An elbow, a knee, a bagel. These are what spun through the backs of my eyelids, squeezed tight at the bright noise of dental drills and grinders (yes, grinders). Tooth number 8 (right front) took the elbow and, later, the bagel.
The elbow was courtesy of a player at Erwin High School--or was it Mountain City? (they're rather close if I recall)--a tall player with big eighties hair. I think she resembled the character Glory from Season Five of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and her elbow flung me about as far across the floor. But things are a little fuzzy up to the point where I was screaming and rolling. The scream definitely got more deathy when I spit out half my tooth, and I was a little embarrassed later about how loudly I screamed. But it fucking hurt.
Tooth number 10 (two left of 8) took a knee in college. If that sounds odd in a basketball situation, that's because it wasn't a basketball situation exactly. For some reason my teammates and I thought we could be gymnasts in our spare time--spare meaning the few minutes between class and practice, when we usually goofed off in the locker room. That day's goofing was more elaborate than the usual dashing off of letters or flipping of channels or playing of tapes. A few of us decided Lisa Harrison would achieve an assisted back-flip. So someone--I forget who--got on her hands and knees, and as the assist person, I was supposed to help flip over her legs. Gymnasts don't need this, but that's probably because none of their legs are nearly as long. Lisa came tumbling in and I leaned my head in along with my spotting arms. Her knee caught me on the jaw mid-flip, and my lower tooth chipped the upper tooth, #10. I never got it fixed because I liked how it looked.
Ten years after the elbow, #8's bond came off in a big chewy Irving's bagel right before I was to teach my second or third class ever as a new TA. I thought I would just write on the board the whole class, or stare at my students unsmiling, but the humor of the situation won out, and when I finally exposed my half-tooth the three hockey players in the class developed an instant, collective crush on their TA.
And so today, numbers 8 and 10 got "updated" to the tune of "Make a Wish, Baby" and about a dozen other equally forgettable songs.