CRITIQUE NO. 1
The Toothbrush-of-the-Month Club is a terrible, terrible idea.
Response: I hear this objection a lot. I take it seriously, because I believe it gets right to the heart of my proposal. However, contrary to this oft-articulated criticism, the Toothbrush-of-the-Month Club is not a terrible idea but rather quite a fine idea. Many dentists and other oral-health-care professionals recommend replacing your toothbrush every month, but most people don’t bother to do it. The Toothbrush-of-the-Month Club would capitalize on this nauseating phenomenon by sending the customer a brand-new toothbrush every month in return for a small annual fee. Both parties benefit. The customer no longer has to brush his or her teeth with a stinking, bacteria-infested instrument, and I get rich and can afford that heavy-duty flamethrower I’ve always wanted. Far from being terrible, my idea exemplifies the American dream. In this way, it is a bit like the comic strip For Better or For Worse, which also gives voice to our inner yearnings as Americans, although somewhat differently.
CRITIQUE NO. 2
Your club is unnecessary, because people can just go to the store and buy a new toothbrush each month.
Response: It’s like, have you even been listening? As I just mentioned, people in fact do not go to the store and buy a new toothbrush each month, even though they should. This is because people are disgusting and irresponsible. I mean, have you looked at yourself in the mirror lately? None of this, however, will be mentioned in my advertising campaign on behalf of the Toothbrush-of-the-Month Club, which will instead stress low cost and convenience.
CRITIQUE NO. 3
You are so full of it. You always think of these harebrained schemes, but you never follow through. It’s all talk with you, never any action. Sometimes I think you come up with these things just to avoid communicating with me.
Response: This critique is usually voiced by my wife, although I occasionally also hear it from my mailman. I don’t really know what to say. I’ll concede that not all of my schemes have been rousing successes. Still, you have to admit that my idea of a restaurant serving up a “Tuber of the Day” dish every night wasn’t so bad.
CRITIQUE NO. 4
I don’t know how you can go around saying that you came up with this idea when clearly it was my idea that you stole. If you persist in passing this idea off as your own, I will be forced to hire an attorney to sue the hell out of you.
Response: Look, Josh, I don’t know where you got this notion that you came up with the idea for the Toothbrush-of-the-Month Club, but you are clearly mistaken. If you recall, your idea was for the Toilet-Paper-Roll-of-the-Week Association, which is obviously quite different from my idea. Also, look out behind you, a bear!
CRITIQUE NO. 5
Your idea holds some promise, but how do you plan to run this business from inside a prison cell?
Response: Although my recent conviction for second-degree arson has indeed been a setback, I am confident that my lawyer will get me out of this place before too long. In the meantime, it sounds like some of the guys in the cellblock are planning a “pliers party” for me tonight. Does anyone know what that means?
CRITIQUE NO. 6
Only an asshole would start such a stupid club.
Response: Maybe you are the asshole. Have you ever thought about that?