I’ve decided I need to organize my things. I have a tendency to make lists of things, willy-nilly, whenever the urge strikes. Any old day of the week. Whether it’s blue dudes on a Saturday, balls on a Friday, or pigs on a Sunday, or cheese on a Tuesday. Willy-freakin’-nilly, I tell you.
So in honor of the onset consonant of the words theme, thing and Thursday, the voiceless inderdental fricative, my first official theme of things for this Themed Thing Thursday will be teeth. Because without teeth, it’s really hard to say things.
A few things toothy
- ϴ or theta.
The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) symbol for the voiceless dental (or interdental) fricative. This sound is usually written “th” in English, though the sound is nothing like a t followed by an h. (Note also that not all instances of “th” are stand-ins for theta: there’s the evil twin ð, too. Sometimes called the “eth.” It’s the voiced dental fricative. You know, the one in the.)
- The Tooth Fairy
A legendary individual who pays children for losing their teeth. In the version of the myth I grew up with, when you lose a tooth, you put it under your pillow when you go to bed. In the morning, you wake up to find a coin in place of the tooth. The explanation for this phenomenon is not that the tooth has metamorphosized, but that a strange woman, possibly with wings, sneaked into your room while you slept, and felt around under your very head for the tooth, grabbed and pocketed said tooth, and then left you a small payment. This was supposed to be a comforting tale.
- The Wikipedia Tooth Fairy page has a whole bunch of fun popular culture references to the tooth fairy by the way, such as the episode of the Simpsons where Bart loses his last baby tooth, or Darkness Falls (2003), horror movie about an evil tooth fairy.
- The movie Toothless (1997)
I had actually never heard of this movie until some soul out there tried desperately to find quotes from the movie. I have no idea why. I’m assuming it was the same person, trying variations of “quotes from the movie toothless” and “toothless movie quotes.” And they kept getting my post on movie quotes where I quote the “tough and ruthless/rough and toothless” bit from Kentucky Fried Movie. Anyhow, the movie “Toothless” was a TV movie from 1997, and looks to have been pretty sucky. Kirstie Allie played a dentist turned tooth fairy.
- Speaking of dentists, there’s the movie Marathon Man (1976) (And also the novel by William Goldman, author of The Princess Bride.)
The story features a famous (or infamous) torture scene involving an evil, sadistic dentist. (“Is it safe?”)
- Little Shop of Horrors. A 1960’s B movie that was later adapted to a Broadway musical which was later adapted to another movie. The main story is about an alien man-eating plant, but it also features a sadistic dentist. (Clearly, some people have issues with dentists.) Steve Martin plays the dentist in the 1986 movie.
- Just in case you fear that all pop culture portrayals of dentists are unfavorable, Monty Python offers this counter-example, featuring heroic feats performed by a member of the BDA. (“It’s a man’s life in the British Dental Association”):
- And speaking of Python, what list of teeth could be complete without those big pointy teeth from the Holy Grail. You may be happy (or dismayed) to learn that you can now purchase associated merchandise, such as slippers and hand-puppets featuring rabbits with big pointy teeth.