My $550.00 “Free Chips & Salsa” Story

It was one of those days that I got out of work just a little later than normal. Heather was out with the girls picking up a few things for the house so we decided to just meet up at TGI Fridays for dinner.  Being “Stripes Friends,” Heather made it a point to get our free chips and salsa.  We ordered our drinks and “free chips” which our waitress brought out promptly.  I took my first bite of chips as we ordered our meals – hunger was really setting in now!

Heather and I shared a few stories about our days as we waited for our entrees, and that is when it happened!  That last chip sure was hard!!  Wait a minute, that’s not chip I am crunching on!  While Heather looked on (appearing slightly disgusted), I worked the contents of my mouth into my fingers. Y ep, I was right.  That’s not a chip, it’s part of my TOOTH!

Before I could say little more than, ‘I just broke my tooth’, Heather was already calling our dentist.  Two interesting points here: 1) the dentist office was literally less than .25 miles down the same road, so I had that going for me, and 2) Heather apparently has them on speed dial.  They agreed to see me if I could get their quickly, so off I went.

They immediately knew me when I walked in and told me it would only be a short wait.  After only a few minutes the office manager came out to get me.  He escorted me to the treatment room and even gave me a quick exam and took the x-rays himself.  I would never have guessed that he would have been trained in these areas, but at that point I was pretty much just grateful they saw me so late in the day.  The next thing I knew, two dental assistants and my normal dentist entered the room.  I handed my dentist the piece of my broken tooth I had fished out of my mouth to which she thanked me with a slight hint of a laugh in her voice.  Her exam confirmed the obvious – I had broken my tooth, but not just a simple break – it had fractured down the root. So another x-ray to be sure and then the fun started.

A few shots of Novocain, some drilling, cleaning, prodding & poking, a dental impression – no make that two dental impressions, a temporary crown, and $520.00 payment later, I was “all set.”  By now it was after 8:00pm and I was still starving but the numbest I had ever been.  I texted Heather I was finally on my way home!

Now you may have caught the fact that I entitled this short story “My $550.00 Free Chips and Salsa”, but only paid the dentist $520.00, so let me explain.  As I had left TGI Fridays, I somewhat jokingly told Heather to mention to our waitress that I had broken my tooth and had to leave, which she did. Heather had them pack the entire dinner to go and brought it all home.  Without the slightest bit of sympathy, they had charged her the full check – $29.90, which brought the total of our “free chips and salsa” to $550.00 (I rounded up).


And if you were wondering, yes, I did eat it – numb mouth and all.  There was no way I wasn’t going to enjoy my money’s worth, but that’s just…

This Dad’s View

Do you have any “fun stories” of dining mishaps or dental trauma? I would love to hear them!

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