Twenty-six years before Julia Roberts won an Oscar, her hometown dentist made a pledge to his young patients: If any of them won such a grand prize, he would give every child in Smyrna, Ga., a tube of toothpaste.
Now, it's payoff time for Dr. Ted Aspes.
"I had two families waiting for me in the parking lot when I got here this morning," Aspes said Monday in Smyrna, Ga., the day after Roberts won the best actress award for "Erin Brockovich."
By late afternoon, Aspes had given out hundreds of tubes of mint-flavored Crest.
The dentist, whose long-ago pledge also covered honors such as the Grammy, Heisman trophy and Rhodes scholarship, was not caught by surprise. He expected Roberts to win.
"I ordered 10,000 tubes last week," he said. "I usually order a few hundred. My distributor called and said, 'Hey, doc, are you sure there isn't a comma in the wrong place?' "