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Topic: Laughter (10/18/04)
TITLE: FALSE TEETH
By Charles Lee
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All eyes except for the little old lady that had fallen fast asleep in her wheelchair. Unfazed by her snores, I plodded on, intent on bringing forth the message and holding up my Lord before the masses. The masses were in reality only about twenty five elderly men and women that were residents in a local nursing home in my hometown.
As I preached, to more or less attentive listeners (mostly less), something dropped and clattered on the floor near my feet. I fought the urge to run screaming from the building when I saw that it was the ladyís teeth grinning up at me from the floor. Apparently, she had forgotten to glue them in upon hearing that she would be attending a church service that morning and would be getting a nap.
I considered kicking them under her chair so I couldnít see them, when an attendant from the home, darted in front of me with the skill of one who had practice picking teeth off the floor, and picked the chompers up and placed them in a napkin to be cleaned and later returned to their rightful mouth.
Thankfully, a few years and a little experience with unruly false teeth (not mine) had hardened me against breaking loose with uncontrolled laughter. The same could not be said of some of the others in the room, who howled unashamedly at the teeth and the dilemma I faced. The lady continued to snore.
I was able to stand solemn faced and preacher like without even the hint of a smile. A few years earlier I didnít display such control. At the afore mentioned time I was in the audience.
The man preaching had the habit of waving his arms back and forth in the manner of a flight attendant displaying the exits at the front and rear of a jetliner. This habit saved him from the embarrassment of searching under pews for HIS teeth. What he preached, Iím sure nobody can recall, but as his arms was in the exit position, his teeth shot from his mouth. Without missing a beat, his arms came back to the front of the plane position and caught and returned his teeth to their rightful place.
It was an amazing act to witness, and looking back on the incident; I wished we had instant replay in the church service so I could have reviewed his technique for future references.
At the time, though, I could only bow my head as if I were taking a moment to pray, and hope everyone else was having the same problem I was having. The problem of keeping their insides from exploding by holding in the loud laughter that was trying to escape. He continued bravely on hoping nobody had noticed. Fat chance! The one time you have an attentive audience, your teeth fly out.
As I search for the great theological lesson to be learned, the thought of those teeth jumping out of his mouth has me laughing out loud in the safety of my home. The kids look at daddy as if I have lost my mind when I turn and impart to them this wisdom that I have learned.
BRUSH YOUR TEETH, OR GLUE THEM IN LATER! Itís the least I can do for them.