Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Unwise wisdom

Too much of anything is bad. I guess that's what happens when one is too wise for one's own good. Wisdom gets concentrated, sedimented and nearly fossilized into the maxillary and mandibular bones (the upper and lower jaws for the layman) and then begins the great war!

I am sure with our evolutionary history, as homo erectus and homo sapiens, we needed 32 teeth to bite into flesh and leaves. But if you trace our monkeyed-heritage, you'll notice a distinct change in the size and the shape of our homo sapiens sapiens faces. Our faces have become daintier, foreheads have flattened, shapely eyes, sharper noses, less-pouting lips, smaller ears and finally a smaller jaw.

So when all our facial features have shown developmental regression, isn't it a natural progression that nature would start to modify our teeth accordingly? My theory is that 32 human teeth are actually inhuman - considering that the four wisdom teeth hidden away in the recesses of the mouth have for all purposes become vestigial. I mean we don't use them to chew or bite and our brushes don't even reach that far into the cave. They don't even contribute to aesthetics and cosmetics and finally more than half the world needs to get them out.

And in propounding this hypothesis, I am ably supported by my exhausted dentist who is minting money while pulleying and pulling out stubborn wisdom teeth and gracefully admits that "God made man and wisdom teeth, man improvised and made dentists and dentists make merry with wisdom teeth".

My teeth and I have been enigmatic nemeses. We reside in the same body, eat together, chew on thoughts, spruce up each other, even go to bed together. But, where I grew up readily and steadily and entered adolescence and adulthood with relative ease, my teeth were a bit redundant. So when my friends and peers would show up cheerfully with missing-teeth-smiles, I would rush to the bathroom and try to pull and push and shake and coerce my teeth to grow up and get uprooted.

Stubborn as they were, they would shake from their slumber, but refuse to get out of bed. So each time one of my milk teeth showed signs of falling, I'd get excited and wonder what to wish from the tooth fairy. So you can just imagine my annoyance at the regular visits to the dentist to get each and every obstinate milk tooth pulled out. Each and every time! Ice creams galore but no tooth fairy! My mom began to rue the fact that I was a milk-magnet as a baby. Anyway, that was a long time ago or so it seemed. For the second part of my epic struggle with my teeth was yet to begin.


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