Jackie and I met in 1989 while working at Domino’s Pizza in Paris, Texas. Our first interaction, to my recollection, was in front of the pizza oven where I was standing, peel in hand, prepared to remove the next order for delivery.
“You smell good,” she said.
“Really?” I asked. “I shouldn’t! I’m not wearing any perfume and I’ve been sweating like a pig in front of this oven. Maybe it’s my deodorant.”
“What kind is it?”
“I think it’s Suave … aloe scented.”
“Well, it sure smells good.”
The makings of a 26-year (and still counting) friendship!
Now let’s fast-forward three years to August, 1992.
Jackie and I were sitting in my living room being non-productive individuals, an activity in which we both excelled … and still do.
“You know what we ought to do?” she asked.
“This is August. This month will be the 15th anniversary of Elvis’ death. Let’s go to Graceland! They always have a big to-do on the anniversary.”
I had recently been laid-off from a job I hated and was glad to be free to make the trip so to come up with the needed money for the trip, we spent the next week doing odd jobs for members of Jackie’s family.
Jackie and I packed the last of my luggage into my car on our night of departure, but Jackie had forgotten the caffeine pills in my apartment, (we were planning on staying up for the following 72 hours without sleep) so I went upstairs to get them. Before returning to the car I filled up a 44-ounce mug with ice water to nurse on our journey. While walking to the car with my tank of ice water in one hand and pills in the other, I tripped on the pavement which caused me to slam the mug into my mouth, chipping one of my front teeth.
“JACKIE! Jackieee! My whole entire tooth just fell out!” I screamed.
“The whole thing?” she asked with unappreciated enthusiasm.
“Yes, the whole thing! I can’t go to Memphis looking like this! I’m hideous!”
“Let me see! Let me see!” Jackie chanted excitedly.
“No, Jackie! I’m repulsive!“
Jackie finally talked me into letting her see my injury, to which she responded, “Oh Vic, it doesn’t look that bad. It’s just a chip – in fact, I think it gives you character! I think it looks cool!” (This from a woman who has multiple tattoos, a pierced nose and has been known to dye her hair vampire red!)
In fact, I looked like terribly damaged road kill but Jackie was anxious to get on the road, so she wasn’t about to say anything that might delay – or worse yet, cancel our trip to see His Royal Majesty, The King.
“I can’t let them see me like this Jackie! I have to get it back in there!”
“Well Vic, do you know of any 24-hour dentists in Paris, Texas?”
“No … but I won’t let them see me like this Jackie! Think! There has to be a way!”
“Hey! I know!” she said. “I used to know this girl in jewelry school who had a tooth that was always falling out. She used to super-glue it back in!”
“Super glue?” I mused, “You know … that might just work!”
So Jackie and I drove down the street to our neighborhood convenience store. I was on a quest for super glue and nothing was going to stand in my way … except for Jackie.
I was humiliated to be seen in this condition but Jackie was enjoying her Baby Ruth so much that she refused to do the dirty work for me. I was forced to go inside and purchase the super glue myself. As I entered the store I curled my lips around my teeth in an attempt to hide my new-found ugliness.
“Do ya hab iny pooper goo?” I asked the cashier.
“What?” she asked.
“POOPER GOO!” I screamed. “Do ya hab iny pooper goo?”
She raised an eyebrow and pointed down one of the aisles. I made my purchase, went to the car and said to Jackie, “I can’t do this in front of the store! They already think I’m crazy! They’ll just laugh at me!” So Jackie suggested that we pull around to the side of the building by the flood light.
The directions on the box said, “Apply to a clean, dry surface,” so I sucked wind for the next few minutes in an attempt to dry my teeth.
“Enough already!” Jackie scolded. “Your teeth ought to be dry by now!”
I ever-so-carefully applied a drop of glue to my chip and placed it on the remainder of my tooth. After a four to five-minute wait, Jackie said, “I think you’ve waited long enough. See if it’s going to stick so we can hit the road.”
I took my hand from my mouth, looked in the rear view mirror and screamed, “Jackie! Jackie, it’s not there! Ahl! It’s glued to my thumb!”
Jackie nonchalantly pulled the tooth chip off of my thumb and presented it to me for another try.
I learned a big lesson from my first attempt, so for the second attempt, I held the chip between the nails of my thumb and index finger, applied the super glue to the chip, the chip to my tooth and then waited.
“Jackeee! I glued my tooth to my thumbnail!”
“Well, pull it off!”
“But what if my nail comes with it?”
Jackie reached into her bag of tricks and presented a pair of fingernail clippers. She clipped off the littered part of my thumbnail, peeled off my super-glue-crusted chip of a tooth and presented it to me for a third try.
Again I applied the super glue to my chip and my chip to my tooth but somehow (to this very day, I still don’t know quite how I did it) I super-glued the chip to my tongue, my tongue to the back of my teeth and my upper lip to the front of my teeth.
“Dackie! Ma tun! Ma tun! Ah goood it ta dah back ub mah teef!”
“Rip it off Vic! Hurry! Before it really dries!”
After I peeled the tooth chip off of my tongue, Jackie said, “Listen Vic, this is just too dangerous! Just forget about it. It really doesn’t look that bad, and like I said, it gives you character!”
Character, my butt!
“Jackie, do you have any tweezers?”
“Of course I have tweezers!” She reached into her bag of tricks once again and proceeded to show me her tweezers collection which consisted of three without which she never left home.
I chose my instrument, clamped my chip, applied the super glue, and began to raise it to my mouth.
“Jackie! Jackieeee! It’s in my eye! It’s super-glued to my eye!”
“Eye LID or eye BALL?” she screamed.
“It’s in my eye Jackie! I can’t blink!”
Jackie grabbed the super glue box, jumped out of the car, ran under the flood light and began screaming across several parking spaces.
“It says, ‘Do not get it in your mouth! Do not get it in your eye!’
“Crap! It’s too late for that!
“Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah …
“Here it is! Here it is! It says to rinse your eyes out thoroughly and seek medical attention immediately! Vicki, go inside and rinse out your eye!”
“No, Jackie! They’ll laugh at me! There’s a tooth glued to my eye-ball!”
“Vicki Lynn! Go rinse out your eye! Right now!” she ordered.
“Wait a minute … wait a minute! Jackie, it just popped out!”
“But can you see?”
I looked to the right, straight ahead, then to the left. “I can see this way … and I can see that way … I can’t see that way but I just won’t look that way. Come on! Leg’s go!”
“Vic, go inside and rinse out your eye!”
“No Jackie, this is all too embarrassing. What if they were watching me? Let’s go!”
“What about your tooth? Where is it?”
“I don’t know! Just get in the car and let’s go!”
Jackie got in the car and closed her door. Without saying a word, we fastened our seat belts. I pressed in the clutch, shifted into reverse and just as I was about to start the car, there it was! It was sitting on my knee, pretty as you please, wearing a coat of blue lint and assorted fuzz from my blue jeans.
“There it is Jackie! Give me your tweezers!”
“You’re not going to try it again!” she insisted, “It’s too dangerous!”
“GIVE – ME – YOUR – TWEEZERS!”
I clamped the tooth chip and just as before, it pinged from the grip of the tweezers but this time, never to be seen again.
After searching the back seat and the bottoms of our shoes for my chip, we began our trip to Memphis.
About 35 to 40 miles later we stopped for a bathroom break. After Jackie finished doing her business she insisted that I rinse out my eye. I went to the bathroom simply to humor her, splashed some water on my face and walked back outside. As I approached Jackie I started feeling a strange scraping sensation behind my eye lid. The world had become one big, giant snow flake.
“Jackie, it didn’t feel so bad before but now, every time I blink it feels like my eye lid is scraping across nails.”
Jackie took a closer look at my eye and discovered that I had crusty eye lashes and that there was a bit of super glue that had found its way to the underside of my eye lid.
The super glue deteriorated in about a week and once again, I was able to blink without pain.
© 2015 Vicki Robison All Rights Reserved.