W3C A Toothy Story MEMORIES


(which never happened ... or did it!?

Pete had many qualities, but he was no different to anyone else you met on the fell on a hunting morn, some guys you saw approaching and looked forward to their arrival and the banter or storytelling to follow. Others caused you to pull your stick from the turf, where you had plunged the end in order to rest leaning over the handle, and move on. There were several reasons to cause this to happen; one guy had a total inability to be quiet, and another knew everything, a third had a strong unwashed smell. Pete, bless him, was or had none of these "traits". I'm afraid Pete was worse than any of the previously mentioned followers, his crime unforgivable, for as you walked along with him he rolled and clicked his false teeth.

You would be striding out, enjoying the dawn, the fellside sharp in the light of a not long risen sun, the tinkle of the beck and the occasional bleat of a new born lamb. Suddenly the tranquillity would be broken by Pete getting something "off his chest", his tirade always ended with him clicking his teeth. Things then got even worse when he had nothing to say for he just walked along rolling and clicking those darn teeth.

One spring morning hounds were dealing with a lamb-worrier in a valley nearby. We had got up early and were standing on the top in the dawn looking down into the valley by the time hounds had lowsed (loosed). Pete had clicked and rattled his way from the valley bottom to the top and was sitting on a rock clicking his teeth when Jack handed him a pack of Dentu-fix. Pete looked at him. 'Me piles are alright,' he said. Jack sighed and put the packet back into his pocket for another time. Just at that moment the hounds struck the line of the fox, and Pete and his piles/dentures for a while were forgotten, but later that morning the clicking began again and continued unabated.

On another occasion for some reason totally unknown to me, then and now, he took his teeth out, placed them on a wall top on a deserted piece of fellside. He wandered off silently in the wake of the hounds, and only some considerable while later did he realise that his teeth were not in his mouth. This necessitated quite a walk back at the end of a long day, and a subsequent pint went down rather too quickly.

But the best story of all happened following a hunt supper. It had been a "heavy do", every hound and terrier had been toasted and they had sung so many songs that they were singing some second time around. Pete, much the worse for drink, had staggered home and collapsed on the floor of his living room having partially undressed between the door and his sleeping point. The significant other or his long suffering partner having "been there before" snuggled under the duvet and returned to her dreams starring George Clooney and a desert island. It was all getting rather raunchy when the sound of snoring permeated her consciousness, the snoring got deeper and then the words 'bloody hell' wafted up the stairs followed by the sound of a large man coming rather quickly up the stairs. George disappeared and she lay there in the light of the early morning listening to Pete throwing up down the toilet pan. This went on for quite some time, and finally stopped with a flush of the cistern. There was a pause and she next heard the words 'oh no', followed by another pause and the sound of a hand being plunged into water. She could stand no more. Climbing out of bed she entered the bathroom to see her partner with his arm down the toilet.

'What are you bloody doing?' she asked, knowing full well the answer to her question.

Pete looked up at her with his mouth devoid of gnashers. 'Me teeth went into the bog when I was being sick,' he said, 'and I flushed the buggers away.'

This was a new one on the significant other who in her time with Pete had coped with many trials and tribulations, heavy drinking, womanising, general problems associated with living with him.

'I can't afford a new pair,' said Pete, 'and these buggers are long gone.'

'Guess the pub will have to close down then, and that tart behind the bar will have to find another job,' said the significant other, flouncing back to bed.

The next night whilst I was sitting in the bar besides the fire Jack walked in, a big smile playing on his face. He walked over to the bar and bought a pint and came and sat down besides me, getting out his pipe and beginning to tamp it prior to lighting it.

'What's the craic then?' I asked.

He did not reply but continued to tamp his pipe, the smile got bigger. Finally he looked at me.

'I had to go to the tip on my way home from work,' he said, 'I parked up and began to unload when out of the council offices came Pete's significant other.'

I looked at him incredulously, 'So?' I said.

Jack lit his pipe. 'It was raining, I gave her a lift home,' he replied, 'during the journey she was saying that the other night Pete had puked his false teeth into the toilet and flushed them away'.

I took a pull on my pint. 'So what was she doing down at the council offices?' I asked.

'She'd been to the sewerage department,' Jack said, 'to ask if they would keep an eye open for a set of teeth floating by in the middle of all the crap coming out of the pipe.'

I started to giggle. 'What did they say?' I asked.

'Apparently they said they would,' Jack replied, 'but I don't think they'll try too hard, and judging by what she was saying about Pete's finances we'll be having peace and quiet on the fell for a while, till he saves up for a new pair of teeth.'

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