My brother, Les visited us one spring when my son was in high school. Les showed up wearing a pair of nasty-looking fake Billy Bob teeth. He brought along an extra pair for Stephen who took them to school the next day. He had a substitute teacher in one of his classes, giving him an opportunity to try out the teeth.
Without the teacher knowing, Stephen put the teeth in his mouth and kept them there for the entire class period. A little discomfort is worth it to play a good joke.
A few minutes before class ended, Stephen walked up to the teacher and asked, “Could I go to the restroom? I’ve got something stuck between my teeth. ”
I don’t know if the teacher figured it out or not, but she never let on.
Stephen used the teeth at my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. By then he had finished his first year as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), and his grandparents wanted him to wear his uniform to the party. They didn’t expect Billy Bob to show up.
He walked around the party wearing the ugly fake teeth. One guest felt sorry for him and commented to another guest. “You’d think the Air Force would do something about his teeth!”
Stephen continued to get mileage out of those teeth. He wore them to a dentist appointment once while he was home from college.
As an upperclassman training other cadets at USAFA, he sometimes used the teeth for a little comic relief. Cadets are expected to respect the upperclassmen while they are being trained. One guy in particular had a hard time keeping a straight face while Stephen stared him down. “It’s okay to laugh, cadet,” Stephen told him.
You never know when Billy Bob will show up, bringing laughs wherever he goes.