Jon Dawson: Local family enters fourth decade on single tube of toothpaste

Jon Dawson: Local family enters fourth decade on single tube of toothpaste

A scene from an upcoming episode of ‘Keeping Up with The Dawsons’orson / Image courtesy of Americana Cable Network

As a species, humans have accomplished remarkable things. We've walked on the moon, cured polio and invented squeeze-bottle ketchup. 

Another creation of ours is "reality" TV. Now I love a good documentary, and would even consider reality shows such as "Deadliest Catch" to have a fairly firm grasp on, well, reality.

On the flip side, each cast member of "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" has made more money off being filmed not working than Orson Welles — who directed "Citizen Kane" (routinely voted the greatest movie of all time) — ever did. 

Filmmakers and actors discuss their admiration for CITIZEN KANE, the greatest American film of all time.

By the end of his life, Welles was appearing in frozen pea commercials to fund his movies. Conversely, one of the Kardashians just bought Vermont to store her winter clothes.

The director of the greatest film ever made sells board games and cameras.

One reality show that was mighty popular in these parts was "Duck Dynasty.” The cast was relatable, but when you're able to see the reflection of the cue cards in Uncle Si's glasses, it's obvious the show was as scripted as the Lee Harvey Oswald jail transfer. 

In real life, the wives on “Duck Dynasty” wouldn't make eye contact with anyone that hairy, much less marry them. If you look up photos of the guys a few years before the show aired, they looked less like an Oak Ridge Boys cover band and more like a group of district managers at a Kinko’s convention at the Holiday Inn

I don't blame the participants of these shows for taking the cabbage and running. Never let it be said I let my principles stand in the way of earning a buck.

The Wife and I have two kids, a dog and a mortgage to feed, so whether you need a press release, a bit of music for a student film or someone to dig a ditch, I'm your man.

I've never had any ego about how I or anyone earn a living. If it brings in the duckets, move on to the next slide.

A few months ago representatives from the Americana Cable Network contacted Neuse News Editor Bryan Hanks about creating a reality TV show for him. When they visited his home and witnessed him watching three televisions at once, feeding his dog more nutritious food than he himself consumes and going apoplectic after losing out on an eBay auction for a Bea Arthur signed script for the Golden Girls episode "Journey To The Center of Attention,” they decided no sane TV viewer would believe anyone actually does these things in real life.

While Hanks was disappointed at losing out on the reality TV gig, his funk didn't last long because his attention span is that of a gnat freebasing Mountain Dew. In an effort to salvage their trip to Lenoir County, the producers asked if I'd be interested in having a show based on my real life. After a tense negotiation that lasted upwards of 7 seconds, I signed on.

Retrofitted with a plastic cap to replace the original cork stopper, this tube of Colgate purchased in 1979 is still producing minty freshness in 2019. Image courtesy of Americana Cable Network

The first episode set to air in November focuses on a personal hygiene issue. Tax Deductions 1 and 2 have their own bathroom, while The Wife and I share one down the hall. Since this is "reality" TV, some sort of drama has to be dropped in the second act of the show.

Part of my deal with the network requires me to also write the show, so I worked up a little business about what I considered to be an empty tube of toothpaste.

We're not wasters — to the point we pour leftover ice cubes into a pitcher to water plants (or the dog). Also, we've been known to get several years out of a tube of toothpaste (see photo above). That tube of Colgate was purchased during the Carter administration.

Just when you think there's no more fluoride to be found in that withered vessel, somehow another dollop of minty goo emerges. 

About a year ago, I suggested to The Wife it might be time to invest in another tube of toothpaste. In my deposition, I noted the many great innovations that had advanced toothpaste technology since we'd bought our last tube.

To me, the greatest advance has been the upgrade from corks to screw-on plastic caps. Sure the little bits of cork mixed in with toothpaste act as a wire brush to keep the barnacles of plaque at bay, but it saves time in the morning not having to employ a corkscrew to access your toothpaste.

In its current state, our tube of Colgate has to be driven over by a car on a concrete surface to produce more toothpaste. A few weeks ago our dog Lucille got too close and was hit in the eye with a glob just as the tire of my Chevrolet Impala rolled over the tube. Lucille's right eye was swollen shut for the rest of the day, leading our neighbor's dog to think she was flirting with him.

The howling … oh, the howling.

If this reality show takes off, I expect there will be money rolling in from endorsement deals, books, T-shirts, bumper stickers and personal appearances. For the personal appearances, I'll be sending out a cardboard cutout of myself, as I've been told the difference in personality between myself and the facsimile is negligible. 

Jon Dawson's humor columns are published weekly by Contact Jon at and

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