Wayward teeth lose grip on situation


We always seem to have an eye on teeth. Many of our patients would like to sink them into us. Today, though the kind of teeth we were watching out for was a bit unusual

Editor's Note: Our small animal and equine readers may be unacquainted with the comedic storytelling of Dr. Bo Brock of Lamesa, Texas. His column, Stampede, has run only in our food animal section until this month. His stories are just too good, and too funny not to share with our entire readership. We hope we put a smile on your face when you open the magazine and read "Where Did I Go Wrong?" by Dr. Mike Obenski. We hope that smile will still be on your face as you conclude your reading with Dr. Brock.

We always seem to have an eye on teeth. Many of our patients would liketo sink them into us. Today, though the kind of teeth we were watching outfor was a bit unusual

Dr. Zach Smith was knee-deep in stink. The mare was pregnant but thebaby had died inside of her several days before she arrived at the clinic.You can just imagine what this must have been like bare bones with decomposingflesh attached. This makes for a smell that you just can't know until you'veexperienced it.

As is usually the case, several people were standing around watchingand willing to lend a helping hand. It is a slow and tortuous job. The flypopulation was having a hey-day. They were buzzing and landing on everything.

The crowd started thinning as the really smelly parts started comingout. Only the dedicated and brave at heart remained. One gentleman in particularwas determined not to let Zach go it alone. He was gloved-up and bouncingfrom place to place like a puppy dog around the table, just waiting forhis chance to jump in and help.

The parts became bigger and bigger until finally the torso started itsjourney out. The smell became overwhelming. It was at about this time thegentleman (we'll call him Mr. Teeth), got a nose full of the wretched stink.This is one of those smells that is so bad that you can perceive it withorgans other than just your nose. It seems to get into your eyes, the poresof your skin, the hair in your nostrils and even has a taste. It was noticeablethat Mr. Teeth was getting all of his senses saturated as the large partof the foal came sliding out.

Turns out this fellow just got false teeth. I guess the smell had saturatedthese new chompers. Whatever the case, it started some of those gut-bustingheaves. They started slow and silent and were developing into longer, loudercontractions of the chest and stomach. All attention left the horse andwent to Mr. Teeth.

"Run away! He's gonna blow!" yelled Zach as the crowd startedbacking away. Mr. Teeth was making all kinds of guttural noises now. Hischeeks would puff out like Louie Armstrong, only to be followed by a deeppuffing sound as his dry lips succumbed to the building pressure of eachdry heave. He was running around in circles looking for a place to spew.The situation was further complicated by the nasty gloves he was wearing.Each time he would reach toward his face to quiet the swells, the goo thatwas on the gloves would increase the intensity of the smell.

People were scattering like buckshot, but they all wanted to stay closeenough to see what happened next.

Zach started barking orders. "Puke in the sawdust don't run thatway, there's nothing to vomit on go outside take your gloves off!"

None of the words seemed to penetrate the pre-vomit fog that had overtakenMr. Teeth. He just kept running in circles and touching his face with theslimy gloves. It seemed like it was going to go on forever.

It was on about the 30th small lap that the sound of those teeth chatteringbecame the dominant noise. They were bumping into his lips, his gums andeach other. It sounded a bit like somebody rolling dice in a Yahtzee cup.It was obvious that everyone was ready to duck when those babies came flyingout. It was just a question of which way they were going to go; as he wouldspin, the audience would bend and rise at the waist like football fans doingThe Wave.

Finally, they left through his lips. There was enough pressure builtup by now to propel them at a rapid rate. Mr. Teeth had managed to slipbehind the surgery room into an area that afforded a safe launch. No oneactually saw it happen. The noise was something similar to a car backfiring,followed by a high-pitched ping. The teeth flew out of his mouth and bouncedoff a metal I-beam.

Ghastly looks were immediately replaced by high eyebrows and gut-bustinglaughter. After finishing the job, Mr. Teeth calmly went over, picked upthe new teeth and simply put them back in his mouth. What a day.

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