Monday, 8 December 2008

Pearly whites

I collect teeth.

Ones that aren't being used any longer, that is. I don't go round ripping jaws off donkeys, or whatever.

When I started working in the shop, it was tempting to start buying nice examples of the things I was selling every day, but I realised it would very quickly get out of hand. Bulky things, many of them, and it would be difficult to stop. So when I came across a sperm whale tooth I thought that I might be able to set parameters for collecting, and limit myself to teeth. Relatively small, and more difficult to have access to a huge range all at once.

The sperm whale tooth was quickly followed by an example of each type of tooth we had in stock, and since then, I've always kept a careful eye out at fossil shows and so on. I have a glass cabinet for them, and make some feeble effort to display a good number of them at any one time. Not that I imagine very many people would be interested. In fact most people probably find it a little distasteful. That's ok. I don't mind.

I've got quite a lot now, mostly crammed into boxes in the bottom of the cabinet. With labels. Maybe it's the curator in me. I think perhaps I should have been even more narrow in focus - stick to dinosaur teeth, mammals or something. Too late now, though. I don't have any human ones in there yet. Waiting for my son's first milk tooth to come out.

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