Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

August 20, 2013

Bit by life’s cruelties

Charles Romans
For The Independent

GRAYSON — Ah, life can be cruel. I bit into a biscuit rich with honey and butter the other day and a chunk of my tooth let loose. Now I realize that might be punishment for indulging in the forbidden — I shouldn’t be eating biscuits, honey or real butter — but the end result is that I’m going to be making a call to the dentist.

Ah, the glory days when I was a kid and my teeth were like iron. I loved salt water taffy, the kind you get in souvenir stores at tourist trap locations. So what if it took 10 minutes to eat a piece? I had good, strong teeth.

I loved Heath bars, too. I know they’re still for sale but I’m a little fearful about eating one these days. The hard length of candy beneath the sweet chocolate sounds enticing but I have a feeling my days of chomping those are pretty close to over, too.

My junk drawer in the kitchen holds all kinds of tools, the likes of which I couldn’t be bothered with as a kid.

Seriously, who needs a knife to cut baling twine when your teeth are good?

My teeth were plenty good enough to rip open a box of Cracker Jacks or bag of sour balls. I also well remember those little wax soda bottles. One sipped out the contents before chewing the waxy outside into a little wad

My grandmother on my dad’s side made great popcorn balls. She wasn’t so good at taking out the dud popcorn, though, so it wasn’t uncommon to take a big bite and crunch into a burnt but unpopped kernel.

Nope, that didn’t hurt my teeth at all.

Alas, I’ve never been able to claim to have perfect teeth, though. I spent my fair share of time in the dentist’s chair when I was a kid getting fillings or, after I ran into a bigger kid while roller skating, a root canal to fix a broken tooth.

The kids and I kinda snickered at my dear departed Hubby when he broke off an eye tooth eating toast. I’m pretty sure he’s looking down on me now saying, “Not so funny when it’s you, is it?”

No, it’s not. But there is a silver lining to this particular cloud, I’ve discovered.

I mean, who can blame me for not wanting to smash the poor tooth up completely? Until I manage to get it looked at by a professional, I’ve decided I should take it easy.

Ice cream should be okay, I’m sure. Like in a nice sundae topped with hot fudge and whipped cream.

Tapioca pudding certainly can’t hurt me. Or a big slice of ripe red watermelon.

Enjoying grilled chicken might be tempting fate, I fear, as could a crunchy green salad. I’m certain that if I make a meal of cookies dunked in nice cold milk, no harm will be done.

Same thing with mashed potatoes. And if I happen to need a ladle or two of good cream gravy to give them flavor, so be it.

I’m not sure how long it takes to get into the dentist’s chair to be tortured but I figure it will probably be a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I’ll suck it up and make the best of things.

As in sucking up milkshakes, frothy coffee drinks and, for a little balance in my diet, a nice chocolate-banana protein smoothie.

CATHIE SHAFFER can be reached at cathieshaffer@zoominternet.net