Easter Monday – As I write, I’m plagued by jaw bone discomfort – A self inflicted facial injury, the consequence of my long-term grinding habit. As the act of grating the jaw makes me gurn, it’s a tick I thankfully only carry out in the privacy of my own home.
Gratifyingly, I don’t undertake this aesthetically displeasing practice in, say, my local supermarket. There’s little doubt my gross routine of Les Dawson-esque facial contortions would deeply unsettle fellow customers.
Grotesque face pulling, leading to retail outlets insisting I shop out of peak consumer hours, a tactic to avoid frightening shoppers. Or alternatively, made to don an Elephant Man (John Merrick) type hood to mask this inherently unattractive sight.
There’s little use of have the ‘skill’ to gurn. Unless a latter day PT Barnum seeks my employ as a novelty acts – Introducing me thus:- “Roll up! Roll up!….. Come see the unfeasibly hirsute northern Englishman. A freak of nature who can turn his head inside out – Two extraordinary sights of the grotesque for the price of one!….. Errrrr, no madam, we don’t give Nectar points for the ticket price!”
This won’t be occurring anytime soon, though, as I seek not fame or fortune from being gawped at by prurient sideshow customers.
No, the sights of my peculiar jaw grinding feats will remain between me, my wife Karen, God and the CCTV recording equipment my missus recently had installed. An indulgence to monitor whether her betrothed had any further clandestine habits of the abnormal……. Do you think levitating while watching TV drama Marcella be classed as abnormal?!
The soreness I alluded to above, manifesting from the socket where my jawbone rendezvous with my skull, isn’t currently being helped by my habitual grating of the area whilst penning this narrative.
Bar having my jaw wired up, I’m at a loss what strategy to undertake to rid myself of the grotesque foible. In my desperation for a solution, I’ve even enlisted the help of family members to identify a cure.
The meeting at my mother’s house resulted in the following ‘helpful’ advice from my brood:-
Me (to mum, wife, brother and son) – “Right, now that mum’s sh**e telly has finished, can any of you give a suggestion of how I can negate this jaw cracking?”
Karen – “Distract yourself with your favourite things. Like raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens….. By the way, Gary, can you stop levitating while you’re watching Marcella!”
My mum – “You need to be stoic to beat this, Gary…… Climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow, until you find your dream….. Incidentally, will you run me to get my haircut next Thursday, Gaz?”
My son Jonny – “For a solution, let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start. When you read you begin with ABC, When you sing you begin with Do, Ra, Mi, Do, Ra, Mi…….. Blimey, are those clothes made from curtains, dad?”
My brother Ian – “Perhaps you had a wicked childhood. Perhaps you had a miserable youth, but somewhere in your wicked, miserable youth there must have been a moment of truth…….. By the way, do you really levitate when you watch Marcella, Gaz?”
Me (to everyone) – “I know your responses are well-meant but have you any advice that is a) useful and b) not stolen lyrics from ‘Sound of Music’ songs?!”
Karen, my mum, Jonny and Ian spent a few seconds exchanging furtive glances, before collectively replying “No, Gary.” – Meeting ended, jaw grinding starts as a consequence of unhelpful musical lyric advice.
If anyone ever feels in need of The Sound of Music based advocacies give me a shout and I’ll put the family in touch…… So long farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu; Adieu, Adieu to you and you and you.
2 kids who've flown the nest, 1 wife whose flown with Jet2. Born at a young age in 1960's Leeds, the author became interested in the literary life when his wife bought him a dog. Having an allergy to dogs, he swapped it for a typewriter. Being unable to train the typewriter to retrieve tennis balls, he reluctantly turned to writing...... Website - www.writesaidfred.org