Can there be a more annoying habit then sucking the food out of one’s teeth? My ex-father-in-law (may he rest in peace) used to suck the life out of his teeth and it would drive me nuts. It was something I looked so forward to every time we would get together for a family meal. Without fail, after eating, that sucking noise would be heard near and far. I would look around and there he was. Mouth and moustache contorted in ways only a tongue sucking vampire could imagine. I tried it once to see if there was pleasure in it and I thought my incisors were being pulled from their roots and getting vacuumed down my throat only to be lodged in my esophagus. Get a frickin’ toothpick. That’s why they were invented. Dental floss maybe? I once handed out dental floss at a barbeque after serving corn on the cob so I didn’t have to listen to teeth sucking in stereo. Everyone was quite grateful. Wish we had youtube back then. It was quite a sight to see 30 people quietly flossing in unison….little kernels flying through the air.
My dog has a habit of constantly licking her chops. Again, drives me insane. Especially in the middle of the night when she keeps licking and licking. In fact, I’m writing this at 3AM because her disgusting lip licking woke me up and she is still doing it like the energizer bunny that keeps going and going. S-T-O-P!!! I WANNA SLEEP!
My grandmother (may she also rest in peace) used to have this awful habit of opening and closing her lips while her tongue would make some sucking noise on her palate. She would tend to really go at it in her sleep and one night, when I was little, my parents decided to grant me the pleasure of rooming with her. Big mistake! That, too, woke me in the middle of the night and kept me up. I was ready to stick my hand down her throat and rip out her tongue…but I thought she may choke and I loved her. So I didn’t. I just went over to her bed and gently held her lips together with both my hands til she stopped. We had to revive her a few minutes later.
What is it about the tongue that causes these annoying, disgusting habits? The tongue is supposed to be used for good things…like tasting, and kissing, and rolling your “R’s”, and being able to contort it in ways others can’t. I have the good fortune of being able to touch my nose. Something I’ve always been very proud of.
But my tongue betrayed me. Big time! And I was so angry at it. It was awful since all through my life I always took pride in my tongue since I could do all those things I listed above. And then BAM…the biggest betrayal of all…I lost my taste. My buds were stolen. All 4 of them. Not just bitter, sour and salty. But it stole sweet, too! It couldn’t just leave sweet alone? My sweet bud is my favorite bud. But noooooooo…sweet was gone.
For four months, 4 taste buds were MIA. It made no difference what I ate. It came to a point that I only ate because I thought living was kind of in my destiny at that point. A group of us were out to dinner one night and everyone was ordering all this delicious food. The waiter came over to take our order. He started at the other end of the table… “I’ll have the Osso Bucco”. “I’ll have linguine with clams”. “I’ll have the veal scallopini”. And then it was my turn…”I’ll have the shit on a stick, and a glass of urine on ice with a twist, please”.
The tongue is way underrated.