I’m from DC—a long way from Stanford, I know. But one of the reasons I came here is because it’s so far away from home. All I wanted was to not have to hide anymore, to have some place where I could be myself without worrying about judgment. Stupid of me to hope for that much, to dream that my identity as someone who’d never lost their baby teeth could be kept safe from my parents.

Don’t get me wrong—I love my mommy and daddy, and they want what’s best for me—at least what they think is best for me. But they don’t get that for the past half a year, I’ve made a virtual empire of my reputation as Marty “Munchkin” McMurtle, the guy with the babiest baby teeth on campus. I didn’t expect that my fantastic reputation would backfire when they visited for Family Weekend to find out that their beloved sixth son was the Munchkin himself.

They weren’t mad, they were disappointed—or to quote my father, they were “not only confounded but also utterly devastated” when they found out. My mom’s not a dentist, but she’s something of a tooth expert, and she started pulling out those pamphlets she carries around telling me how important it is to have my teeth come of age, that they not be alcoholic or drug-addicted, all that stuff.  My dad just flashed one of his trademark brilliant smiles at me, the ones where the teeth expand and push out his mouth until his entire face is sharp enamel.

They’ve put me on Contingency G for toothing—the one where I’m only allowed to eat special jawbreakers (special in that they look and feel and taste like ball bearings). I’m starting next week, and my parents are moving in with me to make sure I follow through, so it looks like this is the end of the Munchkin for me. I’ve even ordered 20 three-inch baby teeth coffins in preparation for the coming massacre. Open casket.

Hey, baby teeth of mine? Thanks for sticking with me while it lasted, and thanks for helping me be the Munchkin. These have been good times. When you get to the pearly white gates of Tooth Heaven, tell the Big T I said hi, alright?


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