’t really sunk in yet, and (b) historically they’ve stunk against the Astros, so they may well be back at .500 by the end of the weekend.

        I consider .500 “respectable” but I’m not sure I’d go as far as “passing”.

        If it’ll help, I’ll try to send Mookie a picture of Rufus’ mouth. “If you don’t take care of your teeth, this is what’ll happen to you!”

  3. I loved your post. I have been watching your O’s slipping and it is painful. Our division is crazy, 1/2 are in a tooth and nail slug out or the other 1/2 are in the ‘ next year has got to be better’ group.
    As for Mookie, well he wins. The little cap you found is a good solution. I vote for a used toothbrush corner that is all his! What an awful discovery, tho…eww!

    • The O’s have one solid starting pitcher — Dylan Bundy — and he saved the O’s from breaking the Phillies record yesterday. So the nightmare starts anew today. It’s like a hamster wheel of unremarkable and disappointing pitching … a world where, if the starter actually gets through 3 innings we consider that an Orioles-esque Quality Start.

  4. That’s certainly not the kind of “record breaking season” any team can brag about. Here’s hoping the awful streak won’t be repeated in our lifetimes.

    I guess I can be thankful my feral rescue kitty is, so far, only interested in the bathtub and shower curtain. Perhaps I’ll keep staying lucky?

  5. Oh man, I love Mookie’s sweet face. I would gladly take him off your hands and buy him a barrel of toothbrushes to chew on. And while I’m at it, I’d take your harvest gold and avocado tiles too. I’ve always had a soft spot for that combo.
    I’m very sorry about your Orioles. I hope they can steer clear of breaking that record. It’s certainly been an off season. I can’t even talk about my Giants. Criminey …

    • I think Casey’s comment above is spot-on … there are 29 teams trying to finish under .500. And, there are the Astros.

      Mookie is a dreamboat, but he gets all the pub on here because he’s also a scoundrel. Zuzu and TomTom — his sibs — are adorable, too. They’re probably equally mischievous, they just don’t get caught. I’ll have to post their pics anyway … it’s only fair.

  6. I love this post! I shouldn’t, because, eeeww, the toothbrush realization (my sympathies!). But you have woven together a really entertaining tale from your starting point, Jackie. And I learned something about the Olympic Games!

    • Thanks, Wendy … that whole literature, art, architecture Olympics thing was new to me, too. Then my husband said, “Yeh, I knew that,” in a “Seriously? You didn’t know that?” sort of way. I suggested that he knew it because he’s secretly 105 years old.

  7. “Untrustable” is on a hallucinogen or a stimulant. Or both!! I’m guessing stimulant tho since chewing on a toothbrush is such a tweaker move. Great post…what’s it say on your baseball? I’m hoping something awful. –Robert

    • Tweaking is sort of an interesting thought. Weird thing though, these three ferals — all siblings — are part of the 20 percent of cats who are unaffected by catnip. It’s a little disappointing, really, to give them some catnip and they just look at you like, “what? what do you want me to do with this … crap?” So clearly, they’re straight-edge. :)

  8. ESPN flashed that Evan Longoria has 37 career home runs against the Orioles, the most he has against any one team. The Minnesota Twins had similar foes: Fred Lynn, Harold Baines, Toby Harrah…always seemed to tattoo Twins pitching. For fun, put together a list of Os enemies… hitters you wish were on Baltimore’s roster. As for Mookie, I noted my electric toothbrush had plastic guards come with it. Maybe the inventors had a Mookie themselves.

    • Hitters (current) I wish were on the Orioles roster? How about all of them? I did mention to Randy last night (as the Orioles defeated the Blue Jay 3-0) that having Mookie Betts on the team could be fun. I’m also happy to take George Springer and Carlos Correa off the Astros’ hands. (I love the heck out of Altuve, but I’m Team Schoopy at second.) I’d take Nelson Cruz back any day. And, just to give a little love to some former Hoo’s, welcome to Birdland … Ryan Zimmerman, Chris Taylor, and welcome back Mark Reynolds! Would it be too greedy to ask for Giancarlo Stanton, too? And, can I pick a new starting rotation while we’re at it?

  9. At least the O’s aren’t the Tigers or the Reds. What blah seasons they are having, and the Tigers will, or should, be selling big time by the trade deadline. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Miggy and JV in another uniform soon. Hope the O’s can turn things around.
    And we have three cats in our house, oh the stories I could tell…

    • It’s very strange to see how many sub-par teams there are this season … the Phillies and Giants haven’t even won 30 games yet this season. And, then the College World Series ends up a clash of the SEC, so I have no one to root for! Meh. :(

  10. I hope the handsome feline Mookie is named more for perhaps the most beloved former Tidewater (now Norfolk) Tide, rather than the Boston version who was named after the OU basketball player. Interestingly enough, many veterinarians are now pushing a range of dental services for cats. Maybe with some specifically flavored paste, Mookie could brush his own teeth.

    • Yes, we did our best to neutralize the name. Mookie’s full name is Mookie Wilson-Betts … we figured that pretty much evened things out! Someone on here said I should give Mookie his own toothbrush. So, as a joke I did, and he actually likes it. He gives it a couple chews and then he’s on his way. Not sure what he likes about the chew, but it seems to make him happy (and my toothbrush has been covered and Mookie-free ever since). :)

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