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Musical Toothbrushes Among Items On Display At Housewares Show

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Justin Bieber Singing Toothbrush

Jessica Reza of California-based Brush Buddies shows off the Justin Bieber Singing Toothbrush at the International Home + Housewares Show. (Credit: Steve Miller/WBBM Newrsadio/CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — At least one of the booths at the International Home + Housewares Show – at McCormick Place through Tuesday – is music to the ears of the 2,100 exhibitors.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports, visitors to the exposition will hear the 1920s and ’30s-style New York jazz band the Hot Sardines, playing some traditional musical instruments – and some that aren’t so traditional.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports

For instance, singer Elizabeth Bougerol plays the washboard. And even that is more traditional than some of their instruments.

“Our tap dancer, Fast Eddie, is tapping on some Moso bamboo kitchen boards – cutting boards,” Bougerol said. “I just used one of their wooden bowls as a drum.”

She says the band was surprised at the adaptability of some of the kitchen tools.

“The squish funnels that collapse make fantastic plunger mutes,” Bougerol said. “You know how horn players will often use an actual toilet plunger? It has sort of the same shape, the same texture. And it makes a really beautiful sound. I think we may even incorporate one of them going forth.”

Meanwhile, the housewares show also features an innovation that might get some recalcitrant kids to brush their teeth.

Jessica Reza of California-based Brush Buddies was showing off the Justin Bieber Singing Toothbrush.

“What it does is there’s actually two buttons – one for morning and one for night,” Reza said. “Each button will play Justin Bieber’s hit single for two minutes, and so you brush as long as the song’s on, and as soon as the song stops, you’re done brushing your teeth.”

There are two versions of the toothbrush. One plays “U Smile,” the other plays “Somebody to Love.”

Reza says the company worked with Bieber’s mother, who is a dental hygienist.

It’s a thermometer called a Chef Pal.

Meanwhile, Parasia International is showing off a new innovation in meat thermometers, which CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole showed us last week.

“And it’s in the shape of a turkey, (with a) 36-inch long heat resistant cable,” said John Hamilton of Parasia International. “You put the probe into the heart of the turkey, the meat of it, and when the turkey is done, it will gobble.”

Thermometers in the shapes of cows, pigs and chickens are also available.

“Even the fish makes a bubbling noise,” Hamilton said.

The retail price is $16.99.

The housewares show runs through Tuesday at McCormick Place. It is for industry experts only and is not open to the public.

The annual show draws 60,000 professional patrons, 2,000 exhibitors from more than 35 countries, 15,000 U.S. buyers, and 6,000 international buyers from 100 countries on every inhabited continent.

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