The Hollow Tooth

Folks, a quick note before we begin (and one I guarantee is thematically appropriate):  Choosy Beggars has been lucky enough to be nominated for a Foodbuzz Blog Award, under the category of What blogger would you most want to make you a cocktail?

You know from personal experience that the answer is us, so head on over and give us your vote.  If we win?  A week of victory cocktails, just for you; if we lose, a week of consolation cocktails, just for you.

Why?  Because we love making you cocktails!  And shouldn’t people who love making you cocktails win your vote?

Yes! Thanks in advance, and we can’t wait to celebrate/commiserate with you!

Anyone who has worked the dating scene long enough will know that, deep in their core, that there is a point at which one desires nothing more clean and satisfying than a swift demise.

This is a self-evident statement for some of you out there, I know, but for the rest perhaps I should explain:  There may come at the moment when your date leans over in an attempt to seductively kiss you, despite it being your first date together, only to burp popcorn breath on your face instead; or that time may be much earlier, when you catch them surreptitiously lifting a cheek off their restaurant chair, to drop ass so foul that it brings even the waiters to tears.

Whenever it arrives, in that moment the future spreads out in front of you like an endless landscape, and even though it’s really only a couple of hours, it seems the worst fate imaginable to endure them in the company of your date.

It is a decisive time, one when you realize that frankly death is an option.

Fortunately, there is a solution — and as is so often the case, we can turn to fantastic espionage fiction for guidance in our everyday life.  As we all know, there is only one sure way to thwart the hero after he or she has heavily kicked your ass, grabbed you by the lapels and demanded to know where the warheads are:  Grin madly, chomp down on your hollow tooth, and release the deadly cyanide hidden therein into your own bloodstream.

“But Mike,” you say, “how can this workaday solution apply to my personal life, fraught with horribly uncomfortable dates as it is?”

Oh, watch and learn, friend.  Watch and learn.

The Hollow Tooth


Above:  The Hollow Tooth prepares to rinse away the filthy aftertaste of yet another eHarmony debacle.

The Hollow Tooth is a beverage that approaches by stealth, appearing as an innocuous Screwdriver-esque cocktail; however, its potency ensures that by the time it’s down your throat, you will have effectively escaped the clutches of your terrible date, averted remembering anything further about the evening, and perhaps lose sensation in a few places maybe.

The Hollow Tooth is:

  • 1 shaker filled with ice
  • 1 and 1/2 ounces of stiff rye whiskey
  • 3/4 ounces of Southern Comfort
  • 3/4 ounces of Grand Marnier
  • 2 ounces of orange juice (preferably no-pulp)

To the shaker, add the rye, SoCo and Grand Marnier in whatever order you choose.  To that, add the remaining juice and shake vigorously.  The end result should be a smooth, citrusy and extremely aggressive beverage that will go straight to your head.  Your date will think you’ve decided to be festive; you will revel in the knowledge that soon this will all be a fuzzy memory, if one at all.

Now, let’s put this technique to use with a little scenario work from Mike’s own (bitter, actual) experience, shall we?

Example 1:  Crushinator


You took a liking to The Crushinator after bumping into her at the gym once or twice, and chatting a little about the various sporting events you both enjoy — you’re into off-road biking, she’s into trail running, you both play in local Ultimate leagues.  You find yourself in a bar with her on a Friday night, watching the game and swapping stories about your active lives.


  • She recognizes more players in the sports highlights on the bar TV than you do
  • She swears more than you do, including words relating to female anatomy that women usually find offensive, appalling and frankly out of line, in that order.
  • Come on look at her.


  • She never makes eye contact with the waitress, instead phrasing her order in terms of statements to you that seem vaguely, generally insulting:  “I always have the nachos, they’re too easy for a place like this to get wrong,” or “Vodka soda is my favorite — nobody can screw that up.”
  • She is on a first-name basis with a surprising majority of the men in the bar, all of whom are permitted to hug her for durations long enough for you to measure on your wristwatch.
  • Several of them are ex-boyfriends, at least one of whom says, “See you this weekend!”

Oh no no no:

  • She shares with you the remarkable story of her losing twenty-five pounds, discovering her true self, and the disgust she feels for anyone who doesn’t exercise at least five times weekly.
  • “Those kinds of people just make me sad. How can they even look in the mirror?”
  • Upon revealing that you yourself can barely run a 5K without a respirator, she calls you all the words relating to female anatomy that women usually find offensive, appalling and frankly out of line.

Do you:

  • Order another plate of nachos and just hope that this is what it’s like when you date a guy’s girl,
  • Call her all the words relating to female anatomy that women usually find offensive, appalling and frankly out of line right back, and hope that the dudes she’s been hugging all night don’t overhear,
  • or crack The Hollow Tooth?


But just to reinforce that, let’s take a look at just one more scenario, shall we?  What about…

Example 2:  The cute girl-next-door who turns out to be unsettlingly racist


She is one of those women who you really felt like you’ve known your entire life, even though she started working in your building a couple of months ago.  Conversation is always easy, and for some reason you never feel uncomfortable when you’re around her.  You feel lucky when she accepts an invitation to dinner at your place, but not nervous — well, maybe a little nervous too.


  • Seriously, she always looks like that, all honey-blonde and effortless and clean-cut and languorously stretched out in her bra-less way.
  • She has a sweet disposition that’s disarming, charming, enchanting and delightful all at the same time.  If she were food, she’d be candy; if she were candy, she’d be the kind that tickles your nose when you eat it.
  • She’s one of those “bare feet sexy” kind of people; unlike you, with feet so rough that you pick up lint when you cross your carpet.


  • She employs a frequent use of the phrases: “those people”, “you know how it is with them” and “I hate to stereotype, but”.
  • Upon sight of your President’s Choice Naan, she relates a seven-minute monologue about why Indian people are dishonest for adopting North American names when providing tech support for her laptop.
  • She claims never to have met a Korean person, on the basis that she couldn’t tell one type of Asian from another just by looking.

Oh no no no:

  • She thinks she’d have a whole lot more sympathy for First Nations peoples if they’d just get jobs like everyone else.
  • Listening to people on the subway speaking in other languages gives her the giggles, since it all sounds like such gibberish anyway.
  • She shares how proud she is of having Jewish friends, given how that will help her in her career in the long term.

Do you:

  • Place your faith in her otherwise pleasant nature and attempt to gently correct her, hoping that through education you can help?
  • Assume that she’s kidding, because holy shit, who thinks like that in this day and age?
  • or crack The Hollow Tooth?

You see?  Just about the cleanest solution to any of the stickiest situations.  Remember, spies don’t hollow out their teeth and fill them with poison for fun — they do it because at some point, it’s going to be the only way out of the worst they’ll ever face.

And while you may wake up alive the next day, there’s no reason you have to remember the night before.  Just keep your options open, meet in a place where you can always get a cab, and keep your Hollow Tooth in reserve.

  • MtC

    Hey, I think I may be able identify the “prime example” of each — score! That calls for a victory cocktail for me ^_^

    • Mike

      Ha ha ha! We shall have to put that to the test, with proper booze as the stakes.

  • Kristie

    Oh my god. Oh no. With the exception of about 5 extra percentage points of body fat, I AM the Crushinator. No wonder Eharmony told me I had “no matches” for the four months I used it (and no, I’m in no way kidding. Out of their bazillion lonely people, not ONE of them was compatible with my–apparently bizarre–personality). I’m legitimately ashamed.

    • Mike

      Have you ever told someone that you’d have no respect for them if they didn’t have the courage to jump from an airplane? Or that you’ve got nothing if people don’t think you look good naked?

      Believe me, you have NO IDEA how badly I needed this drink on my outing with The Crushinator.

  • Kristie

    I have not said those things, no. But probably have said something like them while drinking–for shock value, obviously.

    I’m glad you got yourself a Tina.

    • Mike

      Ah, rum-soaked shock value is not the same as vodka-and-salad sincerity, trust me.

      And believe you me, I am never more appreciative of my Tina than when I reminisce about the dating days.

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