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Ron Nagasawa

Tooth Fairy

Happy 55th birthday to me. At least that’s what I thought as I approached my birthday the other week. I was trying to take getting another year older with a good attitude. Although I never make a big deal of birthdays anymore, everyone else seems to be happy for you – just ask anyone who has a Facebook page.

But I wasn’t going to let the fact that I’m living in an aging body affect me in any negative way. That is, until something happened that put me in a major tailspin. The day before my birthday I was taking a bite of some toast from a loaf of French bread I made for my lunch at work. As I bit into the hard crust, I had the sensation of my top incisor tooth breaking off.

It wasn’t my imagination. One of my front teeth had broken off into the bread. I sat there bewildered, then suddenly wondering what I must look like with a missing front tooth. I ran into the bathroom to look in the mirror. For some reason, when you are missing a prominent tooth in your mouth, it ages you by about 20 years.

I didn’t want anyone in the office to see me like that so I kept a very low profile and pretty much hid in my office. That went OK, but I knew I had to run to the bank to make an important personal transaction. I figured I could pull it off by wedging my broken tooth back in and holding it in place with my tongue. As long as I didn’t have to speak, I was fine.

When I stepped up to the teller, she was quite friendly. As she looked at my ID, she noted that it would be my birthday so she smiled and wished me a happy one. I automatically smiled back and responded, “Thank you!” To which the air pressure from my speech forced the tooth out of my mouth and onto the counter in front of me.

I immediately covered it with my hand and seeing I was embarrassed, she made a small joke, “Did you want to deposit that?” I replied, “Wif what the toof fairy ith giving theth days, I should inveth it.”

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