A few weeks ago I had my usual poker game in my home. The guys shuffled in and the libations flowed. Several players brought an assortment of flavoured peanuts. I had the television on in the background and there was a reality program about bootleggers in the southern United States. I’m assuming the police below the Mason-Dixon Line are not the sharpest tools in the shed. Why can’t law enforcement save taxpayers a boatload of money and just watch the show to find out who the distillers are and where they ferment the hooch? Then the police simply have to look for the men and women who have summer teeth… `some-are-here and some-are-there’. Speaking of booze there is a man in Texas who has so much brewer’s yeast in his stomach that it ferments and causes him to be inebriated at all times. If this guy pulls a certain part of his body he can pour himself a draught beer. Personally, I am a beer and Tequila man myself. There’s nothing like a shot of liquid, Mexican gold followed by a frosty beer chaser.

Of course as the poker game wears on yours truly takes more chances with terrible cards. As a matter of fact after a half-dozen beers and a matching number of shots I found myself calling, “All in!” The only problem was the cards had not been dealt yet. Another reason alcohol and poker do not mix is the counting of the chips. I sit there in astonishment as some players count their chips to match a bet when all they have to do is stack them to the same height. Drinking always makes me hungry and soon I was digging into the nearest bowl of peanuts. One of my pals bought a bag of extreme Cajun hot peanuts. Before I knew what I had eaten my colon sent me an urgent message that there would be a ring of fire the next day. There was a delay but soon after eating those nuclear nuts my mouth was burning. Naturally, this resulted in yet more beer and Tequila. Oddly enough, the more I drank the less the fiery treats offended. It wasn’t long before I was thoroughly hammered. The poker game was over and after my friends departed I was so bombed I was goose-stepping to the bathroom. After I relieved myself of all that liquid a different kind of fermentation took hold. Those damn peanuts gave me so much gas I was propelled around the house without much effort. I began cleaning up the living room because I’m one of those people who cannot go to bed knowing there’s a mess. I packed up the poker table, put the cards away, vacuumed the rug and placed the glasses in the dishwasher.

I was thirsty so I cracked open my last beer and spotted another bowl of peanuts. They were not the hot ones but a garlic blend. I ate the whole bowl, took the last swig of beer and climbed into bed. For some inexplicable reason whenever I opened my mouth I swear I could whistle Dixie. I dragged myself into the bathroom again and opened my mouth. Staring back at me was the same teeth as the bootleggers. I had cracked a molar at the gum line and swallowed it along with the peanuts, Tequila and beer. I was livid. Not only had I lost money at poker but I was about to lose a lot more at the dentist. The next day I sat in the chair while my tooth man shot my face up with six needles. Thankfully, he left the room waiting for the freezing to take because those Cajun and garlic nuts were fighting with each other to see who could make the biggest natural gas explosion. I held tight and felt my stomach ballooning. The good doctor came back and hit the exposed nerve with the drill. Needless to say my nose almost touched the ceiling after the bolt of pain. He calmly informed me that feeling such pain was a good thing as it meant the tooth was still alive. The tooth was repaired and I paid the staggering bill as being a Canadian entertainer I have no coverage. I drove home and spent the remainder of the day and evening eating soft foods. The Cajun and garlic peanuts finally reached a détente with what can only be described as a mushroom cloud. No more beer. No more Tequila. No more nuts… well, until the next poker game.

Ben Guyatt

Providing a Fresh Perspective for Burlington and Hamilton.

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