Bruno had lost most of his teeth. It wasn’t because he’d lost them in a fight or anything. Nor had he lost them through lack of care. He had two top teeth right in the front and very little else in his gums. When he smiled he looked like a rabbit; or at least a caricature of a rabbit.
He had brushed his teeth throughout life, and he had been to the dentist when it was deemed absolutely necessary. But his teeth had decided to go on the move and migrated into a bunch. The specialist pulled most of them out to make room and said “You need dentures”.
Getting dentures was easier said than done. They cost money, which Bruno didn’t have. And then he met Bianca. She was as rich as hell. She laughed at Bruno and called him “My little bunny rabbit.” He didn’t mind because they were in love and she paid for his dentures.
That was years ago. They divorced after a few months. Bianca claimed in court that Bruno married her only to get expensive dentures. The judge would have none of it. These days Bruno lives off the interest in the divorce settlement. He met Patsy-Lee on a recent Mediterranean island cruise. She fell in love with his smile.
Desmond had recently had all his teeth pulled out. He awaited the arrival of brand new dentures after the customary settling of gums. He wasn’t one to hide his tarnishings under the carpet. If Desmond had a scar on his arm he would wear it uncovered and with pride. And so too his toothless gums. Why hide? If people didn’t like it, they could look elsewhere.
To show the world his daring abandonment to gumlessness, he decided to play the piano in the local mall at lunchtime. He played for an hour; Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert. People gathered. Quite a crowd in fact. Young people too. Who said classical music wasn’t appreciated? See! He was popular himself – toothless and all! He was liked! What a success! Who cares about looking awful with a mouthful of nothing?
“What composer wrote that last piece?” asked a young person.
Desmond puffed out his chest.
“Well,” he said. And then he dribbled. It was the biggest slushiest dribble he’d ever done in his life. It was disgusting. The crowd drifted off.
David judged people by their teeth. He was a dentist after all. There could be coffee stains, or cavities from too much sugar, or plaque from lack of care. There was so much that could be told about a person just by looking at their teeth.
David was young, keen, vibrant, eager after his recent graduation as a dentist to climb up the othodontical ladder. Tooth decay, root canals, gum disease, crowns, were all part of…
And then he saw her! Just across the room! Long straight shining black hair. A face carved from the whitest marble! The most beautiful of eyes! He’d never seen a creature so wondrous. Their eyes met…
Mabel was crossing the strait in an inter-island ferry. She had been to visit her daughter who lived on a neighbouring island. It was a three hour crossing in the ferry. The strait was known to be one of the roughest in the world.
Today the wind was wild. The sea was wild. The water churned green. Mabel felt sea sick. She climbed up to the highest deck on the ferry to get air. She was next to the funnel. It was raining. Mabel’s clothes were wet. Mabel didn’t care. When sea sickness sets in, one does not abandon ship, but one abandons all care.
A small boy came cavorting up to the top deck.
“Isn’t it fun!” shouted the boy.
“No it’s not,” said Mabel. “Go away before I puke all over you.” With that, Mabel ran to the side of the deck and heaved her guts out. She wanted to die. If the boat sank she would thank God for small mercies.
Two hours later the ferry arrived at the terminal; quite the worst and longest two hours of Mabel’s life. Her husband was there to meet her.
“Where’s your false teeth?” he asked. But Mabel didn’t give a hoot that her teeth were somewhere at the bottom of the ocean. She was happy to be on land.