When we were by the Christmas tree, my kid asked me, “What do you want for Christmas this year, dad?”
“I dunno,” I said. “I think I’m good. I don’t need anything.”
“But there must be something you want.”
“Um…my two front teeth?” I said, pointing at them.
“Ya know–like the song?”
[Me awkwardly singing a flailing my arms in a dorky dad dance]: “All I want for Christmas is my two front…”
“Seriously, though,” I said, pointing at them again. “My two front teeth are fake.”
So, while we were standing near the Christmas tree, I told my daughter the story of why every Christmas, starting when I was 18, I’ve been able to literally say, All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth:
I was 18, as I mentioned. It was only a few weeks from graduation (an event my poor academic performance nearly caused me to miss…) when I was over at my friend’s house. It was a weekday, right after school, and his dad wasn’t around.
For context, my friend’s parents had recently split up, and this was his dad’s new place. This will come into play in a moment.
We were looking for something. It might have been a CD or a DVD. (Remember those?) At any rate, my friend said, “It might be in my dad’s room. I’ll go look.”
“You want me to wait here?”
“I don’t care, you can come in there. It’s messy though. He’s not much of a picker-upper.”
I could give a shit. I was an 18 year old man-child. My room couldn’t have been much better, right?
We went upstairs where the bedrooms were, and I hung by in the doorway while my buddy searched for whatever outdated technology we were looking for. Then I saw near the foot of the bed that his dad had a couple days worth of (what I assumed were) dirty, tight, white manties.
Fuckin gross! was my first thought. Then I had a different idea. Again–18 year old boy-man who barely graduated from high school. I’ve grown since then.
I thought: It would be pretty funny if I grabbed one of those high-mileage tighties and put it over his head while he wasn’t looking.
But I didn’t.
Just kidding. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I DID!
Luckily my friend had a really good sense of humor, and we had a good laugh.
Just kidding. HE LOST HIS GODDAMN MIND!
He gagged, took off his crown, and started chasing and swearing at me.
And, as you may have imagined, based on the kind of…person…who does that, I giggled like an idiot while we ran around and over the bed, and around the room.
I was spinning and juking like Barry Sanders, bro. For real. Getting that sweat in!
He finally gave up chasing me. But he had one last Hail Mary.
I was standing near the foot of his dad’s bed. And it was a monster bed. Big, but also had a really thick, hardwood bedframe with a raised footboard.
My friend did his best Pat Mahomes and launched the manboozled underwear at my face from mid-range with everything he had. I saw it coming with enough time to react. Barely.
I instinctively ducked. Down. In front of me. Into the solid piece of wood. And I mean I slammed my face into it. It made a loud thud.
I was sure something was broken, bleeding, both.
But to my surprise, nothing hurt. I smiled at my friend, like, Ha! Missed me!
Then he said, “Oh, HOLY SHIT DUDE!”
Then I breathed and it was like someone poured acid in my mouth. But only for a second. My mouth instantly went shut tight. Then I felt something sharp poking my lip. It was the shard remnants of the bases of my top two front teeth.
I called my mom, because her office was just down the road from where I was. She came and got me. While she was taking me to the dentist, she asked what happened. I told her, then said, “Too bad you paid for those braces, huh? I could’ve just knocked my teeth out and got straight new ones, right ma?”
Happy Holidays, everyone! Be thankful for all your loved ones and intact teeth.
Christopher Tallon writes, podcasts, and…wait a second. Are you actually reading this? HIGH FIVE!
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