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Thursday, July 17, 2008

THE DECLINE AND FALL OF MR. SHUEY PT.1: TOOTH DECAY

(From May 28, 2008)


So it seems I may have a cavity. (In one of my teeth, that is.) Specifically tooth number 19. That is the first molar on the left side of the mandible. For those who don't know their teeth numbers.

This would be my FIRST cavity. Ever. In either my adult or primary/deciduous teeth.

And I am not happy about it.

For years I have smugly bragged about having avoided tooth decay for the whole of my life. Blessed with few physical gifts—save disarming good looks and a whip-smart intellect—my record of perfect dental hygiene was a selling point in the never-ending struggle to breed and produce offspring. Had I not been told at an early age that my enamel was the strongest ever encountered? So strong it would dull the mightiest dental implements. All this time I have been regaling potential mates with tales of my periodontal prowess—and how it would benefit our children in tough times ahead.

The way I saw it, in the post-apocalyptic nightmare world left over after China annihilates all remnants of North American civilization what attributes could be better suited to survival than a large brain, a short compact frame and a set of strong, sharp teeth?

Being too tall would put one at a disadvantage, as zoo-raised African predators and packs of vicious wild dogs scoured the short prairie grass in search of prey. My progeny could survive and even thrive by remaining unseen and scavenging carrion, breaking open the bones with their mighty teeth and feasting on the protein rich marrow.

In a few thousand years they would be poised to take their rightful place at the apex of a neo-Neolithic hunter/gatherer culture.

This was my theory, anyway.

But it will all be for naught should this toothache prove to be an actual breach in the structural integrity of my one remaining unassailable physical attribute.

I have a date with the X-ray machine in one week. I shall keep you all informed.

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