It was another dinner, in honor of the visiting mother of the children's book author, and about when the lamb tagine and couscous had almost disappeared from our plates, we got onto the subject of teeth and braces and dentists. We went around and around about who had had braces, who had the best teeth and whether it was smart to have your wisdom teeth removed or not.
"When I was in fourth grade," the sea captain said suddenly, "I stopped brushing my teeth for a year."
We all paused, forks poised mid-air.
"What?" the husband said.
"Well, I decided that dogs never brushed their teeth and it never hurt them, so why should I brush my teeth?" the sea captain answered.
"But how did you keep it from your parents?" the children's book author asked, incredulous.
"It wasn't easy," the sea captain said. "Plus, I liked to eat sugar cubes. When I finally went to the dentist, I had eight cavities. And that was that."
We roared with laughter.
The Swedish word for the day is tandborste. It means toothbrush.
- by Francis S.