Most people don’t know it, but my brother-in-law Cyril wears dentures where his top teeth are supposed to be. There’s people who’ve known him twenty years who don’t know that, and that’s because he’s had them ever since he was a young fella.
He was about 16 or 17, playin’ hockey out on the pond behind Ol’ Mr. MacIsaac’s. Cyril was a pretty good skater, but they say there was nobody within ten feet of him when his skate hit a ripple or somethin’ and he landed face first on the ice. Too bad for him, the only thing that broke his fall was the handle of his hockey stick, which knocked out his four front teeth. He got up and they said on the ice it looked like four Chiclets in a puddle of red kool-aid.
He was workin’ at the gas station and he saved up his money and paid for a new set of dentures for himself. So from the time was 18, on he got right used to wearin’ dentures. He could talk and eat and drink right normal and you’d never know the difference.
So it was quite a surprise last Sunday morning when Cyril came in the back door with no teeth.
He caught me just as I was pourin’ myself some tea, and he looked around and whispered to me – Whereth Minnie?
Where’s Minnie? I said. Where’s your teeth, bye?
I lotht my dentureth, he whispered.
Holy cripes, the lisp on him! And with no top teeth his mouth kinda folded in on itself and his bottom lip jutted out so far he looked like Popeye the Sailor.
Ya gotta help me find them, bye, he said. I looked everywhereth.
So I told him Minnie was out drivin’ Rosie to her friend’s house and he seemed to relax a bit. He wanted to keep it quiet because if his wife Joan found out he lost his dentures, he figured she’d kill him.
All right, I said. Well judgin’ by the bloodshot eyes and the fact ya got breath that would melt flowers, I’d say you were havin’ a toot last night?
Yeth, he said. He said he remembered watchin’ the hockey game down at the Legion with Murph and a few of the other fellas, went home and went to bed as usual, but when he went to get his dentures from the glass of water he keeps them in in the bathroom, they weren’t there.
So I tried to calm him down and tell him I’d help find his teeth.
We’ll go to your house, I said, and retrace your steps all the way backwards.
Now this was Sunday, so Joan was at the regular meeting of her ladies’ auxilliery group, but we only had a half-hour to search the house before she got back, so we had to be fast.
All right, I said when we got to their bedroom. So you’re in bed (I sit on the bed). What’s the last thing ya do before ya go to bed?
Well, he says, uthually I take my teeth out and have a pith.
All right, I say, walkin’ down the hall. So you’re standin’ here takin’ a leak (I mime out the actions). Any chance ya dropped them in the toilet?
I don’t think tho, he says.
All right, and before that, ya would have stood here, popped out your teeth and dropped them in this here cup?
Yeth, he said. But the cup was sittin’ next to the tooth brush holder, empty.
OK, I said. Whatchya do before this?
I think I had a thalami thandwich, he said.
So we go downstairs and look all around the kitchen, but there’s no teeth to be found. I fancy myself a bit of a detective, though, and after a bit of detectin’, I found half a salami sandwich sittin’ at the top of the garbage bag, about half gummed to death.
Cryil, I said to him. Judgin’ by this sandwich, I’d say you never made it home with your teeth last night.
Oh cripeth, he said.
So we hopped in his truck and headed down the Legion to see if anybody was around. But we weren’t thinkin’, because of course the Legion wouldn’t be open on Sunday morning. We pulled up outside before we realized it, but lucky for us the bartender Charlie was just strollin’ by, takin’ his dog for a walk.
Now for some reason, Cyril gets right embarrassed if people find out he got false teeth, so I couldn’t just come right and ask Charlie if he seen Cyril’s teeth anywheres. But I didn’t have to, because as soon as I waved and rolled down my window, Charlie said – I know what yous are here for!
And he fished around in his pocket to find the keys to open the door and let us in. He reached behind the bar and came out with a glass of beer with Cyril’s dentures floatin’ in them.
There ya go, there! Charlie says. I know ya probably don’t remember, but it was pretty funny. Every time you’d get up to take a leak, Murph would steal your beer. So eventually, you asked for a glass with your bottle of beer, which was unusual. You poured your beer, popped your teeth out and put them in the glass before ya went to the bathroom and said – There, let’s see ya steal my beer now! You’d come back, fish them out, pop them back in and go on drinkin’ your beer. And this went on for oh, about five beer anyway. Wasn’t ‘til I was cleanin’ up at the end of the night and found this half a glass of beer on the table with a set of teeth in it, and I said, They must be Cyril’s I guess!
Thankth, Charlie, Cyril said poppin’ his teeth back in. Now how many beer do ya figure Murph owes me?