The tooth hurts, especially in your ice cream

Published 7:36 am Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My sister-in-law Donna gave me an ice cream nut roll a few years back for my birthday. It was mighty tasty. I ate it with gusto. Perhaps too much gusto.

As I devoured the treat, I discovered that there was something besides ice cream and peanuts in it. There was a piece of a tooth in it. The good news was that it was my tooth. The bad news was that it was my tooth.

My tongue quickly found the injured tooth and spent all of its free time exploring the strange new void.

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I felt no pain and told myself that it was one of those rare broken teeth that was painless and required no additional dental care. I convinced myself that a glass of iced tea would do me and my tooth a lot of good.

I took a big drink of the glacial beverage and the liquid hit an exposed nerve.

My shoelaces broke.

Pain was sewn into my soul. I emitted that kind of scream that makes people flee from a dentist’s waiting room.

I called my dentist. He said it sounded like I had a severe case of stupidity, but he would allow me to give him money to make me well toothwise.

A fellow in the dentist’s waiting room told me that he never forgets to brush his teeth. He credits his grandfather for his good dental hygiene. His grandfather would wave pliers in front of the man as a boy and say, “It’s either the toothbrush or this.”

Soon I found myself in a dental chair. My tongue felt like a pillow. My nose had disappeared and I was drooling more than normal. I was as numb as I had been in that advanced math class.

I asked the dentist, “If you pull the gold tooth, will it cover the cost of the crown?”

He gave me a toothbrush with his name on it and a box of taffy.

The news from Hartland

Hartland does not have its own newspaper, but it does have Hartland Harold. Here are the latest headlines according to Hartland Harold.

The Hartland Hunt Club uses 2x4s to hunt mosquitoes.

Local naturalist spots a rare nauga, which was over-hunted in the ’60s for use in coverings on couches and easy chairs.

A local café buys old pancakes, fixes them up, and flips them for a profit. It offers same day service.

Porcupine loses job at petting zoo.

The mayor awards key to the city to local attorney and then changes all the locks.

Someone puts up sign on local highway that reads, “Warning: Road Construction Next 17 Bazillion Miles.”

Lutheran Church celery feed still has tickets available.

Grade-school memories

We played “chicken” on the monkey bars that lead to broken arms and legs. We had swings that could launch kids into outer space. We played dodgeball that gave us permanent nervous tics. We used a gigantic paper cutter that acted as a guillotine for construction paper. We had brown paper towels in the restrooms. If you used one of those towels to blow your nose, the nose did not emerge intact.

I don’t remember being warned of any of those dangers.

What we were cautioned about was, “Don’t run with those scissors!”

They were blunt scissors that couldn’t cut air.

From the post office

“You know, a Pony Express rider could get a letter from Minneapolis to here in two days. Why did this one take three days?” complained the customer to the postmaster.

“Well,” replied the postmaster, “those horses are much older now.”

Those thrilling days of yesteryear

We were a family that made the best of what we had. My mother insisted that life is what we make it. We had no air conditioning.

My father thought that listening to air conditioning made him hotter. He would tell me, “The shade is cool enough when you work in the sun.”

Those thrilling days

of yesteryear redux

The nice weather brought back memories of my mother pushing me through the park. I wish we would have had a stroller.

It’s a family thing

The woman told me that she and her sister, both well into their nineties, didn’t talk as much as they used to. I responded by saying that it was a shame that they didn’t communicate as much as they once did.

She replied, “Oh, that’s OK. We’ve run out of things to argue about.”

Table topic

The conversation had turned to backhanded compliments. You know the kind, “He does the best he can, bless his heart.”

A woman told me that whenever her grandmother would take a bite of food that she didn’t like, she would say, “Well, it’s filling.”

Hartland resident Al Batt’s columns appear every Wednesday and Sunday.