The other day I had a conversation with someone who sounded like they were going to fall over and die. Like a Pomeranian in the middle of a bark-fest, they had to pause their sentence to take in the most labored and pronounced inhale I’ve ever heard anyone take outside of being suddenly startled.
PERSON: Blah, blahbblah di blah (VIOLENT VACUUMING) di blah doodi blah blah.
ME (OUTSIDE VOICE): Wow.
ME (INSIDE VOICE): Oh my God. Please don’t die. Not here.
This was only to be outdone by the need to bring in a third person into the conversation. Only this person had serious bad breath. Not your run-of-the-mill-hungry-breath, not I-forgot-to-brush-my-teeth-morning-breath, nope, not even I-ate-all-the-garlic-plates-on-the-menu-garlic-breath. This was bad breath probably cause by their teeth. So, I guess it’s more like there’s-something-rotten-in-Denmark-bad-breath.
So there we were:
WHEEZER: Blu Bla Blay (GIANT DARTH VADER INHALE) Blippiepoo. Right?
TOOTH SCARY: Ha Hardy Ha Hhhho How. Hand Hoca Hallow Hot.
ME (OUTSIDE VOICE): Uh huh.
ME (INSIDE VOICE): I wonder if Wheezer’s condition is a direct result of having to talk to Tooth Scary?
What can you say? Seriously. Can you call someone out on it? And when you do, what do you say? “Hey, your breath is a little funky today, can you just write what you want to tell me? Better yet, send me an email.”
Why do we good people subject ourselves to people’s bad breath all the time? Why is it that we have to make them comfortable? “Oh, no, it’s okay, you can breathe your fire all over my face. My favorite hobby is to churn my stomach.”
I’m not innocent. I have bad breath every morning. Which is why I brush my teeth. It has also been the case that I have had a strange taste in my mouth later in the day. Which is why I brush my teeth. Oh, and at night, when my teeth are wearing a sweater of goo from all the crap I’ve eaten, yeah, I’m going to brush my teeth.
But, if you catch me in between brushing and I’m still feeling unsure, the last thing I would do is put my mouth anywhere near your nose and certainly not use any words that start with the letter H.
Those are just simple ways to prevent an uncomfortable situation.
People with bad breath are incapable of this, however. They are afraid to suffer the same fate of their distant relatives. If people with bad breath started to practice those habits, they would become extinct. Just like the dragons.