Last week, finally emerged from stupor of procrastination and made Appointment for Extraction of Last Wisdom Tooth and Cleaning.
Arrive at Dentist's office only twenty minutes Late and am shown to Room with customary posters depicting the grotesque Fates of people who Fail to Floss. Spend the next twenty minutes listening to Nick Cave on my i-pod and avoiding the gaze of what seems to be a gangrenous Skull on the closest poster.
Hygienist enters and turns on Some Jewish Music; sole word am able to distinguish is "oy." After the obligatory small talk, Hygienist directly proceeds to prod my gums with a hook. It occurs to me that she is Forgetting Something, but no: she pauses and brightly says that We will not be needing any pain relief here. Shallow Pockets, she says. Had my mouth been unimpeded by assorted rubber and metal paraphernalia, should have rejoined that Though she may not need it, I would actually prefer general anesthesia. Like so many others, this Thought remains unvoiced, and I close my eyes and listen to the entirety of "London Calling" while Hygienist Does her Stuff, in the process poking my tongue and almost taking my eye out with her hook. Finally, she instructs me to Rinse; does not appear perturbed by the clots of Blood I spit out.
Am transferred to Room papered with Dentists' Certificates and Diplomas, where x-rays are taken and dentist who looks like Hercule Poirot says complimentary things about my Gums. Cannot think why on earth I feel flattered by this.
Am led to yet third room, where have no time to notice the Decor, as Hercule Poirot instantly proceeds to shine bright light in my face and insert what feels like, but probably isn't, handheld vise into my mouth. He then moves away and shuffles through some papers. To my relief, Older Dentist enters the room and turns off the light, remarking that there is no Need for it, is there.
Tooth Extraction ensues; sound effects are unpleasant and put me in mind of James Herriot's tales of veterinary practice in 1930's Yorkshire. Assistant turns up Jewish Song, where the refrain is now "oy vey vey." Finally, HP tells me I can open my eyes now and shows me the Tooth lying in state on a pad of gauze. He asks me if I want to Keep it, but am disinclined to be sentimental.
Leave office with prescription for Motrin 600 and amoxicillin; about halfway home begin to wish I had asked for Something Stronger.
Rest at home for about an hour before leaving to attend employment discrimination seminar, where, against all reasonable expectation, am alert and even Participate in Discussion. Call home during break at 8:00 and speak to Mother, who says that Everything is Alright, but the Toilet is a little broken. Ask her whether she has tried the Plunger; she says Is that the black stick and What do you do, you just stick it in? Tell her to call Upstairs Neighbor in case of further Trouble and return to seminar.
Arrive at home around 10:00 to find children Asleep and Mother reading. For reasons unfathomable to myself, proceed to log on to Facebook and scroll through my friends' photo albums until suitably sleepy.