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mouthwash in my eye

this is the story of how i ended up with mouthwash in my eye.

part of my morning routine, is to rinse with mouthwash (typically, in my mouth only). dispatching overnight breath before i go to work in the morning seems like a good thing.

on this particular morning, i must not have been paying attention… i ended up, as i was putting it in my mouth, with blue mouthwash beginning to flow down my chin. to avoid it ending up on my shirt, i threw my head and upper body forward, so it would drip into the sink instead.

as my head came forward, the bottle of mouthwash came down towards the sink basin. at a greater rate than usual, given that i was heaving forward in an attempt to keep the mouthwash off of my shirt (which, ironically, was a similar shade of blue to the mouthwash so it probably wouldn’t have been too noticeable).

as the bottle of mouthwash hits the basin, it splashes directly upwards. i don’t attempt to explain the physics involved in this happening; i’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure it out myself, to no avail.

the splash of mouthwash went directly into my right eye. it didn’t even hit the glasses i was wearing, or any other part of my face or clothing.

now, this wasn’t ho-hum fluoride vehicle mouthwash for kids. this was the stuff that burns your mouth if you keep it in there for more than a few seconds. i rather like the burn (typically, in my mouth only) as it gives me the impression that it’s killing something. killing bacteria? killing … my resolve? either way. i was accomplishing death, and it was scarcely 6am.

in my eye, i was surprised at how much it burned initially, then quickly faded. in fact — it was probably in there a lot longer than it had to be (given my proximity to a sink) because i had taken so long to pause, and realize “wow, this isn’t burning anymore!” looking back, it seems the kind of thing that would have been better to realize when, well, looking back.

following this brief interlude, i washed my eye out with flowing water, and then with saline. i went to work, i later put my contacts in, with no problems. but i’ve gained a new level of respect for what mouthwash can do, and will always remember to use it (typically, in my mouth only).

and yes, only later did i realize, i could have really saved time if instead of the mouthwash, i would have popped an altoid into my eye later, while on the train.

posted in minutiae by mike, on October 6, 2005

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