Peg check

It can happen to any of us.┬áDon’t deny it, it’s probably happened to you too. You’re invited to a gala dinner, or sitting at a wedding table with at least 5 other people you don’t know that well, you’ve just finished the prime rib, or that tasty baby arugala salad with the raspberry vinaigrette, and you get that panicky feeling when you realize you have something stuck between your teeth and, can everyone else see it too???

It feels like it’s the size of a 2×4 and you are now convinced you’ve become that person no one wants to talk to because you have something stuck in your teeth. Maybe you’ve noticed people averting their gaze, or making casual hand movements towards their own mouths as if trying to telegraph a message to you with their body language.

Well, fear not – there is a quick and easy way to check this without needing a mirror and you probably are carrying around the solution in your pocket right now, or possibly reading this on it: your phone.

Of course you can always get to the bathroom and sort yourself out there, but sometimes the bathrooms aren’t available (or, as in the photo here, you’re on a boat cruise where there’s only one bathroom and no mirror in it when you finally get in there).

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Get a tooth pick, or if none are available and you are really in a pinch, a sturdy business card (your own, unused and you will discard this when done).
  2. Find a secluded area – anywhere. In the worst case, turn and face the wall. Or pretend you are taking a photo of the crowd but flip the camera so it faces you.
  3. Smile – widely. As in the photo above, you need to show everything you’ve got to make sure you don’t miss anything. You know your own teeth.
  4. Do the deed. Once you’ve identified the offending food matter, raise your hand holding the toothpick hidden in your palm with just the tiniest tip extruding, facing your mouth, and as quickly as possible, remove whatever it is that was stuck there.
  5. Throw away the tooth pick (or the business card you may have had to use on edge). Do not put either back in your pocket. Drink a glass of water, and return to the party where you can once again smile comfortably.

If all of this sounds too complicated you can always ask your photographer to take a shot for you and show you the result. It happens. Trust me.


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Julian Haber Photographer
Julian Haber is an events, corporate portraits and conference photographer based in Montreal. He is the author of a book on freelancing and runs a busy boutique agency of creative professionals in the fields of photography, videography and design. |