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Pulling Teeth to Save Money is Humbug

Dec 18, 2013

Teeth are humbug

What a miserable day, Eben Scourge moaned while trudging up the snowy front steps of his apartment building.

Climbing the icy steps while fiddling with his keys, he mentally ticked off the day's disasters from his retail job: last-minute gift returns without the proper receipts, a number of declined credit cards, and the usual angry complaints about prices.

But the day's worst news came courtesy of his boss: Christmas sales in Eben's department were the worst in the store and were down significantly from the year before. The store announced staff cutbacks would begin shortly after the new year.

As if that were not enough, the tooth pain that Eben had been ignoring since Halloween hurt like the dickens.  He had soldiered through the pain because he didn't want to take time off work since he was hoping to be promoted soon. He also didn't want to part with the money to get it fixed, he admitted candidly while inserting his key in the lock.

He was just turning the key when he gasped in surprise.  Eben knew he was tired and in considerable pain, and maybe the dim light and falling snow were playing tricks with his eyes. He had never noticed how much his lion's head door knocker looked like his late Uncle Elias.  

Uncle Elias had had an unruly mane of hair. Elias often claimed it made him look like Abraham Lincoln, but most of the family joked he looked like a lion on Rogaine®.  Never bashful, Uncle Elias often growled his opinions on whatever subject was being discussed. He liked to lord himself over family get togethers and he considered himself king of the jungle in the salvage yard business. 

Uncle Elias also had an enviable den before man-caves became trendy. That has little to do with our story but it seemed to fit well here. But back to our story...

“But lions have powerful teeth,” Eben muttered wryly before tearing his gaze from the door knocker and pushing open the door to his quiet apartment.  Uncle Elias had thought teeth were more trouble than they were worth and had his pulled at an early age to save money on toothpaste, toothbrushes and dental visits.

Later that evening after a quiet meal of instant pudding and room-temperature water (his tooth was really throbbing now), Eben was just falling off to sleep when he thought that maybe Uncle Elias had been on to something by having all of his teeth pulled.  

"Teeth are humbug," Eben growled to himself. “And think of the money I'd save if I didn't have any to take care of,” he thought with a pained smile as he dropped quietly off to sleep.

At midnight Eben was awakened by a sound. At first he thought he'd left the TV on, but he sat bolt upright when he realized someone was sitting in his bedroom chair. "Who, who's th-there?" he asked in a trembling voice.  

"Who do you think?" the unknown figure said from the shadows. Eben was struck speechless and before he could say anything the voice sighed and said, "It ain't your Aunt Anita, that's for sure.  She's probably polishing her pearlies now at the Pearly Gates.” Sighing, Elias said wistfully, “Your Aunt Anita had beautiful teeth.”

"Uncle Elias?" Eben said in a shocked voice. 

"Non-live and as a semi-person," his Uncle said sarcastically.

"But...but, you're dead!" Eben cried out. 

"You always were a stickler about the silliest of things," Elias replied.

“What are you doing here?” Oh my gosh, am I dead?! Eben asked wide-eyed.  “Did I die of a tooth infection?”

“Don’t be such a drama king,” Elias bellowed loud enough to make the hair on Eben’s neck stand up even straighter.

“You’re not dead nephew, any more than I…wait, that may not be a good example. Anyway, you’re not dead but your teeth have seen better days and that’s what I’m here to talk to you about.”

“Did Health and Human Services send you? If this is about having proof of insurance, I can explain,” Eben started to say before Elias cut him off.  

“Sit down buster. I’m trying to see that you don’t make the same mistakes I did with your own teeth.  It’s too late for me, but I’ve come for your sake Eben. As part of my penance for squandering my oral health, I have been sent to warn you, and to offer you a hope and chance of escaping my fate.”

“I’ve still got my teeth,” Eben said defensively. “Yeah, I’ve been a little negligent with the brushing and flossing, and it’s been awhile since I’ve been to the dentist, but…

With a woeful shriek, Elias rolled his eyes to the back of his head because he could and he knew it would freak his nephew out. Once it was clear he had his attention, Elias said, “Tonight you will be visited by 3 spirits. Expect the first at 1 o’clock…” 

To Be Continued...

Copyright 2013 Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC© 
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