A funny thing happened to me downtown the other day. I lost a tooth. Not like a little kid whose teeth are being replaced naturally – those come loose, fall out, leave a gap and room for the next one. No, I had gone through my allotted sets of natural teeth and am currently working on my fourth.
Now this is a relatively new set of teeth, aged thirteen months (approximately), and had settled well in their new environment. They have been treated well, bathed at decent intervals and kept clean, and never asked to perform tasks for which they have not been trained. Even the materials which they handle every day has not placed excessive strain on them. I thought we worked together well.
And then I was betrayed by one, one half of the leadership team at that! Without prior complaint or warning, the left top incisor disappeared. Suddenly. In public, in the midst of a crowd!
It happened at Soupfest, Hamilton’s annual taste of winter competition where eating establishments vie for best and most creative soup titles with proceeds to charity. I had supped on a broth with venison and veggies, savored a wild boar and kangaroo stew, basked through a bowl of sweet coconut curry, and was sipping an intriguing garlic, ale and Stilton liqueur when my front tooth abandoned me.
Oh, the shame and embarrassment! To be left looking like a double for MAD magazine’s famous cover boy, Alfred E. Newman! My own famous smile sullied in the sight of all the world!
I rushed home. I refused to smile for days. To heap insult upon injury, a crippling snow storm kept any semblance of help away from its office, while I was forced to brave the elements to fulfill contractual obligations. I could neither hide nor hibernate.
Finally this morning I came face to face (what’s left of mine) with the denturist who fashioned this mutinous tooth. I know where it’s hiding but I have abandoned it. That tooth may suffocate in the stench of my lower bowel; I hope it doesn’t see daylight again! Meanwhile it is being replaced by one worthy of its function and title: the Most Honourable and Gracious Front Tooth!