I have often wondered where certain phrases came from, and in the course
of my travels across the country I have discovered that the original phrase
is often quite different from the common phrase. Such was the case when
I settled into the hamlet of Marson, nestled in the Green Mountains of
The population there was aged, quite aged, and the townsfolk could not remember a time when it was different. Perhaps because of their age, they had their own names for things. For example, the people who cooked the food in restaurants were called "Ceflements." And they didn't call dentures "false teeth." They called them "chomps."
It was the custom of the denizens of Marson to eat out often. For this reason, the town had more restaurants than I had ever seen. And the competition was fierce; a bad meal in Marson was hard to come by. But it was the response of the Marson public to a quality meal that I found most surprising. Each table had a dish that, as far as I could tell, served no useful purpose. But at the end of an exceptional meal, a customer would remove his or her dentures -- everyone in Marson wore dentures -- and place them on the plate, as if to say "This was the finest meal these teeth could have, and there's just no point in wearing them anymore; I should present them, as a gift, to the person who created this wondrous meal."
They would then hand the plate to the waiter or waitress, saying "My chomps to the Ceflement."
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