Pop Culture Affidavit Episode 110: Smile
Puck, pucklechurch affidavit episode, one hundred ten smile. Solution. beat. Exchange? Hello, and welcome to episode one hundred ten of Pop culture affidavit, the podcast takes a look at everything random in the world of popular culture, which is brought to you by the to true freaks Internet radio network I'm your host Tom Tanneries? So after a great conversation about Fox, reality shows with Amanda. And then epic look at the life, death and return of Donna Troy. I'm back to comics. This time. I'm not GONNA do anything as involved. As dissecting the confusing continuity of everyone's favorite teen Titan, the work I'm going to be looking at us. Actually a lot different than the superhero were comics monthly books that I've looked at in the past. It's actually a full graphic novel, and it's a full graphic novel that is geared toward young adult audiences, but it is incredibly popular. It's actually one of the best selling graphic novels of the last decade, or so, and that his smile by Raina tell. I'm going to be taking. You guys books history. It's impacted the graphic novel market as well as its impact on its readers. But I'm also going to be doing along with that Watson ops review the things you expect getting into. Why I actually chose to look at this, because it's not the type of thing that you would expect me to cover on this show, I tend to speak to things that are things I have been a fan of things from my youth as in the eighties nineties so again why Oyi a graphic novel from the? Twenty tens. Well you'RE GONNA. Find out you'RE GONNA. Find out quite a bit and I'm going to be doing it after this trailer, so listen to this promo and come back for smile. You'd like cheap comic books right. Lime Professor Alan. And I talk about cheap comic books on the quarterback podcast and every episode all dissect a single comic from my collection. As long as I paid no more than twenty five cents for the issue. Forget about four dollar new comics that you can read in four minutes or crossover events that can cost a hundred bucks to collect. Join me in the quarter been were even bad comics bargain. And good ones are steal. The quarterback podcast is part of the relatively Geeky podcast network. visit us at relatively Geeky podcast dot blogs dot, dot, com, or search, relatively geeky or quarterback podcast tonight tunes. I guarantee it'll be worth every penny. Don't when I was younger. My mom notice, but thank God the. Shooting puppies with a BB. From got bit. Back head. Zeke. Go wait. Hits. The. Fan! Will. Be. Your temperament's bald. Beyond. Smile is written and drawn by rain, attell Ghimire and was released in February of twenty ten. Something, I found interesting about the author was that she was born on May? Twenty, six, thousand, nine, hundred, seventy seven, and that's almost a month before me, my birthday, June, twenty, third, one, thousand, nine, hundred, seventy seven. SALGA Myers. So well known and popular as a author that her fans know her by her first name, and her graphic novels have sold tremendously since she began drawing adaptations of the baby sitters club books back in two thousand eight. At this point in twenty twenty, she has five original graphic novels, their smile, which came out in twenty ten sisters and two thousand twelve drama in twenty fourteen ghosts in two thousand sixteen and guts in twenty nineteen smile, which was the first of the autobiographical graphic novel trilogy that also includes Sisters and guts actually started as a web comic within it got picked up by scholastic where she turned it into the full length. Graphic novel that I'm going to be talking about. It is sold tremendously with one point five million copies in print, and in twenty eighteen, which is eight years after it was published, it was still selling nearly one hundred fifty thousand units. That made it number eight on the year end sales list with drama and sisters, being number seven and nine respectively. Now I guess I should point out that telomeres publisher is scholastic They have an enormous presence, not only in graph in the graphic novel market, but in the children's and young adult literature market they after all do publish Harry Potter I believe. And of course all of us who went to school in the eighties and nineties, and even some people who might be younger still due to a certain extent, remember the Scholastic Book Club Flyer something that been mentioned more than one time over required reading. I don't know about you, but I lived for that thing in elementary school. And when we when actually got to order something, it was a real treat, so that's the company that puts those together. They put the Book Fairs Together, which are very popular, middle schools and they publish smile. So they have a huge presence in both graphic novels in the literature market, and I should also point out by the way to those of you who might care about these things from the Info for the previous paragraph that the the sales I was pointing out was traditional bookstore sales, and not necessarily comic book store sales. demons best selling graphic novel lists take look a lot different, and they tend to include Superhero content content by Marvel DC an image that might be non superheroes well, and some other comics publishers, the comparison between the popularity of Comic Book Graphic novels or Graphic Novels and trade paperbacks in Elsie S.'s through diamond, and that market and the bookstore, market, your Barnes and noble your Amazon your independent booksellers. That's like an episode in itself. Because there is a in some cases, there is such a big disparity I. Give Credit for my to my lcs. Telegraph Comics Charlottesville that they do not shy away from the smile. The guts rate until the Myers they are very much forward on promoting that because they want young readers to come into their store so I remember when guts came out last year. They, were posting messages about hey, we're GONNA get. MORE IN WE'RE GONNA get more rain because they didn't want people. You know they don't WanNA, lose. They don't WANNA lose business to Barnes and noble if they don't have to, but anyway the point being that I'm making here as I kind of ramble is that it's a it's an episode in itself be. It's kind of tough to research sales figures aren't always up to date and accurate like I said the Seltzer I had one hundred and fifty, thousand, roughly one forty nine seven something in twenty, eighteen couldn't really find anything for twenty nineteen. And A. Good discussion have professor Alan for instance, because we've had more more than one conversation about this, the market and and sales, and how things are going and how to diversify in how you look at these figures and stuff and I think Shaq's been involved in those as well so we might have to bring him on, but anyway. Looking at the raw numbers bookstore comic store. Whatever we've got one point. Five million copies sold in ten years still maintaining a three hundred fifty thousand copies. A year at that is outstanding for any book. Let alone a graphic novel and not only was smile a hit when it came out. The? Book received positive reviews. The New York Times said it was a story to comfort readers traversing years between childhood and adulthood, Qurqus mean did an editor's choice and call the your assistant funny and touching with strong writing and emotionally expressive characters, the also listed as one of the best twenty two nonfiction books for teens. The School Library Journal called it an excellent addition to middle school literature. And it was included as one of four great graphic novels for family entertainment. In two, thousand, ten, the Christian Science Monitor the book on quite a number of awards. It won the two thousand ten Boston Globe. Horn book honor for fiction. In Two thousand eleven, the book won the Eisner for best publication for teens. It was one of the Young Adult Library Services Association Y'All says twenty eleven top ten great novels for Teens and twenty. Eleven Association for Library Service to Children's notable children's Book for Middle Readers and twenty thirteen at one, the intermediate young reader's Choice Award from Washington and the twenty thirteen rebecca. Claude ill young readers book award from Illinois It also won the twenty fourteen Nevada young reader award. And that's quite a bit of praise, and so the question then presents itself. What is it about smile? Why does it get so much praise? Well Let's get into that. Let's get into the plot of the book. All give a pretty thorough. Synopsis I can get I've got a review. Like, I, said I've got a whole thing toward the end of this episode as to. Why this book this episode, Right, now The novel takes place in San Francisco in the late nineteen eighty s and early nineteen ninety s begins in nineteen, eighty nine, and it begins with a Spring Nineteen eighty-nine visit to the dentist where Raina wearing her girl scout uniform gets her picture taken, and not only has a concert with the orthodontist, but finds out that she's going to need braces to fix her over bite. She's concerned about the braces and wonders why she needs them in the first place, but her mom insists but well. Yeah, you do need them. Unfortunately, her younger sister yells. She's going to be a metal mouth. She heads to her girl Scout, meeting and some of her friends tell her that having braces isn't so bad although they do go down the list of all the things, rain won't be able to eat because of her braces. You've ever had braces. You can picture this popcorn gum gummy candy corn on the COB. I remember having to have my bagels cut up, so they were in like wedges because I couldn't rip the Bagel off the off the thing on the way home from the girl Scout Meeting. However, she racist her friends to her front door, and as she's doing it trips and falls, and she lands on her face, and winds up knocking out her two front teeth. Rina's rushed to her orthodontists office and she has emergency dental surgery to help save the teeth something that seems like a weird dream to her. The next morning she wakes up with a cast on her teeth. That were help them. Heal and set in place. The next week. She returns to school and when a teacher asks her to tell the class what happened. She's immediately accosted by her classmates who want to Gawk at the cast and Badger her about what happened. But another week goes by. The orthodontist removes the cast only to discover that. Her. Two front teeth have settled back into her mouth, but they went further up into the gums than the rest of her teeth, so it looks like there are only grown halfway in not only that there's a lot of nerve damage we over here. The doctor telling her parents that they're doing their best to make sure that Raina doesn't have to wear dentures. Age Twelve at her next girl scout meaning arena shows everyone. Her teeth, and one of her friends makes a comment that the pigtails. She's wearing combined with the tooth problem. Make her look like a baby. It's something that Mesa feel incredibly self conscious, and it's the impetus for her. Asking her mom. She could have her ears pierced for twelve th birthday. The dental work meanwhile continues. Raina has root canals done to help repair nerve damage, and then she heads to the orthodontist for the braces which will include headgear. It begins with impressions and eventually ends with the brackets on her to Frattini's which are incredibly uncomfortable and even painful. But on the bright side she does get her ears pierced. The school year ends with Raina. Wondering why more boys don't like her? And her, also having a classmate referred to her as vampire girl when she signed her yearbook. The summer goes by. She gets her headgear. Then she heads to seventh grade. were she almost immediately gets a crush on a boy named Sammy, who is in her band class and has a crush on her. THAT OCTOBER! She and her family experienced the nineteen eighty-nine San Francisco earthquake, which famously took place during the world series and destroyed a portion of the bay bridge. Everyone is okay in recovers although they find it hard to concentrate on much of anything and get back to normal in the first few days after. Sami like I said likes her. And he tries to ask her out, but she heads off dutifully to her next orthodontist appointment when he does not realizing that he wanted to ask her out. Until? She's walking to his. At her next appointment, those she gets an update on how the tooth project is going, and it's not good. It seems that using braces to pull her. Two teeth down isn't working because those teeth are fused to the bone in her jaw. So. What they'll have to do is pull out her two front teeth and use braces to drag the others over to close the gap. In the meantime she'll get a temporary set of false teeth are fitted to a retainer, and that takes place over her Christmas break. It's a big confidence booster for her, and she returns to school feeling that she can smile normally at people, although at one point, her teeth do fall out while she's talking to her friends, and it freaks them out a little bit. Still it seems like things are going much better while Sammy still likes her. She seems to have a bigger crush on Sean from the basketball team. She does tell Sami that she'll be the Valentine's Day dance, but when she shows up, her stomach feels terrible, and she goes home that terrible feeling in the stomach by the way is a symptom of. Her ongoing struggles with things like anxiety and IBS, and those things 'cause the closet, and that is the subject of her third autobiographical graphic novel guts, which I also going to recommend it's. It's really really funny, so the day after the Valentine's Day dance. Sammy gives her believed Valentine's Day present. It's a big. Heart of chocolate candies. And after she kind of blows him off, saying you know all open it later, and doesn't it open it right there? He realizes that he has no chance and he's really hurt doesn't speak to her again. orthodontist tells Raina. That retainer has been doing its job, and she's ready for the full set of braces, this upsets her, and eventually we do move from seven to eighth grade where she continues to have her wired up mouth, but when she returns to school, she notices how much all of her friends have changed in how everyone has become awkward in their own way. Although the boys you know they do continue to mature so some things stay the same right. Eighth grade continues to be a navigation of things beyond dental issues, friends, boys hormones. She begins to feel a little distant from her usual group of friends, though and that comes to a head toward the beginning of ninth grade, when the two of them Nicole Karen Pants her while she's waiting in a vending machine line. She tells them off ditches. That group finds respite in her art and then makes new friends. A few weeks into her sophomore year, the big day arrives. Her teeth have been moved over. A bond has been placed on the two front ones, and now she's going to get her braces off. She's a little freaked out by how weird she thinks they look, but her parents and friends assure her that she looks fine. She narrates while her life didn't dramatically change after that she did begin to find what she loved to do and was passionate about. Most of her attention to that and the final scene of the book is Rena. Dance and smiling for photo. Now, this isn't the first time I've covered one of telomeres books. If you head on over to required reading with Tom and Stella, the literature podcast that I co host with well what Stella 'cause. That's in the title. We covered drama in episode twenty one. In that one I. Know that we both talked about how we teach students who are right in the core audience for books readership. She teaches middle schoolers I teach high school freshman, and I know that I've heard a number of my freshman as well as my twelve year old son say they've read all of graphic novels. I managed to grab a copy of the book last summer when my colleagues and I were cleaning out the department book room, it was a loan copy and I was working on building a classroom library so. It went on my classroom bookshelf. It must have sat up there for a few months before I finally decided to actually read it. I read drama by that point I read it a couple of times and while I. Don't think that this is at a ninth grade. Reading levels or wouldn't teach this book. I picked it up. Because well, I was curious. Maybe some of the kids might WanNa read it as well or borrow it because. After all you're looking at a book that has been consistently selling in the hundreds of thousands for the better part of a decade. I really wanted to figure out like what is it about this book that people like so much and I know I'm not the target audience, but I went into reading with that thought in my head and I also did try to take more critical or objective. Look at it while reading it because that's a question that does beg to be asked. Is this a good story for teens and tweens? Is it a good story over all I can say that the answers to both questions are resounding, yes. I'll start with art and I'll get to the story afterward. Only because I don't have much to say about the art and I have more to say about the actual story. Because the arts, really great. Tell, Ghimire has a style that is very Charles Schultz. Were at least has those influences. And, since I've been a longtime of peanuts, that's a huge plus for me. Furthermore, each character while drawn in particular in that particular style still has two distinct luck, body, type and personality. She also makes the settings seem realistic as possible within the cartoony -ness of the world, while the dental work isn't gory. By any means, we definitely get the sense of how irritating and sometimes excruciating, it is and Rina's awkwardness is on full display in a way that makes you feel for her and also laugh along with her. Tell Ghimire also does a great job of working with panels about four to five per page. A layup that read that utilizes the format really really well speaking of format, this was published in a five and a half by eight inch size, which smaller than your average comic book or trade, but I believe is actually very close to like a Manga collection and considering how popular those were in twenty ten, when this was published and to a certain extent, they still are with teenagers. that's a great choice on the part of I. Don't know if it was her choice or scholastic, but really really smart. Kinda grouping with all the other types of. Size books that the kids were reading at the time now. Formatting side really great artwork. The artwork that matches the tone of the story creates the mood. It's light, but it had heavy when it has to be. An is really really expressive all that aside. Let's talk story and characterization. This is a memoir. But even memoirs need to have the elements of a fictional narrative because you're still telling a story within the memoir. The accident with rain teeth and her repeated dental work serve as an anchor to what is a larger story about surviving middle and early high school, or if you went to one like I did junior high. She uses the progression of the school year and the progression of her dental visits to mark time. And she also sheds light on how her physical characteristics affect her emotionally and socially. Not only that I think that this is shown using a fair amount of realism and even nuance, which is something that you don't often get or expect from the middle school survival genre. Raina has crushes on boys, and she has friends who don't treat her particularly well, but we don't see her. Coming up with some hair brained scheme to get a guy like her or going to war with the mean girls. We see all of this in a more everyday context. No This is not all particularly cinematic. It's not even dramatic to see her. Make it through the mundanity of the school year. But honestly that's the book strength. This isn't an indulgence in some sort of revenge of the NERDS, fantasy or pretty in pink fairy tale. It's more about an awkward girl. Finding place something that I think all of us. Boy Or girl has struggled with at one point or another. Okay I know, that's too general of a statement because I know, there are people out there. Who are the beautiful people? The ones who never had to struggle to fit in and I know there are people out there who had to struggle in a much harder way. Than what we see in this novel for various reasons, but even so I think that a lot of people can still identify with her. We can identify with being about twelve or thirteen and straddling that line between your childhood and burgeoning young adulthood, which we see at the girl scout meeting immediately following her accident when her friends point out that along with her missing front teeth. Her pigtails maker looked like a little kit. We see it in her shyness. Around Sami and Sean and the stress that having this crushes causes her, and we definitely see it in her friendships. especially the ones that deteriorate as you move from the the end of the sixth grade. All the way to ninth grade I was not just rooting for Rena through the entire book. I was genuinely happy for her when I read the scene where her friends pants her, and then she finally tells them off. It's done really well, too. As it happens in ninth grade, so by then we've had more than two full school years a significant amount of the novel to see these relationships with. are four girls, Karen Nicole Emily in Kayla develop from when we first see them sitting around a table and a girl scout meeting the night that Raina has her accident to that point. And I know I already described the scene a little bit in the synopsis, but I wanted to go a little bit more in depth. Here Serena is at lunch. And when she opens her backpack and people see the toothpaste. She carries along with the rubber bands for her braces, just kind of like I gotta go into the bathroom after lunch and kind of cleanup and reattach these things Karen makes fun of her for carrying toothpaste because she has to cover up her dog breath. Then Raina goes and get some food from vending machine, or at least she gets in line then when she standing in line at at the patio, the school here she's wearing a t shirt and a skirt with leggings underneath the Nicole. Karen run up and yanked the skirt down. In four panels we get those few seconds like after it happened, were she? Just kind of looks down in this look like wait. What just happened and then the shock of realizing what happened and then her yanking her pants and running away to hide in the bathroom. After, that happens. Emily and Kayla were not the ones who pulled down her pants run into the bathroom and they find her crying stall. Say All you know. Nicole and Karen were just playing around right. Rainer. Replies. That's not the point. The humiliated me. Emily says, but you have to admit it was kind of funny. And so this sets her off. She storms out of the stall, and then she storms out of the bathroom, and then when she sees the other two girls, she says you WanNa reaction for me. Find Karen I'm not a dog Nicole I'm not a vampire and I'm not gonNA. Let the rest of your disrespect me anymore. I'm done goodbye. She leaves an hourly that she spends the rest of the book, not being friends with them. This is where I- oddly found myself being really proud of her. Because it's something I could never do. I've written about this other spaces and I probably will at some point in the future as well. I spent a lot of time in junior high high school, and even college being the person in the group who seemed to be kept around because everyone else needed someone to make fun of. And I certainly heard those lines. We were just joking. Why do you have to take everything so seriously and take a joke lines more than I can count and I suppose if I go back throughout my life from the time I was about eleven or twelve, and litigating every single instance where I heard that phrase there would be definitely times when I brought it on myself. I was awkward I was Klutzy. I tried way too hard to fit in and get people to like me. You know as if I was trying to make up for the fact that some governing body of social existence had decreed that I would never be cool and I really wanted to be cool I. Know that really doesn't matter in the long run, but I bring it up here because we see Raina go through something very similar, but she not only tells her friends to shove it. It, she never comes back to them. She doesn't make up with them. And that's really key. Because often, that's what happens. In fact, what often does happen is the opposite of what she does. The person who is mad eventually makes up with those friends who treated them terribly, and they're more or less gas lighted into believing that. Yes, they overreacted and they can't take a joke. Again I speak from experience here, but if that were the only thing about this graphic novel about a teenage girl that spoke to me a forty three year old guy. I don't think I'd be talking about our podcast. I still enjoy it. I would have thought it was a great message for young people, especially for those who are dealing with issues of awkwardness and self esteem in the exile, body, and even depression that can come with them. Know. What hit home for me and what kept me coming back? To the book. What kept coming back to me. Is the third panel of page one zero five. Right in the center of the page rain is at the dentist and she gets new retainer. That's going to be. It's going to help us. Get the fake teeth on it. It's GONNA stabilize teeth. And what it looks like it looks like your classic retainer, but instead of a wire attached to a plastic plate. You know what I'm talking about. There are two false teeth on the front of that wire. I looked at that. I had to look twice. Because that's exactly what I had when I was thirteen. My history with dentists who already pretty extensive by the time I was thirteen years old. I did the typical cleanings and checkups when I was a kid, but when I was in the third grade. My regular dentist told my parents that I had a couple of problems. One I headed over bite. And that meant that I was going to have to get braces and to my baby teeth were falling out on schedule. Now I can tell you that the ladder of those. That's actually not a big deal. Nowadays, my kid had a similar problem. They took forever to fall out. He actually lost his last baby like a year or so ago. But his dentist was fine with letting it all happen. Just geologists let them fall out. It's OK. You See. My kid didn't grow up in the eighties. Didn't do that. No I grew up in the eighties. My baby teeth wouldn't fall out so I was sent to an oral surgeon for the extraction of twelve teeth or the course of five years. Yet twelve. Eight baby teeth and my wisdom teeth. Not only that. I was completely conscious through all of it, so there was no putting me completely under there was no laughing gas or anything like that. People in my generation didn't do the whole video of you know the person in the backseat of the car like tripping out because they're on the nitrous still and they're like what? which by the way is really freaking? Cruel and I hate those videos because it's just a way to ridicule somebody publicly for the fact that I don't know. They had oral surgery like it's not funny. Stop doing. It's your friends. Stop doing it to your kids. Okay off my soapbox. So anyway, no laughing gas, no anesthesia. What am I, Dr Do my doctors shoved the needle up into my gums numb me up and took a pair of pliers. A yanked my teeth out of my mouth. The local anesthetic meant it wasn't completely medieval. But I have to tell you was damn close. There's nothing like the sound of the crunch of pliers around your tooth, and the feeling of your entire head being pulled forward as that tooth is taken from you followed by the site of the bloody gauze that they keep replacing because you're bleeding into your mouth from where they pull the tooth and all of that when you're eight. But Hey? At least they gave me coding after everything was over, and I was allowed to eat carnation instant breakfast for three days, or so at before I could finally solid food again, so there's that. And all of that and adenoid removal surgery by the way, and that was supposed to include my tonsils, but my own don system pediatrician got into this whole fight about it. So I still have my tonsils, my pediatrician by the way as an aside. He wanted like nasty divorce or some sort. He literally fled the country with his daughter. At least this is what piece together over the years overhearing my parents but I remember that like his office staff call up all the patients and said were released. We're only releasing records on like this at this time. And I stood in line with my dad to get them and the line staff of patients to get this the records. Everybody's records from this guy's office went out of the office out of the building and down the block of the building that day like we were all lined up for phantom menace, tickets or something. I'm pretty sure that's illegal, but again people got away with all sorts of crappy eighties that I'm I'm not surprised that that's what happened. Anyway back on topic I had twelve teeth pulled. My adenoids were taken out, not my tonsils. And I ended up getting sets off braces on my top my bottom teeth all in elementary school, so when I head off to junior high school in the fall of Nineteen eighty-nine I'm done with dental work. Until June twenty-fifth nineteen ninety. So this two days after my thirteenth birthday, I've been hanging out with my friend Tom for most of the day. We've been swimming because it was summer and this what you do in summer in the suburbs. At the end of the day we head to my grandmother's house. Both my parents are working. My grandmother lived a few streets over from my house, so we wrote our bikes everywhere. And when my dad called my grandma to say that he was home, my sister Tom and I got an our bikes and we headed for my house. I realize this is me giving little work till you probably need to know about the story, but as far as setting is concerned, actually reason for telling you that we were a few blocks away and that there were two routes to take from my grandmother's house to my house Tom and I decided to race each other. I would go one way he would go the other way we would see who got there quicker. And that meant that I was by myself, and I was traveling pretty fast when the bag of wet swim close that I was holding in my left hand got caught in the spokes of my bike. To this day. I, don't know what happened. Because even thirty years later, actually have a gap in time here. All I remember was turning the corner from poplar street onto Colton Avenue and then. Waking up on an exam table in the civil urgent. Care Clinic screaming in pain. So how that bag caught! My spokes is a complete mystery to me. It's likely I just slipped out of my hand and fell at just the right angle. Instead of you'll falling just right onto the ground. But what I do know happened is that I crashed the bike? And instead of falling out sideways, and wiping out that way or just going kind of head over heels over the handlebars. My face went into the center of the handlebars. So the part of the handlebar where there's a there's a joint that attach the handlebars to the rest of the frame of the bike. To of my bottom teeth were chipped and my two top front teeth were knocked out. One of the teeth simply came out the other went through my upper lip, and it lift a huge hole underneath my right nostril. My. Sister found me and the woman who lived in a nearby house, helped her, either call my dad or call nine one one, and that's how I got into the Urgent Care Clinic I was rushed to the hospital. Put into quick emergency surgery to patch the hole in my in my lip, and after all the swelling went down, I ended up going back to all my dentists. Because well I'd completely destroyed all the orthodontia that have been done to elementary school. One of my bottom teeth by the way was so badly damaged that it was pulled. Not Extraction was not as bad as the others, but it does make a Baker's dozen of extractions so there you go. The other tooth that was chip was bonded. I still actually have the bonding or had. The bonding replaced a few years ago because it had deteriorated. But after all that was done, the real work began. So I've described the fun of oral surgery, which was all sorts of Yanking 's and needles. To me though that didn't compare to the fun that was getting the dental impressions. I mean. It's actually featured in the book. and. It shouldn't be a big deal. You get a mouthguard with plaster. Put around your teeth for a minute. And that gives the orthodontist away to study your teeth and decide what they're going to do for you. My problem is that I have a horrible gag reflex. So just about every time I had impressions done when I was a kid. I threw up all over myself. Novacaine. No no problem pain. No problem vomit. I can't handle it. It was terrible. To the point where like? My orthodontist new after throw up, so she gave me a bucket to aim for because she knew it was likely going to happen, and there was at least one time where I throw up so badly. That I had to have the impressions redone because I she couldn't use the the dental impressions. I hated getting these I. Don't like them now. Anyway. Because I one point I had to have dental impressions in my adult adulthood, but I didn't throw up, so but at least I've gotten over the gag reflex. But the tears in vomit that accompanied this step. would be worth it in the long run because it did allow my orthodontist to figure out what she was GonNa do. That's where the fake teeth come in. She called it a flipper. It looks exactly like the one or looked exactly like the one that ran awareness in the book, except the hers was on a Retainer Wire, mine was just loose. It was molded to fit in my mouth, and I could use polygraph I felt, I needed it, but that stuff felt really weird, and I would only put it in what I felt like I. Really needed to keep it in my mouth, otherwise they just. Put the teeth in my mouth? I also used effort and. When I soaked it overnight while wearing this I had braces put on to move the other teeth over. The idea was that the flipper would slowly be shaved down as the gap in my mouth got tighter and tighter and tighter, and once they were in position. Those teeth that used to be I, think my canines reminds whatever would get veneers, so they were the correct size. It's exactly what happened by the way, but it took about three years to complete I, only wore the flipper with the fake teeth for about a year, but that happened to be the eighth grade, which is objectively the worst year of school for just about anyone I mean there's literally a movie called eighth, grade. That's about it. And what made things even worse was what had happened after lip so I'm gonNA. Throw a medical term it you here. It's called key Loyd. This is essentially an overgrown scar. The American Academy of Dermatologist describes a key Lloyd as Quote a type of raised scar unlike other racecars key Lloyd's grow much larger than the wound that caused the scar. If you've kilo improved skin, anything that can cause a scar may lead to a key Loyd. This includes a cut burner severe acne. Some people see a key Lloyd after they pierced ears or get a tattoo. Akilah can also form as a chicken pox scar, sometimes a skirt surgical. For instance, like what happened to me, becomes a key Lloyd. Key Lloyd usually takes time to appear after an injury, months can pass before the scar appears and a key Lloyd can also for more quickly wants it begins, it can enlarge slowly for months and years. So. That's what happened to the place under my right nostril where the tooth went through my lip. It seems a he'll okay at first, but then the scar hardened and tightened up into a big red lump. That sat there looking like a giant red pimple. And Look I know that chicks dig scars but I don't think they dig the type of scars that makes you look like a deformed Rudolph the red nosed reindeer. So I had to the eighth grade with to fake teeth. A huge scar under my nose and in already low status in the social pecking order I. Spend the entire. Your pining for girls who didn't know existed. And if they did, they probably thought, I was weird, and I struggle with a couple of classes. I think that might have happened. Had I not had the scarlet teeth, but? They just compounded everything. You know people would ask me if the scar hurting. Okay, that's a legitimate question. Because it was very read, it looked very angry and very painful. Wasn't legit was telling me that I should just pop it like it was as it or and I'm serious here. Offering to remove it using. Ice Cuban in exacto knife. And then once people beyond just my friend group found out about it and the accident, and the especially the teeth I was asked by all sorts of people. If I could take my teeth out and showed them now. You are probably asking the question. Why did you tell your friends that you had fake teeth well? They were my friends and I was under the impression that you could tell your friends about such things so that maybe that particular trauma wasn't a source of shame, and they could be supportive again. Things to myself. Anyway. I put up with that for a year, but right before I started the ninth grade, the teeth were taken off the flipper, and they were mounted on brackets and were just attached to the wire that was on my braces, so I had fake teeth, but they were right in my mouth, and they couldn't come out and there were few. Take your teeth out request at first, but once explained that they were on the brackets. I couldn't do it the stopped. Over the course of the ninth grade I had all of the fund that braces come with including rubber bands. That's something that rain. Illustrates and shows us in the in the book and there's such a pain. The are such a pain in the butt. You know hooking them up and having them like fly off the bracket in out into like wherever you're looking for the stupid rubber band that's fallen on the floor, such pain, so in the spring of tenth grade in this would be nineteen ninety three. Most three years after the accident. The fake teeth shave and shave down and taken out of my mouth so much because the other teeth had moved over. And my four top front teeth were fitted with porcelain veneers. Those veneers are actually still on my teeth. I have gap between my two front teeth because I got a retainer after this. And didn't wear it as much as I should have mainly because you know even though I regularly clean it. I got by my parents by the way that my breath was terrible and I stopped wearing the retainer because I just didn't WANNA, hear! Anyway. Again things to tell my therapist. The scar. The, teeth got taken care of in nineteen, ninety-three, three. The scar did as well, but it actually took a lot longer to finally close the book on that. It honestly wouldn't be until out. I was out of college. We had a hypothesis that puberty was at the root of the key Lloyd and that ended up proving. But again it took until I was almost done with college to prove it. There were two attempts at to remove it via what they call laser. Derby Abrasion where you put you out and they wack. Wack it off with the laser. One in the summer of ninety one the other in December of ninety one both of the Times a ski. Lloyd came back. And honestly became this thing you know like. You to surgeries to try to remove into Cape coming back. It was like I don't want to say. It was like controlling who I was, but it was so impossible for me to ignore it, and I have no idea if like the kids school like we're always looking at it or whatever I mean. I got comments about it, but at the same time it, it's blurry as to whether or not I made more of a big deal out of it than they did I mean. It's been almost thirty years, so that May. May have been the case. What I do, remember clearly was set. My parents wouldn't ignore it you even after the surgery. That really did fix it. Can I'm going to get to that in a minute? My Dad would like inspect it all the time I remember him flipping at one time when my friends and I were screwing around one of them shot a rubber band at me, and it hit me like right in the face, and he was screaming at me about you know protecting my face, and all these things like it. Made me like really really self conscious. They would like pictured a picture day at school because my parents were the people who actually ordered pictures instead of just like letting you put it in the yearbook. They would remind me every year to tell the tog refer to face me so that my left side was facing the camera as opposed to my rate and that way, you wouldn't get the scar in the picture as much. which is I, guess a finer quest, but at the same time like. The time they tilted you right? They tilted you so that you're right. Side was facing, so it kind of looked off in some of the yearbooks where I was facing a different direction that everybody else you know between that. Can you get that thing popped? I can take off for you. Let's see how this is looking. And every time I looked in the mirror this thing staring angrily at me I again. I was self conscious I was already awkward. I was already this Dork. This made it much much worse. I tried looking through my teenage journals which I still have. To see whether or not I had written anything like deep about the scar, if I really really got into how I was feeling about it. Did I pour my soul onto those pages about it. No not really There was a lot I. mean a lot of stuff written about girls. I was crushing on, but the only mentions of the scar were when I had the work done. Or that I was sick of seeing it on my face. I did write an entry on August. Twelfth, Nineteen. ninety-three and that was a week after I had plastic surgery. Yeah, you heard that. At sixteen I had plastic surgery. Can you get more boozy than that right? Anyway here's. He's the entry said. On August fifth. I had my scar removed for the third time. I went under the knife. Getting numbed up first, and then getting the scar, hacked off, and a piece of skin taken from behind my ear for a skin graft. I was then stitched up and everything for the next four days I was wearing a huge bandage over my face for the purpose of helping the graph because part of the skin I guess. On Tuesday we saw whether or not it took. It did, but we weren't out of the woods. I did not wear the bandage, but I did have to stick to my diet of liquids and soup as I had to do when the bandage was on me. Now today. I found out that the skin graph was hundred percent. Success ally cannot play rough activities. No more softball I have to Veg for the rest of the summer I'm able to once again. EAT solid food. I'll still have to do some medical crap in the future, but I don't mind. The ZIG is gone. Now I have to complete my second goal. My Learner's permit. that. Medical crap by the way was going to the plastic surgeons office every few months to get a steroid called catalog injected into the surgery site to keep the tissue from key leading. Had to wear a sheet of silicone over the scar and tape it down with an ace bandage while I slept. That meant that. Mornings. At least during first period I would have like this big line across my face, because I don't sleep sitting very still so I would be like rolling my head back and forth, and by like the third day wearing the same age, the bandaged become lake would roll up, so it would just kind of dig and dig align into my face. It will go away as the day went on. Thankfully, by the time we went off to college. Silicone Gel would go on the market and all I would have to do this like rub that on my scar, every night and that would. I don't know how it worked, but it formed enough of of covering that it would apply the pressure and keep that down and keep it from key leading. The injections the silicone. Gel in various forms lasted until the spring of my senior year of college. And as much as I don't remember the events of the accident in one, thousand, nine, hundred, ninety, I vividly remember the day I had my last appointment with the plastic surgeon. He put me in the exam chair. He took a look at my face. Getting Ready to see if he had to inject the site, he said that's it. We beat it. I had to ask them to repeat really like I. Don't have to like no. I don't have to see you again. Slick after five years nearly five years after getting the skin graft surgery and five years of treatments to prevent another Hugh Lloyd was finally okay. No more doctor visits. I still have a scar under minors. I still have the skin grafts car. It's not very noticeable. It's not very read or tanker anything. If you really look at me, you can see it. I see it obviously, sometimes I actually forget it's there sometimes i. Pack to a fidgeting with it will rub it. and honestly. I hadn't thought that I was going to be talking about this so much. But it with what is it being thirty years since that happened? and seeing that image in smile, which kind of triggered this, all of it resurfaced, and all the resources, the way I wasn't expecting. Reading Smile and to a lesser extent, sisters and guts made me feel like I have an odd kinship with Taga Meyer. In the very least I can truly empathize with a lot of what she's writing about and what she went through. She doesn't owe anything as a writer. Writer owes me anything. But serendipity kind of brought me here and I'm really glad it did. Smile is readily available just about anywhere. If. You're really interested in reading it. I would go to your local library. They probably have at least one maybe multiple copies. Or if you WANNA. Buy Lcs, has it? They can easily or for you know support those local businesses. Before I go onto my next. I have some feedback I have some facebook comments, etcetera on various episodes, I on Episode One oh five. That was the very special episode one. Ranger Gord commented though not about kids I also remember the mash up where winchester was taking the stuff. which was amphetamines. And dosed radars racing mice off Rob Kelley gotten around to that one yet. Gene Hendrix said I'm watching a very special episode of. Nine this morning, and it's right in line with all the other episodes you covered. It's called valiants. He provided a a link to it. And there is a comments on episode one eight from Michael Wagner about Amanda and I talking about Fox reality shows, and he says yea and Amanda Episode Let the Sas Commence. Really do appreciate that. In regards to episode one nine, which was last episode I have to give a shout out to Michael Bailey, who not only invited me to be? A part of the jail may crossover, but who had some really nice things to say about the episode itself on Twitter, and if you WanNa hear more of me and Michael Check out episode fifty of the Comics Reading Journal, over on the relatively, Geeky Network Mike and I talked to professor. Allen about uncollected and I and divesting. Divesting ourselves of our comics collections, it's a great episode overall. He's got a lot of great guests that a lot of great conversations on that episode it was really really fun to sit down and talk to both those guys of one more piece of feedback. This is actually a blog. Comment posted blog comment and it's actually usually I. Don't put these on. I did a bunch in episode one on one, but I really really wanted to put this on the episode here. It is a comment on my post from back on December thirty first of two thousand nineteen. This was my look at MTV's dawn of the decade. Hardy special. It is from Tracy P. She left this on May twentieth of Twenty Twenty and she says hello there. I was really interested to read this article, and I'm very pleased to be able to boast that. I was at the Palladium for the MTV dot of the Decade Party in one, thousand, nine, hundred nine. I was working as an open hair. New Jersey at the time and I was twenty three. So I'm ancient now. I've watched the video and it was great to see it as I've never seen before. The Party was actually held on New Year's. Eve was recorded in October or November. We all have to pretend it was new year's Eve. We even did a fake countdown. Some of the acts mingled with the audience afterward. My claim to fame is that I sat on the stairs and had quite a chat with Nayna. Cherry both being British. We were both quite homesick, and she was missing her young daughter, who was only a baby at the time. For me, Nina and the B, Fifty. Two's were the highlights of the night. Hardly anyone had heard of Lenny Kravitz than it was a great party I'll never forget it so I just wanted to share that comment because that's really cool to hear about a little bit of an insight into how the specials are put together and just the story about ninety Sherry that that s really really cool, so thank you tracy for leaving that comment. And that'll be it for me. Next up is an episode. IV, promised a few months ago Stella and I sat down and talked about the entire thirty issue image comics series paper girls. It was a great discussion, and you'll be able to hear that in a few weeks, and until then don't forget the send me feedback and support the show by leaving a review and sharing on social media, and as always thanks for listening. And take care. Thanks for listening to pop culture affidavit, which is produced by me Tom Pantries all clips or copyright, their respective copyright holders. Infringement is intended. This podcast is a part of the to true freaks. Internet radio network which you can find at two true freaks DOT com. If you like the show, please leave a review on apple podcasts. It helps the show get noticed by other people. Feedback by email can be sent to pop culture affidavit at G MAIL DOT COM for show, notes and essays and other random in the world of popular culture visit pop culture affidavit dot com. You can also follow the show on facebook at facebook dot com slash pop culture affidavit. And on twitter at bath. That's pop a F., F.. Thanks for listening and comeback next time for more pop culture randomness.