The Scariest Man Alive

M~ p17ma01/11p clr/teethI do not have much nerve.  The only way I can muster the strength to visit the dentist is banking on a comforting mask of laughing gas.  I have trouble brushing my teeth without going into a session of dry heaves.  With that in mind I fear that one little miss-move and I’ll barf right there in the dentist’s chair.

Forced to make this visit as I had recently bitten down on a loose filling while I dined in a Prague restaurant, I plopped myself down in the chair and tried to act cheerful, friendly, even comfortable.

After I had nasally absorbed a good dose of gas and thinking I might prefer this to a Margarita, Francis, my dentist of 40 years, entered the room and flipped me and the chair upside down.  While his nurse hung two hoses on my bottom teeth and Francis dragged the corner of my lip to the side and slid a shot of novocaine into my gum, I focused on breathing through my nose.

“Are you comfortable?” he softly asked.

“Uh bow ash confurbl af eye ca bee wa oo hans eh da bic awf maw roat.”

“Now, I’m going to bump you a little bit.”

Grrrrrrrrr  Grrrrrrr  Grrr  Grrrrrrrrr Buuuu  Buu Bu  Bu  Grrrrrrr  Buuu

Will I have enough tooth left to hold a new filling?

In my gas induced state, I overhear the dental assistant: “You know where they play that really bad country and western music.”

Really, I think.  If there’s bad country music, then there must be good.  I’ve never heard it.

Soon I am tap, tap, tapping, grind, grind, grinding on a black strip of tape and finding myself flipped upright.

As I exit, I cheerfully try to inform the receptionist that I hope I never see them again.

I feel as if I have a quilt stuck in the side of my mouth, but I still wonder how long it will be before I can crunch on salsa and chips or Jordan almonds.

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