I’m missing a tooth. It’s not like a front tooth, but if I smile wide enough you can see the space it used to be in. There’s really no excuse for it, except that I have an extremely hard time parting with a thousand dollars for anything as small as a tooth. One of our best friends is a dentist and I’m sure she wants to Rufie me and shove a Chiclet into the empty hole every time she sees me, but that’s beside the point. What was the point? Oh yeah.
Today I saw a trucker with just one tooth. It was a bottom front tooth, jutting up over his upper lip like a lighthouse for food. I, of course, was mesmerized by this lone chopper, and immediately wanted to ask him why he’d keep just one tooth. He’d gotten out of a Landstar-leased rig, so money wasn’t likely to be the issue. He was well dressed and had an awesome cowboy hat, but that was all secondary in my mind to his solitary bulldog tooth, mostly because I’m weird and tend to be fixated by things like that. Also, the nurse in me can never stop assessing potential patients. I’m constantly pointing out cellulitis on drivers’ legs and wondering if it’s being treated properly, so a raging infection doesn’t lead to total leg loss. On the highway, in the middle of a traffic jam. While they’re driving a standard 18. Just falls right off in the floor board. (Welcome to my mind — hey look, there’s a squirrel with a misshapen tail! He probably got it caught in a rat trap. While he was stealing phone records for the NSA.)
I’ll stop now.
(Except I’m pretty sure the squirrel has a glass eye from a sword fight he had with a Russian spy…)
George immediately discouraged following this plan of action, and promised me a frappe if I’d be good. Kidding! It was an Orange Julius. Anyway, I was left to come to my own conclusions about it. This is generally a dangerous proposal for me. But the more I thought, the more I realized the insanely practical uses for just one tooth. The placement made it a perfect orange peeler. It also held the upper lip down, which is probably pretty handy for mustache trimming and such. If he was a forgetful kind of guy, he could hang his keychain on it when he slept, or tie a red string around it to remind him to brush it, lest it suffer the fate of all the other teeth.
Of course, we’ll never really know why he held on to the last little Indian — he may just have been attached to it. Pun totally intended.