A: When I was eighteen this kid’s wild flailing elbow accidentally connected with the underside of my chin in a mosh pit, slamming my lower jaw into my upper at, oh, I don’t know, ninety miles an hour. I can’t even begin to tell you how defeating and agonizing that pain was—my mouth is filling up with saliva right now just thinking about it. My brain almost completely stopped working as I stumbled around like some goofball wrestler, watery eyes agog, moaning and clutching my jaw. Thankfully there was no blood. If there was I’m sure I’d have passed out.
Elbow Guy was mortified and eventually paid for my dental bills. The nerve damage was a little rough (all my food had to be room temperature for a while afterwards, nothing super hot or cold) but the worst part was having a chipped front tooth. I full on looked like Lloyd Christmas. The little piece of fake tooth the dentist tried to glue in there kept falling out (invariably into my room temperature meals) so I eventually told him to forget it. I believe he ended up sanding the chip down. He must have, because that chip was razor sharp. It was a danger to my lips and tongue.
Before you ask, the Great Toof Busting of ’97 occurred not at any storied rock venue like CBGBs but at a presbyterian church in Daytona Beach that at that time was renting out its auditorium to local punk bands. On the bill that night was Kills Competition (the band I went to see), Mass Retaliation (I think), and…uh…that band my drummer friend Dan was in before Brad Get Your Bag. Their name started with a P? Not Preferred 53 and certainly not Piebald. If Geocities was still active I could easily solve this mystery as I kept detailed notes about the Daytona punk scene circa 1997 on that rudimentary blogging device.
The moral of this story: don’t ever have teeth.
Did I ever think I’d live long enough to see the return of Yummy Mummy to the General Mills monster cereal lineup? Of course not, but wonders never cease. Fruit Brute is allegedly back as well, but I’ve yet to find it anywhere. Yes, I know Target’s supposed to be selling all five in some retro collector’s pack. Tell that to the schmoe-hawks running Tar-jé here in sunny Florida.
In Target’s defense, this isn’t really a Halloween state. Maine or Kansas? Sure. The sunny shores of Daytona Beach? Well, listen, it’s hard to get a spooky vibe going at the dollar sandal shop. Too many palm trees, too much humidity. Haunted wet t-shirt contest? That’s never happened.
And no, Yummy Mummy was not originally orange cream flavored. Not a big orange cream guy but I’m obviously gonna give this fruit pharoh a shot. Wow me, Ra.
A: No. I’ve never really thought of myself as having the right kind of body for tattoos. I always figured they’d look weird, like I was trying to look tougher than I actually am. Like overcompensating.
Only once did I seriously consider getting inked. When I was nineteen I accompanied my friend Justin to a tattoo parlor in Daytona Beach because he was getting some asian symbol on his arm (as was the style at the time). During that trip I almost convinced myself to get Black Flag’s famous logo stamped somewhere on my frail barely adult torso, but I didn’t have quite enough cash and I was also worried that I might not be championing Damaged as strongly at age eighty. So that was that.
For a while in the mid-2000s I joked with people that I was going to get a back piece of Chewbacca driving the Ectomobile through downtown Oslo with the Ramones and Richard Nixon in the back, all wearing ghostbusters jumpsuits, but that would probably take centuries to complete (and hurt like a bastard).