“He's not that young.”
“Oh, yeah? If he’d raised his hand, I’d have written him a bathroom pass.”
“He is a professional. His degrees are hanging on the wall of his office.”
“Give me fifteen minutes alone with Microsoft Publisher and I can make you dean of Harvard Law School.”
“Well, he’s old enough to drive a Lexus.”
“I don’t care if he pilots a twin engine. What kind of grownup would shoot your face full of rigor mortis and ask you to spit?”
Right on the heels of our Sushi While You Bait adventure, I joined forces with an errant stick of Juicy Fruit gum to initiate Fun With Dentistry day. My crown popped out of my jaw like a kernel of Jiffy Pop over high heat. The Captain tried to calm my fears with the voice of reason. The voice of reason now speaks in falsetto.
When I was a kid and lost a tooth, the tooth fairy would leave a shiny new quarter under my pillow. She must have invested heavily in Microsoft, because these days she deals in folding money. But I haven’t seen her since the last time I could see my feet without using mirrors.
I feel obliged to keep my local dentist in work so that he can afford that villa in Hilton Head, the Riviera of the south, but with Spanish moss and alligators. You can tell it’s civilized by the number of men in plaid pants stalking the golf course and putting through the windmill. I like the guy just fine and want him to have a good life, but he’s so young his parents have to cosign his prescriptions.
It’s unsettling when a fellow young enough to know all the words to the Pokeman theme song sets about buffing your teeth with a power sander. I don’t know if it’s a good idea to let someone whose favorite piece of literature is illustrated with Japanese cartoon characters edge around your eyeteeth, but before I knew it, Dr. Drillbit was up to his Converse All Stars in my mouth. I made a mental note to remind him to tie his shoes and wear matching socks.
He yanked enough roots out of my mouth to start a vegetable garden and spackled in some replacement teeth before I could say Holy Molar. Maybe we have different priorities.I’m 51 years old. I could use that cement to hold up more important things than my teeth.
My sons were aghast to discover that I’d raided their inheritance to pay for the dental work. Screwing the cap back on the jar, I took advantage of the teaching moment and gave them each a shiny new quarter to help blaze a trail to a new life.
Meanwhile, I’m waiting up for the tooth fairy. She’s got a lot of explaining to do.
And I’ve got some spare cement.