You know how much I love writing about sex, drugs and the stupidity of our society, but today, I wanted to share this amazing story about "paying it forward." This way I can say that I hit all of your senses this week. Besides, it's a very slow news day, so far.
Anyway, this is Brian Maixner from Wichita, Kansas. He recently received a tip that changed his life probably forever. A generous patron at the Doo-Dah Diner, only met Maixner one time, forked over an estimated $25,000 for a much needed set of dentures. Maixner actually told the New York Daily News, "It's so great. It's a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I just have this new appreciation for my health."
Maixner's employer, the Doo-Dah Diner (God, I hate that name for a diner!), posted this heartwarming photo that juxtaposed Maixner's new pearly whites with his previous, less appealing smile, which was filled with tooth decay. The customer, Fred Boettcher, saw Maixner's embarrassing condition while eating at the diner in January and offered to help on the spot. Maixner said the man was of Christian faith, which he believes was the root of his charity. He recalled, "He had a lot of dental issues as a kid and told me 'I can do this and I should do it.'"
Maixner, a 43-year-old single father, said his family couldn't afford dental treatment when he was young and his teeth really began to deteriorate over the last half-dozen years. They made him self-conscious about his appearance, though he said it never affected his work, where he has been a food server for 20 years. Timrie Shibley, who owns the diner with her husband Patrick, said she has never received a customer complaint about Maixner, but she did confess to worrying whether someone would bring up the appearance of his teeth. That was her initial thought a few months back, when Boettcher approached her to ask about helping Maixner. She said, "He just said, 'I know this sounds crazy, but I want to help him.' He said he had done this for nine or 10 other people, and has lived a blessed life and wanted to help." Shibley was overcome with emotion, and when she told Maixner the news she said the two hugged and cried.
Maixner received a set of dentures on March 2 and will be fitted for permanent implants at the end of the year. For a man who never had dental work done, it required an adjustment on his part. Maixner said he is now learning how to speak and feel comfortable with his new teeth. When he first went back to work with his new smile last Wednesday, regular customers quickly noticed. They call said, "Wow!" He says that he's even saying it and can't stop looking in the mirror in disbelief.
What did we learn from this, boys and girls? Floss regularly, brush your teeth and visit your damn dentist! Not everyone has a Fred Boettcher to help them out, though I can use him right about now. Anyway, take care of your teeth or you too can one day look like Brian Maixner.