My chewing motion just falls apart in front of attractive women. Sit me in front of an unattractive woman and I’ll show you an empty plate. I won’t be in the slightest bit fazed by their presence. I’ll dip my bread in sauce, I’ll wipe my mouth with my sleeve, I don’t care. And those of you following my timeline on Twitter will know that over the last 6 dark weeks I’ve been on a regular Portuguese toast diet owing to budgetary constraints. And Portuguese toast isn’t easy to eat because of the thick crust, so if they’ve burnt it slightly, the chewing can get a bit ugly.
So I walked into my regular Portuguese café today in South Lambeth Road to find that opposite my usual seat, there were these two decent looking girls, so I thought I’d hold off on the toast until they’re gone. But then this permed man came in, sat in front of them, his wild curls blocking their view of me, so I ordered.
The toast arrived. It was tough. I was masticating in a manner you only see on those over 70 when their teeth are gone, and I suspect I might have been borderline gurning too. Someone in their late thirties should not expect to be pulling these expressions for another 30 years. But having grown up extremely poor in a Lambeth bed sit where I lived until my mid-twenties, my two front teeth are pretty weak and always have been. A dentist once looked at my teeth and said he was able to tell from my mouth that I’d grown up in abject poverty, before proceeding to embark upon cosmetic work that required me to stump up the kind of money that normally only Lambeth’s best drug dealers can get their hands on.
And it’s almost as if an argument kicks off inside my mouth. The back teeth are the interfering wife and the front teeth are saying, “look, we got this, just fuck off”, but the back teeth don’t step back. They’re seeing these weak bites from the front teeth and they just continue to interfere.
Still though, these teeth are just not strong enough to tackle Portuguese toast. So what tends to happen is the back teeth start to get involved when they start to sense the front teeth’s first bite into the bread isn’t what it should be, and the chewing style gets really ungainly. I get confused. Do I go in with the front teeth again for a second bite, or do I go in at an angle and bite with the back teeth?
And it’s almost as if an argument kicks off inside my mouth. The back teeth are the interfering wife and the front teeth are saying, “look, we got this, just fuck off”, but the back teeth don’t step back. They’re seeing these weak bites from the front teeth and they just continue to interfere. In the ensuing carnage, bits of toast fly out of my mouth, customers narrow their eyes as they struggle to comprehend what they’re witnessing. Unless I can get my teeth working together, it may be that I need to consign my toast eating days to the past.
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