A Reason Not To Smile

Ever since I’ve had to wear false teeth, for more than the past quarter century (gosh, that sounds like a long time) I’ve periodically had these fearful temporary flash moments of losing them. Like if I fell and knocked them out, bit too hard on something, dropped a dumbbell, got in a fight and had them punched down my throat, had an unfortunate mishap while trying to pull a train with a rope between my teeth, you know, that sort of thing. And now that I have brand new ones, that are only a few months old that feeling is as strong as ever. I don’t even bite my nails anymore.

But I never could have imagined happening what happened to Elena Aronson on Muni (municipal) bus in San Francisco. Last April, she was riding the bus and a man sitting next to her became fixated on her teeth, telling her how beautiful they were, like the moon and the stars and he told her he wanted them. Even though a seasoned bus rider in both New York and Chicago, she was uncomfortable with the man’s forwardness and exited the bus at the next stop. The next thing she recalled was being on her knees and bleeding profusely from where her two front teeth had been ripped from her mouth. She was taken to the hospital by a good Samaritan and she spent the next two days there recovering. She doesn’t remember for sure that the man followed her off the bus or of being hit and because no witnesses ever came forward it was nearly impossible to file a police report and she was just about laughed out of the department and she was denied victim’s assistance due to lack of concrete evidence.

A Muni spokesman said that even if a surveillance tape had been requested by police, it would be doubtful that it would prove an assault since it allegedly took place off the bus. With help from columnists from the San Francisco Chronicle, Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross, the police allowed her to create what she feels is a dead on artist’s rendering of the man she suspects is responsible for the more than $11, 500 in hospital and medical (including replacement teeth) she incurred. She realizes the sketch may never lead to an arrest, but at least now the police have a picture of him in case he should resurface. And with completed police paperwork, she is now appealing the denial for assistance.

In a which came first, the chicken or the egg, sort of  scenario, today is the 31st anniversary of the Barbra Streisand/Neil Diamond duet “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” hitting the number 1 position on the charts. By sheer coincidence, it’s also the 31st  of the Neil Diamond/Barbra Streisand duet “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” hitting the number 1 position on the charts.  Elsewhere in music news, 45 years ago, Ringo Starr had his tonsils removed, but don’t email to congratulate him, he’s no longer accepting emails from adoring fans. His life is much too busy to acknowledge his fans. Peace and love, though.  And Sam Cooke’s “You Send Me” hit number 1 in 1957.  As it turns out, he’s not answering his emails either.

Take a look at this video and see what you can make of it, before it gets revealed.



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