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Monday, 14 April
The Tooth of Crime

Because I am (a) a smoker, and (b) a willing pawn of the sinister global dental network, I went in today for my thrice-yearly cleaning/exam/ritual humiliation. For those of you who do not smoke, you can probably only imagine the terrifying psy-ops practiced on those of us who do by our dentists. "Still smoking, eh?" he says, staring intently at wriggling me. I respond with an obligatory sheepish look of the sort commonly found on those caught drowning kittens in a river. "Yeah, I guess . . . " I don't get to finish this thought because my dentist has curtly interrupted. "I guess you don't care that your mouth is a fetid puke-hole suitable only for stuffing with dead herrings. You are dead to me, DEAD TO ME!" he thunders, "Until your next visit. Bye!"

But anyway. Today's cleaning was like most others, with Heather, the voluble woman who is my regular tooth-shiner. We have a nice rapport; she tells me about her kids and asks me about upcoming events, and I reply with inarticulate glugs and periodic whimpers of agony. She always starts things off peering around in there with a tiny mirror, searching, I guess, for the most clearly tender spots. "Still smoking, huh?" Jesus, not her too. "Nga," I say, mounting a defense, but she's not having it. "It's hell on your gums!" she exclaims remorselessly. I concede defeat: "Ylar."

She gets down to real business and grabs at her movable tray of horrors; she selects a pencil-shaped thing with a tiny barb on the end of it that madly vibrates seemingly at her will. She lunges into my mouth and plunges it deep into my mesquite-flavored gums. "YAIG!" I yelp, but she is deaf in her labors, and she extracts various items from my cringing flesh: a hunk of popcorn, a pair of pliers, a Rumpole of the Bailey DVD and Mare Winningham were all lodged in my gums, but now they sit forlornly on the office floor. But she's not done yet.

Next comes a non-motorized device that I like to call Archimedes' Boathook; it's another alarmingly pointy thing with a cruel hook in it that she uses to pry barnacles off of the surface of my teeth. In order to get proper leverage, she crawls on top of my face and stands bestride my mouth, really putting her shoulder into the fucker. She's straining mightily away on one molar when a large crack! is heard; she's broken my jaw. "Yep, that'll happen; might need pins for that. So, you're gettin' married soon, huh?" "Agao," I say, kind of getting into this. I consider become a professional "bottom" in the S/M world. And my broken jaw looks kind of jaunty in the mirror.

It's like she's reading my mind! She flings away the Boathook and climbs down from my face. Then she flips a switch and the lights turn down low; I can hear "Venus In Furs" playing over the loudspeaker. She selects a riding crop from her tray and begins furiously whipping my groin, while I writhe and wonder about the orotherapeutic values of genital torture. After a few hours, she stops.

"That was more for me than you," she pants. Was she wearing leather when I came in? I don't know; I'm barely conscious. "Well, back to it." She picks up yet another device, another spinner with a strange fuzzy head on it; she applies a thick coating of goo to the tip. "Whazza?" I ask. "Poison," she grimly replies, and darts again into my maw, beginning to grout my teeth. The spaces between them quickly become accreted with a gritty paste that tastes like vaguely minty graveyard soil. When she has applied a couple of centimeters of grout to my teeth, she then uses a vicious needle-spray of water to wash it all away again. I would like to question the point of the whole exercise, but she pulls me up short by saying, "Don't move your head; this little fucker will burn a hole clean through your skull if I miss." Terrified beyond all clarity or reason, I sit rigidly while she works, and note desparingly that she is occasionally consulting an instruction manual as she proceeds. "I wish I could read Japanese," she sighs. I close my eyes and think of what kind of estate I would leave behind: right, none whatever. So that's taken care of.

Suddenly, she's done. She releases me from my four-point restraints, and I stagger groggily to the door. "Just sign the papers at the desk," she says, suddenly gloriously bored. "We'll see you in August." "Glabe," I say, wincing as my shattered jaw works. I stop at the desk to sign mysterious, frightening papers, and the desk clerk says, "See you soon!" and hits me with a boat oar. I crawl outside into the hall and weakly make my way to the elevator, and to outside.

Thank God. I was really hurting for a cigarette after all that.


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Comments

My only defense against my evil dentist is to eat lots of really garlicky foods and smoke a pack of Luckies the day of my visit. He can torture me all he likes, but he cannot escape my breath.

Comment number: 000678   Posted by: stennie on April 14, 2003 08:28 PM from IP: 68.164.58.247

five points for the ten-dollar word "orotherapeutic"!

Comment number: 000679   Posted by: mike on April 14, 2003 09:22 PM from IP: 216.173.212.237

Well hell. I was just going to write something about my own recent trip to the dentist when I blindly stumbled upon your entry here. And to think, I was going to COMPLAIN because they said I need a "deep cleaning" next time (which HAS to be an indication that dentists are not only sadists, but Scientologists, as well.) I don't smoke, though, so all they could complain about with me (and man did they have at it) was the fact that this was my first visit in over 2 years. I think THAT'S the reason they want to schedule me for these 2 hour-and-a-half long appointments where they, from what I'm told, peel back the skin from my entire face so they can barbecue the bones of my mouth using a blow-torch without the annoying odor of burning flesh.

So, you did a better job with a post about When Dentists Attack than I ever could, so I'll probably just link you instead of actually... you know... putting any kind of effort into anything.

Comment number: 000689   Posted by: i on April 15, 2003 01:28 PM from IP: 141.156.170.188

Omigod, we have the same dentist.

Comment number: 000713   Posted by: Alex on April 17, 2003 04:17 PM from IP: 67.121.88.38

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