by Beth Boswell Jacks
Like the other morning. I was at the dentist getting my teeth cleaned by the deft dental hygienist who presides over this affair for me every six months.
Ive often thought that in the best of circumstances messing in peoples mouths is not a walk down a garden path. But in the worst of circumstances? I dont even want to think about it.
As I sat there, relaxing (uh huh) and enjoying the piped-in 60s music, the hygienist told me about her very first tooth cleaning experience.
Happened like this: The old man hobbled in, got comfy in the chair, opened his mouth a la Grand Canyon, and our dental neophyte (at the time) went to work.
Quite soon she noticed something in the mans mouth.
She pulled. And pulled. And pulled. And pulled a seemingly endless string of . . .
The old man had a wad of baloney casing nestled in the dark recesses of his mouth.
The horrified hygienist exited chairside quickly, made her way to the teachers ear, and vowed, Im outta here.
Now who could make up such a story?
I sat in that dentist chair and thought: Here we have the embryo of a column.
Then, going in search of more stories of junk in mouths, I discovered a recent press release at Kron.com about a hip new fad out in San Francisco.
Mouth jewelry, it is.
Im not talking about tongue studs, that sort of thing. Tongue studs are old hat. They dont jar me a bit any longer. Well, not much.
No, when I say mouth jewelry, Im talking about shiny gold or platinum upper and lower retainers, studded with precious gems, worn right on the teeth. The shinier, the better.
This is all in the interest of bling, which means sparkle lots and lots of sparkle.
The glitter gang calls these retainers grills, fronts, slugs, or jibbies. The names just sound like things (graced with lettuce) wed like to have garbling up our mouths, yeah?
And who started this classy movement? The name is Charles Kirish of the Mr. Bling Bling jewelry store in San Fran. (Dadgum, they get ahead of us in everything.)
A whole mouthful of bling can run you anywhere from $180 to $3,000, and, says Kirish, even though the price can be steep, these grills/jibbies are extremely practical.
"If someone steals your necklace, they can wear it," he says. "But these they can't. Teeth are all different, like fingerprints."
Kirish recommends taking the grills out if one is eating or sleeping, and they must be cleaned and shined at least every two weeks. Potential wearers should note that halitosis could be a problem if proper hygiene is not addressed.
Thats . . . um . . . profound.
Oh, all right. Observers of the fashion scene, join me in watching for lots of bling here in the Southland. Please, lets hope its a long time coming. You know, I hate getting so old and set in my ways that I cant keep from getting nauseous at such a minor blimp in the fashion world.
After all, blings wont last. Like the barbarism of piercing ears, this is bound to be a fad. Right?
And I suppose a grill in the mouth beats a baloney casing.
So to all those plagiarizing journalists: Dont you dare grab my story. Go find your own. I did, and it wasnt one bit hard. Just keep your ears (and your mouth) open.
Editor of USADEEPSOUTH, Beth Boswell Jacks is the author of 3 books (Grit, Guts, and Baseball and Snippets I and II) and is also a weekly columnist for a number of Southern newspapers. Readers and editors may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read about Beth's SNIPPETS books -- two collections of her columns.
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