Decay

Decay: (v) to become decomposed; rot

 It saddens me deeply that intellectualism is incapable of delivering its promise to our humanity.

I’ve listened for decades to those who contend that education can swerve us out of our natural inclination to crash and burn.

There probably is truth to that.

Knowledge would be a wonderful thing if it did not present itself as all-knowing.  Yes.

There is knowing, and then there is all-knowing.

Knowing is when you discover something and respectfully present it, fully aware that more data is going to come along, which will either enhance your discovery or flat-out contradict it.

Knowledge requires humility.

Unfortunately, the knowledgeable do not favor a humble spirit.

Throughout my youthful times of poverty, I was completely unable to afford going to the dentist. The one or two times I found myself in the holy seat of the tooth doctor, I was told that my teeth were not straight, my wisdom teeth should be removed, and I needed a bridge put in somewhere on the Mississippi River.

All of this was impossible.

And rather than telling me what I might be able to do, the dentist criticized me for being impoverished, unable to take care of my teeth, therefore threatening them with decay.

And decay was his swear-word.

Just uttering the word decay was supposed to make me shudder to the depths of my soul, scaring me into going out and borrowing money from a bank somewhere so I could fund his “toothy project.”

I didn’t do it.

It wasn’t because I was rebellious. But every extra dollar I had went into my career—or shoelaces for my children’s footwear.

If my teeth did not hurt, I assumed they were fine.

If they did hurt, I took lots of aspirin until they stopped hurting.

What has occurred is that as I’ve gotten older, some of my teeth have decided to die and go be with Jesus before the rest of me.

I guess they decayed enough that they just fell out.

I don’t normally share this story with anyone, so if it grosses you out, I apologize.

But it’s amazing. The teeth that remain seem to have greater resolve, fill in the gaps, and I am still able to chew a good steak or bite into an ear of corn.

I don’t know whether I chose the right path.

But I have found that the people who did put thousands of dollars into avoiding decay are now wearing dentures.

I only have a small army left.

But each one of them came with the original fortifications.

 

Cavity

Cavity: (n) a decayed part of a tooth.

I was a fully grown man with bills and everything when a dentist was finally honest with me.

He looked into my mouth, peering at cavities, and produced a slight grimace. Being a good Mid-Western boy, I closed my jaw and quickly
apologized for my bad teeth.

He just smiled at me and said, “There’s nothing you can do about it. Some people are born with good teeth. And some people keep me in business.”

I have used floss, every kind of toothpaste known to man, and I’ve even brushed my teeth with baking soda.

Them tooths just do what they want to do.

I feel like my teeth stopped at an emotional age of about fifteen years of age, and they just lounge around, do whatever they please, and only become upset if you bother them too much.

So several years ago, when I asked my dentist what he thought about the teeth that remained in my mouth, the same chap replied, “Do for them what you can. But I wouldn’t be in any hurry to put dentures in there, because they’re a real pain in the ass. Well actually, pain in the head.”

So my teeth and I have a truce: they agree not to bother me as long as I abstain from peanut brittle.

 

 

 

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