Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Tooth Decadence

People don't seem to realize that just like in contemporary society, there is a hierarchical order to one's Teeth.

And Smiley knew this all too well.

Every day it was the same old jokes from the same annoying Teeth up front. The Incisors and Canines could be vicious sometimes.

"Hey Smiley, you should see the view from up here! It's fantastic! It's glorious! It's...oh wait."

Upper Incisor's tone changed almost immediately.

"Oh yeah, I forgot. You can't see anything because you're a Molar!"

The chattering of laughter could be heard across the Mouth. It wasn't bad enough that Smiley was a Molar, but he was the baby of the group.

A Third Molar.

Way in the back, behind all the excitement and adventure of the front quadrant. Occasionally stories of happennings outside the Mouth would filter back to him, but that was a rare and special occasion.

"Ok men, get ready."

The Upper Incisor spoke with authority.

"It looks like a Steak Sandwich for lunch. Prepare for a little overtime today boys."

"Um, excuse me."

Surprisingly, one of the Lower Canine's spoke. The Canine's usually just followed exactly in line with the Incisor's, so the entire population of the Mouth paused in breathless anticipation.

"What is it? We've got work to do."

"Well," began the Canine, "I'm so covered in plaque I don't know if I can handle any more staiouemcadiepzcjgipqerkqwe..."

It was to no avail. His voice was muffled by the incoming First Bite.

Smiley just sighed and slumped slightly.

Well, as much as a tooth can manage to slump.

Most days the Food passed right behind him into the Giant Black Hole. He imagined what it would be like to follow in unison, travelling deep into the nether regions of the Body.

As Smiley's imagination swallowed the very minutes of his day, something unexpected happened.

A small Piece of Steak managed to separate itself and wedge itself between Smiley and the Second Molar.

And the Second Molar was not happy about this. He spoke with a strange accent and had a really bad attitude.

"Hey, whaddyu theenk yur doin' buddy hah?? Thees ain't yur home. Moove alang."

Smiley had to hold back his laughter. Second Molar rarely spoke, but when he did it was amusing.

The Steak was also not pleased.

"Hey, wait a minute!"

He screamed after the other Pieces of Steak, but they ignored him. He tried to pull himself from his wedge, but it was no use. He was good and stuck and in need of some Floss.

"I can't believe they left without me! We've been together, well, forever. As long as I can remember anyway."

Smiley actually perked up in mood. It wasn't every day he made a new friend.

"Excuse me."

The Piece of Steak was startled. He turned to find Smiley living up to his name.

"We don't get many visitors here. I usually just watch everyone pass by. It's nice to get a chance to talk to someone."

"But I don't belong here! I belong...there!"

He pointed at the gaping Giant Black Hole at the back of the Mouth.

"I've been wondering about that," chirped Smiley. "Where does that hole go?"

It suddenly got very quiet in the Mouth. For the first time, the Tongue swatted by Second and Third Molar, as well as Steak and they all giggled.

It then became quiet once again.

"Why are you asking me, I just got here. What's your name?"

It had been an eternity since anyone had asked Smiley about his name, so he perked up immediately.

"They call me Smiley because the top of my head is in the shape of a Smile."

His happiness melted away as soon as it began as he realized his dire situation.

"But I really don't smile all that often."

The Piece of Steak momentarily forgot about his situation and was flabbergasted. He stopped struggling and stared blankly at Smiley.

"What have you got to be unhappy about? You have a front row seat at the Giant Black Hole. I've been waiting ages to get here."

Smiley was confused. He didn't understand how Piece of Steak could want to stay in one place every single day.

"What do you mean?

Piece of Steak held this mysterious look in his eye as he flashed back to his humble beginnings.

"First, I was just a tiny thread in a larger mass of Meat. I travelled through different chasms of metal filled with slides and doors."

Smiley was enthralled. He rarely heard of what went on outside the Mouth.

"Then I was smashed together with these other threads of meat until we were placed on this giant transparent plate."

Smiley's gaze slowly drifted away as he created the images in his mind.

"Before I knew it, darkness was my only friend. It seemed like days. Weeks maybe. When I finally greeted the light again, it was hot, everywhere!"

As he vocalized his final word, Smiley jumped. "What happened next?"

"I was cut away from the other threads of meat that I had known my whole life and sandwiched between two large masses. The next thing I know, I'm listening to Upper Incisor tell everyone to get ready for some overtime. And then I was here."

Piece of Meat bowed his head slightly and his mood turned sour.

"I really miss my friends. I need to get out of here! I need to get to the Giant Black Hole!"

They both turned as the Mouth opened wide. Two giant masses of flesh holding a Great String were forcing their way to the back.

"This is your lucky day."

Piece of Meat was perplexed. And then frightened.

"What's that? Oh my! It's coming for me!"

Smiley just sighed and relaxed. He relished the Great String. It felt so good to have his enamel massaged.

"You might want to close your eyes. Sometimes it tickles."

The Great String made it's way between Smiley and the Second Molar. It gently but forcibly moved up and down and freed Piece of Meat from his prison. A small piece of plaque that had been plaguing Smiley also broke off from his face.

"Grab on to it! It'll make the ride through the Giant Black Hole easier."

Piece of Meat reached out and wrapped himself around the plaque. They rode gently down the Giant Black Hole into the nether regions of the Body.

"Thank you for listening! Be proud that you're the Third Molar! You're the last person we ever see! That's an hhhhhoooooonnnnnooooorrrrrr!"

And then he was gone.

Smiley had never thought of his stature like that before. He wasn't like the pompous Incisor's or the by the book Canine's. He was his own Tooth and he had a duty to make sure all the Food that passed through the Giant Black Hole made it there safely and with as little fear as possible.

Smiley swallowed his past and realized he could finally live up to his name.

And finally, Smiley was happy.