I called a buddy of mine last week to see if he wanted to go to lunch. He said that he couldn’t because of a bad toothache.
Now that may have been just an excuse not to go out with me, which I’m used to, but it got me to thinkin’ about a toothache that I had about 15 years ago. It was one of those toothaches that you never, ever forget.
At first it was really just a dull pain and I really didn’t think too much about it, because I’m always doin’ somethin’ I shouldn’t like crackin’ pecans, walnuts, chompin’ on ice, and stuff like that with my teeth.
I figured that the pain would go away eventually. I sure wasn’t gonna tell my wife Janet about the pain because she’s one of those, “I told you so” people. She had been tellin’ me for years that if I didn’t quit crackin’ stuff with my teeth, I was gonna end up with a broken tooth, or worse.
Anywho, this pain that I was experiencing was getting’ pretty bad. Finally, I broke down and told her I was havin’ problems.
“I told you so,” she said.
“I know you did,” I replied.
“If you don’t quit cracking nuts and stuff with your teeth…” she started saying before I interrupted her.
“I know. I know,” I said. “Just get me into the dentist as soon as you can.”
“Do you know how hard it is to get into the dentist?” she asked.
“Look,” I said. “I’m dyin’ here, OK? I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you, really I am. But, get me in to see the dentist.”
“I’ll try,” she said and she started flippin’ through the phone book. She dialed the number and in no time was off the phone.
“If you can get up there by 10:45, they can see you,” she said.
“Thanks,” I said as I held my jaw. “I’m out of here,” and I left.
When I got to the dentist office, I was ushered right in. I figured I would have at least a little time to look through one of the “Highlights for Children’’ magazine, but I didn’t. The dentist came right in and asked what the problem was. I told him.
He tapped on a tooth.
“Is that it?” he said.
“Nope,” I replied.
“How about that one?” he tapped again.
“Well then, what about…” was all he got out of his mouth when he hit the next tooth.
You know, it’s amazin’ how much altitude one can gain from a simple tap on a bad tooth. If that big spotlight over my head hadn’t been in the way, I believe I could have made it all the way to the ceilin’.
That, and the fact the chain with the bib on it around my neck was also attached to the chair, kept my levitation to a minimum.
“I believe that must be the tooth,” the dentist said.
“You think?” I said sarcastically.
He took some X-rays, and told me the bad news. “Looks like you’ve got a tooth dying,” he said.
“You gonna jerk it out?” I asked.
“No,” he replied. “We’ll just do a simple root canal.”
Now I don’t know about you, but a root canal doesn’t sound simple to me.
“What’s a root canal?” I asked.
“I’ll drill into the tooth and pull out the dying nerve,” he said.
“You can do that?” I asked.
“Sure, I do them all the time. There’s nothing to it.”
“Does it hurt?”
“I’ll deaden it first, and you shouldn’t feel much discomfort,” he replied.
“Define ‘much’,” I said.
“Don’t worry,” he said as I saw his hand go out of my line of sight. The next thing I knew he had already given me the shot to deaden it. Man, he was good. I didn’t feel a thing. Then he left for a few minutes to let the shot work. Boy howdy, did it work. When he came back I was thumpin’ the side of my face. I could hear the thump, but couldn’t feel a thing.
“How’s it feel?” asked the dentist.
“Gweat,” I weplied.
The next thing I knew, he was up to his elbows in my mouth. Not only was he in there, but his assistant had a vacuum cleaner hose and a water squirter in there too.
Although I couldn’t feel anything, my other senses were getting’ a real workout. My ears could hear the drilling, my eyes could see the thin tendril of smoke floating up toward the light, and my nose could smell the burning that the drill produced.
That was enough to make my fingers ache as I gripped the armrest of the chair. I was also aware that my rear end was doin’ a pretty good pinchin’ job on the upholstery of that chair.
Although, my mouth was deadened, I was aware when he pulled out the nerve. No, it didn’t hurt, it’s just that I could feel my little toe disappear into my right foot as he pulled. Must have been a long nerve.
Anywho, I survived. You know, I’ve been sayin’ that an awful lot here lately.
When I got home, Janet was waitin’ at the door.
“Well?” she said.
“Well what?” I asked.
“I got a woot canal,” I said.
“A woot canal?” she said.
“No, a woot canal,” I tried again.
“Weally,” she smiled.
“Weal funny,” I said.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “Hey, can you say ‘rascally rabbit’ for me.”
“You awe a weal wiot,” I said.
“Ha,” she laughed.
“It’s not funny,” I said.
“Weally?” she replied.
“You bettew stop it,” I said.
“Aww, what awe you gonna do?” she said. “Hit me with a wock?”
“I’m getting’ weal angwy,” I said.
By now she was in tears.
“OK,” she said as she wiped her eyes.
“That’s bettew,” I said. Then she snorted and started laughin’ again. I left the woom, I mean room. I can still hear her singin’ as I left.
“Hi ho, the dewwy oh, a huntin’ we will go.”
Does anyone want to buy a wife, weally cheap?