When we, perhaps I should say, “When I,” was younger, maybe you had more sense than I did. Anyway, when I was young, I thought I was invincible, you know what I mean – tough and pretty much indestructible. Well, as the years pass, I see what all of my follies bring me, or maybe I should say “take away.”

This oral surgeon fellow told me that losing a front tooth was a pretty big deal and it was going to take some getting used to. He also said I was going to have to discuss the merits of an implant versus those of a bridge with my dentist. With that, I asked, “Do you think a gold tooth would be a good option?” He didn’t think so.

As you grow older, you forget about all the times you were hit in the face with baseballs, rocks and fists. Moving through life those hazards and opportunities for injuries are replaced with things like curbs, doors, walls and garden tool handles for those of us who enjoy scratching around in the dirt and attempting to grow things.

I’ve often thought that I would like to have one of those dental chairs, or perhaps an old barber’s chair in my house. It just seems I think about things a lot better when I am sitting in one of those. Both are rather expensive, but not too much more than the last leather recliner I bought to sit in and watch college football.

Speaking of “Invincible,” have you ever watched the movie of the same name about Philadelphia Eagle walk-on Vince Papale? It is one of those feel good movies that you can watch over and over again, particularly if you like underdog and football movies. It really happened in the 1970s and involves the typical old girlfriend, new girlfriend and bar scenes you would expect in an underdog football hero movie set in Philadelphia.

During his tryouts, Papale took a real beating, but ultimately earned the respect of his teammates and of course made the NFL roster. During the rough times, he would go back to his locker and read a note from his ex-wife saying, “You will never amount to anything.”

Notes like that hurt… However, sometimes they propel you into making an NFL roster I suppose and being the hero. They often bend stories for movies and they did it for this one, where he found a new girlfriend working at the bar where he hung out. He would ultimately marry this girl, but he didn’t actually meet her until almost twenty years later, fifteen after he played his first season for the Eagles.

I often get wrapped around the axle with stories, and I did with this one. My main memory from the movie is the actual footage of Vince when he played with the Eagles shown at the end of the movie. In one close-up shot, his face looks battered and pretty much taped together. These are the types of images that come to your mind when you are sitting in the dental chair at the oral surgeon’s office when he has told you that “losing a front tooth is a pretty big deal.”

In a time when folks throw away televisions and computers that no longer work and get rid of automobiles that have 100,000 miles on them, I suppose I should be pretty proud of keeping that tooth for this many years.

While sitting there in the dental chair, I did actually remember getting knocked out cold at least twice. Fortunately, or unfortunately, both involved baseball. One with a ball and one with a bat. Perhaps the next time I go to the dentist (or the barber) and am sitting in the chair, I will try to remember where my extra set of car keys are.

 

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