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Tom Wrigglesworth on losing your crown

PUBLISHED: 10:15 18 July 2017 | UPDATED: 10:15 18 July 2017

Tom Wrigglesworth

Tom Wrigglesworth


Tom finds the current political climate something he can get his teeth into

Good day to you dear reader. It’s just dawned on me that if I told you I’m sitting here writing this column, the day after polling day for a General Election, there’s every chance you might wonder ‘Which General Election do you mean, Tom?’ Such is the political turbulence howling around the country it seems the Prime Minister might as well wear a sash that simply reads ‘manager of the month’.

This political ‘losing of the crown’ put me mind of the times I’ve lost my own crown, albeit slightly less serious than one which further divides the country while simultaneously undermining Brexit negotiations.

You see, I have a crown on one of my teeth, the lateral incisor for any fans of orthodontry (and I say that knowing a good chunk of you will be sitting in a dentist waiting room as you read this). The crown is purely cosmetic, the original tooth was healthy but buckled back, in a manner that you would politely describe as ‘British’. The pesky thing about having a crown fitted is that they have to grind down the original tooth to act as a solid base for the new one to be glued to. This means that while the crown is being made, your tooth looks far worse that it ever did. Actually, this self inflicted and unnecessary backward step seems to have been used as a blue print for Theresa May’s electorate campaign.

The other pesky thing about veneers is they have a tendency to fall off. This has happened twice, each time going completely unnoticed by me and only coming to my attention after a recoiling wife has screamed ‘What the hell is wrong with your teeth?’ Next comes a desperate team effort to a) find the missing tooth, and b) checking the diary for any forthcoming appointments where me turning up looking like a wild-haired Shane McGowan would be deemed inappropriate.

The first time this disaster struck involved a Danish Christmas feast of roast duck. The following morning, when I realised that I was several duck legs heavier, but one tooth veneer lighter, an eagle-eyed mother in law managed to fish the tooth out of a bag of bones that was minutes away from being boiled up to make the traditional next day soup. I’m sure even the most experimental, Heston Blumenthal-esque chef would baulk at the use of cosmetic dental work as a seasoning.

More recently, I lost the crown while in the middle of major kitchen renovations. With the entire kitchen stripped back to bricks and roof joists, my culinary tool kit was reduced to a microwave, toaster and a camping hob set up in the living room. If there ever was a childish novelty to camping in your own home, then it took about thirty seconds to wear off and my diet quickly levelled out to sandwiches all day and take away in the evening.

It has to be assumed that during a hasty midday attack on some crusty bread, my tooth veneer got pinged off again only this time it was nowhere to seen. True to tradition it was my wife recoiling in horror as she noticed it was gone, then I recoiled in horror as I realised the solid lump making its way down through my chest wasn’t just stubborn bread crust but my fake tooth.

Now, I apologise for any feelings of queasiness that might be washing over you right now, but let me assure it was much worse for me. I mean what do you do? Make yourself physically sick in bid to reclaim it, or let nature take its course and hope you’re given a clue to its delivery time with the unmistakable ting of porcelain on porcelain. Neither option being anywhere near ideal I decided to get measured up for a brand new crown.

In the middle of these oral problems, the kitchen renovations rumbled on, and the long days of chiselling, lumping, carrying and humping bricks and plaster had taken it toll on my body. Becoming increasingly sore and stiff,I was advised to take up yoga. Apparently this would loosen my tense back muscles and allow construction work to continue.

I can’t say this with any certainty but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a yoga mat on a building site, so I was sceptical to say the least. However, Trudy the yoga teacher, with impeccable skin and bolt upright posture assured me it was exactly what my body needs. She asked me if I’d done anything like this before, in an attempt to stream me into the correct ability level of yoga practitioners. ‘How flexible are you?’ she said, her pen hovering over a clipboard. ‘Well, let me put it this way,’ I said. ‘I’m not boasting, but last week I think I bit myself on the backside.’

‘Very impressive,’ she said. ‘The only person I’ve known to successfully bite their own backside is Theresa May.’

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