CASE OF THE MISSING 1986 CROWN                        MARCH 5, 2012


          I don’t know when it happened, I can’t pin it down, but the 1986 crown in the back upper left side of my jaw went missing yesterday.  I didn’t call 9-1-1 nor my friends at CSI because the case would probably lie dormant in their Cold Case Files anyway.  If you haven’t been following this saga, you can catch up by digging out the “Modern Times” blog of  8/22/11. My dentist has been wanting to “deep six” this crown, originally installed in 1986, and he has told me since early in 2009 that the glue has probably been disintegrating, and so it should be replaced to the tune of 1400 clams.  My retort to him in 2009 and ever since has been: “No, no, no — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  This has always been one of my life-long tenets.

          I think when we were eating breakfast, and I was chewing away on this delightful Mexican thing that the Warden had whipped up — a scramble of eggs with torn-up tortillas, tomatoes, onion, red pepper, cilantro — and I hit a little rocky type stuff, and asked her if she had put some of that Himalayan salt in it.  Her answer was “no.”  So I shut up and went on devouring this scrumptious stuff with no further problems.  I went about my duties as Chief Financial Officer of Casa Agave — well, that means stacking the bills all in one pile for the new month coming up.  That took me all day, and there are 3 checkbooks to be balanced, and one was off by $1,000. It was my personal check book, and in my favor — so it means my mistake. I realized the time was rushing up to 5 o’clock inPhoenixwhen there suddenly appeared the salted bucket glass filled with the Tequila and lime mingling around with lots of ice cubes, being placed on the coaster sitting beside me. The cocktail saved the day  and  my sanity.  It also told me that dinner would be forthcoming.  I don’t much keep track of the time, the day, or the month anymore because all those keep inexorably marching on whether I  keep track or not. 

          Then dinnertime arrives, and I am chomping away on some luscious enchiladas filled with a mixture of cottage cheese, black olives, and green onions then topped with tender greens and sliced avocados.  Mexican  cuisine all day.  It was Tuesday, so it should be called “Martes with Mexican.”   I didn’t feel any old crown trying to escape at that time.

          A little later, I was sitting on the sofa watching some TV,  and having a cup of tea.  With the tea I get to have 2 “Iced Triple Ginger Biscotti” from Trader Joe’s — try ‘em, you’ll like ‘em.  I have to dunk them,  otherwise I might break an ancient tooth because they are so crunchy.  Finished those off in short order, continued watching TV until my tongue got into the act.  I was minding my own business, and just sitting there when the tongue started roaming around checking on all those teeth, and when it went up there in the left quadrant it stopped short, and immediately sent a message to my brain that something was missing.  Sure enough it was old ’86.  I called on Alba to help me find it.  We looked everywhere — around the sofa area where I had my dunkin’ Biscotti, around where I had eaten breakfast and supper.  No sign of the crown.  It has been a wonderful crown  — in there 25 years,  hanging on for dear life the past 3,  having to take the verbal abuse from Dr. Mohler, but at least proving to him that one does not need to just go willy-nilly to replace something when it is working just fine.

          So I really don’t know where old ’86 went, but I probably have a pretty good hunch.   I don’t think I’ll bother looking anymore.

          On the 14th of this month, I have an appointment with the Dentist’s Hygienist.  I plan to show up without any forewarning of the loss of my favorite tooth which has stuck by me through thick and thin.  There has been no pain through this entire scene — thank goodness.  I’m anxious to learn if they even miss it.  If it’s time for x-rays then they might catch on. 

          If, indeed, the subject is brought up,  I am going to have a spiel ready why old ’86 doesn’t even need to be replaced!  Of course, the main #1 reason is his price of  $1400.  Then, let’s see what else is there?  Oh, Yes,  I can tell him about being a “notch baby” and he won’t understand about that, but I’ll tell him.  It’s about if you were born after 1917, but before 1922,  and it’s all about Social Security.  So  those people born in that notch have been drawing significantly less  benefits — that’s why my monthly stipend from Social Security is so much less, and that’s why I don’t have the bucks to pay for a new crown.  Another reason is my age.  Next month on April 23rd I will be 94 (please, no gifts, Tequila okay,) and that’s just too old to be having things done which will cause me pain and anxiety. 

          I will also tell him about my oldest friend Annie. She made it to 93, and that makes her happy that she caught up to me, but when I go to 94, she’ll be all out of shape again till she catches up with me in October. Annie recently took a fall, injuring her hand, tearing a ligament, breaking a finger — she had to go to the Fire Department to get those great big gold rings cut off,  and then the  Doctor told her he would have to do surgery to straighten the finger out.  At this point she put her foot down, and told him no way was she going to have any surgery at her ripe old age of 93.  So that was that!  Just like some of my fingers which are bent, Annie has some of them too from our old softball days.  Is it all that bad to have a few more?  Who gives a darn? Just so you can sit up to the table and take nourishment — Annie always says.

          Well, it’s too bad that Old ‘86’s glue had to finally give up. That crown was such a trouper, but what really p—–s me off is the fact that I couldn’t find the crown to put under my pillow to see what the Tooth Fairy would bring me.

          I may not believe in Santa Claus, but am hoping there is still a Tooth Fairy.


settle down melitas...this won't hurt a bit...

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