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There I was, happily munching on a tender piece of steak when something felt wrong. Yup, where my one front tooth should be, my tongue was exploring an interesting space and no I didn’t swallow it. Thank you Lord…

Flashback to age 16 when I tried to open a Coke bottle with my teeth. The Coke bottle won (I still don’t like Coke), my tooth was chipped, my parents weren’t happy.

I’m South African born and we are proud of our rugby team (Springboks), our diamonds and our gold. So my front tooth got filled in with gold. Unfortunately gold shows black on photos so I’d be tightlipped when facing a camera. As soon as I was working and could afford it, the gold went and a lovely white cap was fitted over a ground down strip of tooth. The dentist told me it would last me a lifetime, or 50 years, whichever came first.

Oh Happy Days, Oh Wide Smiles! Close on 50 years my cap held and then, on a Friday night (of course), in the middle of nowhere (of course),  my cap decided it has served me well and pulled up anchor. Obviously I’ve outlived my “use by” date once again.

Saturday – Myrtle Beach, SC. Dentists closed.

Sunday – Georgetown, SC. Dentists closed.

Monday – McClellansville, SC. A pleasant but firm receptionist insisted she had no space, not even for cementing back a cap.

I decided the lesson here is that I should become a vegetarian, but that was until the Captain pointed out that I’d

probably pulled up the anchor on that cap by munching on the raw carrots and sweet potatoes I’m addicted to.

What I do know is that I went hugless for three days. Every time I talked that huge gap would show (perfect for Halloween) and even I didn’t have the shutzpah to subject a stranger to that. I did however sneak up on a gentleman of color wearing a retired air force ball cape and from behind my hand whispered “thank you for your service.”

Day Four  – Charleston and the Dental Clinic at the James Edward School of Medicine. My 50-year old cap was restored to its right place and a-hugging I went.


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