So tonight, in the writing salon that I teach, we were writing personal stories in a journalistic style. The outcome was hilarious. Here’s one of my twenty-minute writes. It’s unedited. Enjoy.

A Million Dollar Smile

One Woman’s Decision to Change her Toothpaste Brings Smiles to the Whole Neighborhood 

Santa Cruz, California.

Dixie Cox, resident of the coastal town known for nurturing expression as well as an abundance of other healing arts, finally put her foot down last Tuesday standing in her small, needs-to-be-remodled bathroom. “That’s it!” Clifford Henderson, her partner of twenty-three years reported her as saying. “I refuse to use your Tom’s toothpaste anymore! I’m going back to good old Crest!” Ms. Cox, who refused to comment, was, Ms. Henderson said, “jubilant at her revelation that just because we’re in love and like most of the same things doesn’t mean we have to like all the same things. Especially toothpaste.”

“It’s been amazing they’ve been able to work it out,” an unnamed neighbor said. “My wife and I fight over toothpaste all the time. That and toilet paper. She thinks it should be rolled inward and I think it should be rolled outward. So I’ve really got to hand it to those two for working it out. Even if they are lesbians.”

When asked if her feelings were hurt by Cox’s bold decision, Henderson confided, “Not so much.” But she was curious whose toothpaste would get the best placement on the small shelf by the sink. “But as it turns out,” she said. “There’s room for both tubes, so it’s really worked out great.”

p150320Huck Weaver, the spokesperson for Tom’s of Maine, was not in the least bit surprised by Cox’s choice. “People feel strongly about their teeth,” he said. “I just hope she tried all our flavors before taking this drastic step. The delicious Cinnamint, Propolis and Myrrh for instance.” But Henderson says taste wasn’t Cox’s main complaint. “It was the texture that got her. And the fact that her teeth never felt clean.”

Neighbors report  that the incident did not change the smiles coming and going from the house. “I’m just glad they worked it out,” Meris Conway said. “And like they say, two smiles is better than one.”

For more on this story and for photos of Cox’s and Henderson’s medicine cabinet, go to our website at