Good Old # 30…..RIP

I got my new tooth yesterday. The old and battered one had been taken out a few months back. Extraction didn’t come easy. Seems that molar liked where it had been living for over 60 years. The nurse coldly referred to it as #30. Didn’t she know I am Ted The Great? The doc needed a couple of tries to retrieve it which almost got comical akin to a Three Stooges skit. He finally broke it in two and at least avoided applying a jack hammer to my jaw. Then it was tossed unceremoniously into a steel bowl and who knows where it went from there.

When I got home I cursed the fact I had left my old friend. I was sure if I put it under my pillow I would have gotten a shekel or two from the tooth fairy. I wonder if it is political correct to use the term “fairy”? Whatever! I have dated myself with that coin thing. Today you probably get a bike, a cell phone or color TV. But now I am being mercenary. This baby was part of history and it got me thinking.

In school it helped me “Duck and Cover” in the air raid drills at St Mary’s Elementary.That was actually a portent of things to come during food fights at Georgetown or the real thing in Viet Nam.It had accompanied me in walking down streets all over the world. Wall Street. Main Street.The Champs Elysees. A gazillion places and #30 never said a thing.

Every so often it would ache when I abused it with hard candy or a caramel. Needed a few repairs every now and then but took a licking and kept on ticking. It was a little mossy on a morning after a bad night but it had company with other parts of my body. At its most basic it helped me chomp on some 60,000 plus meals of all sorts. Home cooking and fancy cooking. In a far off place, some came in boxes and cans called C Rats. Never argued with me when I opened a can of eggs and ham that had been produced in 1950 although the time of absorption was 1970. Gotta do, what you gotta do.

As far as meals I think our favorite was a lunch at a vineyard in New Zealand. The red wine of choice to tickle that enamel had to be Silverado or The Prisoner. As for the whites it could only be Rombauer Chard.They call it California Crack. For spirits it was a single malt we tasted in Hobart, Tasmania. The best champagne was the day I got married.Nothing sweeter.Helped me to say I Do without garbling the words. As for water as WC Fields used to say,”I never touch the stuff.” There is a saltier version of that but I will spare you.

That speaking thing has served me well. As for my favorites that is a three way tie. He helped me hit it out of the park for my friend John’s and my mother’s eulogies. The other choice was when I had to stand in for my brother Kevin at a black tie dinner at the Pierre for the glitterati of the municipal bond business on Wall Street. He was supposed to get an ward but  was having brain surgery the next day…. in San Francisco. I told everyone not to look so glum. We were not talking about a vital organ here. I then proceeded to roast him for 20 minutes. They roared and clapped. I love it when a plan comes together.

Over the years he has seen presidents from Ike to Barak. He might be forever grateful he exited before next Tuesday. Popes have come and gone but he confided in me that he really liked this Frank guy. Funny how for all the folderol given to important people, they have moved on just like #30. Nice but forgotten.

That bicuspid had seen numerous cars. Some of them old heaps and some German beauties. He got bugs impaled on him when I used to drive the kids around town in my orange VW Thing with the windshield down. Gotta keep smiling no matter what. He had been with me when I found loves and friends. He had seen heartbreak and triumph. Joy and sadness. As the saying goes,”If these teeth could talk”.

Teeth are important to your grin. I have had so much fun he was always out there. A good belly whomping joke or a tender smile of a proud husband, parent or Padge. Perhaps it was just meeting an old friend or making a new one. I have been incredibly lucky and I better continue to keep that broad expression even if part of it is not original equipment.

There is a lesson here and I will try to keep it short. At least for me in this age or replacements parts, scraper houses, and our dispose all society, we would do well to consider things before we toss them aside. It is not saying we should not move forward but still respect all that has gone on before us. Take a look at your hands, your feet and even that face you think needs work. Like family and friends just think how fortunate we are to have them. Life is good and although we get used to new teeth, the latest car and maybe even loved ones, there is a lot of people and things that have served us well. As usual,that’s all that I ask. Just stop and think.

As always
Ted The Great.


In 7BC some genius made dentures out of gold and teeth from cadavers or animals. Later in the 17th century they were fabricated from wood which is like the beauties that George Washington sported.

No two people have the exact same set of teeth, meaning a person’s teeth are as unique as their fingerprints! Today, around forty percent of people over 65 years do not have a complete set of teeth.

If you’re right handed, you will chew your food on your right side. If you’re left handed, you will tend to chew your food on your left side.

Dentists would recommend that you keep your toothbrush at least six feet away from your toilet to avoid many airborne particles that results from flushing.Yuk!
The bristles of toothbrushes were originally made from the hair of hogs and cows. I guess this might be a little bit of the hair of the dog that bit you.

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