I’m 68 years old; grown long in the tooth. That’s just an expression; your teeth don’t actually grow longer as you age, but your gums do recede, making your teeth only appear to be longer; hence the expression. I still have all of my teeth by the way – four of them in my toolbox. Because my gums are receding my teeth are now loose and wiggly, and sometimes fail to mesh properly when biting down; making even cautiously eating so much as a piece of toast difficult and quite often painful. Meals, to me, are no longer a pleasant experience.
Frequently of late then, I find myself mindful of my old uncle, Joe. Not that Uncle Joe, the other one; the one on my father’s side of the family; the one I rarely ever saw; and about whom I knew very little. That Uncle Joe was completely toothless. On one memorable occasion he boasted that he could eat pork chops, even steaks (we were never so rich) and corn on the cob even, with his bare gums; or was it just his jawbones? I was perhaps 2½, maybe three years old at the time, when suddenly, capriciously and, perhaps just to prove his point, he took me by my skinny little arm and up and bit me. Hard. He bit me hard enough to draw some blood.
There’s nothing more to say, really, except:
True stories are the best kinds of stories.