I wish this was going to be a story about a really cute drunk guy hitting on me in a bar, mumbling about how I stole this chair.  But, it’s not.  And it’s not going to be about the death penalty either.  It’s about the dentist’s chair.  What once was my beloved dentist’s chair has now become a memory of pain and awkwardness.

Let’s begin.  It was a chilly Thursday afternoon in December when I went to see the wizard dentist.  For just your run of the mill third nipple filling.  I’m always late to the dentist and today was no exception.  Upon arrival, I was escorted to the back, to a room I’ve never been in before.  By a hygienist that is not my beloved hygienist.  This lady assured me it would be a quick procedure and in my mind I was thinking 15 minutes tops. Surely the field of dentistry has made some strides in recent years and can fill a tooth with out obscene amounts of drilling.  I was wrong.

When she hooked me up to the laughing gas, I thought things were looking up.  She then did the routine blood pressure and pulse check, except this time she hooked me up to a machine.  And I stayed hooked up the whole time.  She worried a little when she felt my ice cold hands and she worried a little more when the pulse machine wouldn’t stop beeping because my pulse was in the 40’s.  However, she kept on with her duties, sticking a larger than life piece of cotton/cloth in my mouth as she numbed my gums.  As we waited for the stuff to kick in, she started talking about Bunko.  I don’t recall how we got to talking about Bunko, I was already feeling the effects of my “afternoon cocktail”.  But, what I do know is that it is extremely hard to fake laugh at someone’s “funny” story when you have a softball sized piece of cotton in your mouth.  

About this time my dentist walks in.  We exchange Merry Christmases and he says “This will take just a minute”.  As he started peering into my mouth, I do my best to avoid eye contact and look straight up, at the overhead light thingy. Which always reminds me of John Ritter because the brand that makes it is called “Ritter”.  Maybe it’s just because it’s the holiday season, but I realized that when I look at my dentist from the corner of my eye, he shares an awfully close resemblance to the Grinch.  Minus being green, of course.

Things start getting a little more serious and he assures me that I shouldn’t feel any pain.  And just to raise my hand (that’s still hooked up to the pulse monitor) if I do.  The drilling begins.  And a funny thing happens. Maybe it’s the “afternoon cocktail” again, but I got a major whiff of Cool Ranch Doritos when the drill was a-drillin’.  That favorable smell went by the wayside as soon as he took a water break and the hygienist attempts to do me a favor by spraying some kind of breath spray in my mouth. Holy Batman, I think I just took a large bite of cinnamon potpourri!  My eyes were already popped out of my head from the drilling, so I don’t think the hygienist caught on that I did. not. like. that. Lucky for me, she sprayed me twice more before I was done.

The dentist finally fills my molar and he tells me, “It’s time to cool off from the nitrous because we are wrapping up”.  A) I’m a pro at the nitrous by now and it takes 3 seconds of standing up for me to sober up from it, and B) Unlike Lil Flip, I can’t drink one beer and be drunk (I can’t do that, I can’t do that).  He and the hygienist make no effort to remove the nitrous belt from my nose, so I sit there and enjoy the scenery a little longer.  He notices that the pulse machine is still beeping from my extremely low pulse and starts questioning me.  Low pulse, low blood pressure, tiredness in the afternoon… why, I think she might be hypoglycemic.  And then I go ahead and tell him I’m a runner.  Why didn’t you just say so!  He starts going on and on about his days when he was a runner and how good it used to make him feel.  

A few more minutes go by and then comes the awkward starfish.  He says, “Let me be your surrogate father for a minute, what kind of protection do you use”?  SMACK.  Praise the Lord that I fumbled around with what I was going to say for a minute, until he interjects, “My step-daughter is a runner and I bought her a stun gun to carry with her when she runs”.  Hello, relief.  So, we’re talkin’ ’bout that kind of protection.  He used to teach self-defense classes and because I was so relieved, I let him carry on for another 10 minutes about protection.

An hour and 15 minutes later, I checked out.  Still in such a state of relief, I gave the front desk receptionist a jolly, “See ya next year!” on the way out.

Moral of the story.  Be safe out there.