On British teeth and public events

Last night my tooth broke as I merrily crunched on a cough drop, and it took me a second to figure out that the bottle shard at the back of my mouth was a piece of what had been a molar. I’d swallowed the rest of it by then.

This is the second time in nine days that I’ve lost part of a tooth. I also pulled out a hunk of molar while flossing at my sister’s place last week.

Of course we of Scottish, Irish, and English ancestry aren’t exactly known for our dental fortitude — and Lord knows I’ve got a mouthful of fillings — but I didn’t realize that once I hit my thirties everything behind my canines would shatter like blown glass if I bit down.

I wonder if I should wrap my incisors in cotton until tomorrow’s Housing Works event, especially given that one of the panelists (Jessa Crispin) already had to cancel because of an emergency. (Michael Orthofer of the Literary Saloon is stepping in for her.)

But I’ve got a cold, my nose has swelled to the size of your fist, and a bowl of soup is on the way, courtesy of Max. I don’t think I can slurp the soup through gauze, so if you show up at Housing Works tomorrow night and I look like Shane McGowan after a bar brawl, please be forgiving.

Once more: the event — “What the Blog? The Terrifying World of Literary Websites” — was organized by Dennis Johnson (of Melville House Books and Moby Lives), in conjunction with Housing Works Books. Other participants include Laila Lalami of Moorish Girl, George Murray of Bookninja, Ron Hogan of Beatrice, and Michael Orthofer of the Literary Saloon. Things kick off at at 7 p.m.


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