It's late summer,and yours truly is seated amongst the hayfever-stricken masses in a doctor's office waiting room in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Exactly what was afflicting me escapes my memory at this time.

Anyway, I decide that it is due time for a lozenge, so I take one out of my pocket and begin to open the plastic wrapper without giving it a second thought.

I feel inclined to explain here that, unlike every upstanding mammal with opposable thumbs, I do NOT use my hands to open said lozenge. I use my teeth---a habit I have had since 4 or 5 years old..

I hadn't even gotten my canines around the wrapper when I hear a gasp of utter shock and disgust coming from the seat beside me. I turn and see an elderly woman of about eighty staring at me, aghast.

Her: Did...did you open that with your TEETH?
Me: Well, I, yeah, uh.....
Her: Don't DO THAT! D'you know what that DOES to your teeth?
Me: (unintelligible babbling of confusion)
Her: You'll be sorry when you're my age...(unitelligible babbling of senility)

That last part was terribly cryptic, partly because I noticed that this woman herself had no visible teeth.

I looked at my lozenge with fright; a forboding sense of doom. Could it be? Was this poor woman, now in the winter of her years, suffering from a grueling lifetime of endlessly opening plastic wrappers with her teeth?

Most likely not. Even so, I awkwardly finished opening the lozenge with my fingers.