Brace Yourself, This Might Hurt

At fifty years old I felt great. The legs could do twenty miles on a bike, I could photograph four weddings on a weekend and still build a patio the next day. Only one thing on my body was wearing out at a fast clip and that was my teeth. As I sat meekly in the dentist's torture chair, he casually hiked his butt on the desk and gave me a choice. I could keep him filling the cavities one at a time or I could have them all pulled and get an upper.

"All?", I squeaked. I still had fourteen teeth left in my upper jaw and I cringed at the thought of only one extraction, much less fourteen at once. He explained that it would all be done under the deadening effects of Novocain and I wouldn't feel a thing. I would have to hide in the house only two days and the denture would be fitted immediately upon arrival. I mulled it over for two minutes and thinking that it would be great to be able to take out my teeth and scrub them up judiciously every night won me over. I said, "O.K. I'll go for the package.

But on sale, the package was not. A specialist oral surgeon was required at a cost of three weeks salary. No wonder he had dozens of underwater photographs expensively displayed in his waiting room. Trips to Bermuda cost big bucks. I won't go into the gory details, but one hour later, I saw in the mirror a hundred year old man, gumming his words and drooling on the floor.

Three days later, I entered our kitchen to a sympathetic wife, asking how I made out and giving me the "Let's see your smile" bit. I grinned, she said, "Great", and I asked, "Did you see the pflyers I made for the bulletin board?"

She said, "Pliers? I didn't see any pliers" I said a little louder, "You know, the pfliers from Pfoodtown."

At this point, she understood my problem and started to laugh. My new dentures didn't quite fit properly and I couldn't pronounce my "f's" properly. At first I was embarrassed, but then we both had a big laugh. We laughed so hard, my stomach hurt and my eyes teared up. It's never easy growing old.

Retired portrait photograper. What did you say?