April 23, 2022 at 12:10 pm (The Easy Chair)

I hated that tooth when I was a kid.

It was rectangular and cockeyed, sitting kinda sideways. It stuck up a couple millimeters higher than the neighboring tooth, and went deep into my lip more than once. I eventually came to appreciate this lone weird tooth, and realized it might be what identified me in a plane crash or earthquake. I was glad it was of the remaining nine saved during the great dental excavation a half-decade ago.

A cracking sound in my jawline sent the original warning. It went from being able to move the tooth to being able to “do the compass points” to what amounted to a joystick with no spring left. Just a wobbly knob that felt like a nail in the gumline every time I bit wrong.

I’d been through this before. I started wiggling Ol’ Wobbly back and forth, side to side. The mask/bandana came in most handy; I could have my fingers in my mouth without being TOO gross. I made the most of bus rides and TV time. Night before last I almost had it. But if I was too forceful, I’d be in extreme pain and there’d be no sleeping.

I started in first thing yesterday morning, and I could almost pull the tooth down to a horizontal spot. Like a diving board for spittle! I was getting wonky from the constant low-grade pain, and regretting the thought of work.

As I wiggled from side to side, i started using a screwing motion, and felt a pop. I pushed forward with my tongue, and felt more give. Index finger on tip of tooth blade, I pulled forward. A final pop, and look what we have here!

Queasy looks from family members as I held out my hand saying, “See me smile!” I went from grumpy ol’ beastard to near-giddiness. I hadn’t realized how irritating that tooth was.

I rinsed the tooth, and my holey mouth, then texted Mister Felix. “I have something for you! I pulled my thing tool tooth (isn’t auto-correct funny?) this morning, and it’s coming your way.”

My buddy back east will turn my flat-blade screwdriver of a tooth into some form of jewelry.

I always knew I had a New York smile.


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