The Humanesque Tooth Fairy
Yesterday I went to bed with a feeling of dread. As I woke up this morning, I remembered the ordeal ahead of me with great apprehension. I absolutely loathe going to the dentist. She’s charming, but she cheerfully inflicts pain and suffering without batting an eyelid. Anyway, I originally went to get my teeth cleaned and she clucked and tut-tutted and shook her head ruefully and said, “How on earth can you go around with these dreadful teeth?” I meekly mumbled that my previous dentist used to make the appointment six months in advance and then give me a reminder, but recently he seemed to be absolutely too busy. So since he never mentioned anything I took it for granted that my pearly whites were in order last year. “Certainly not!” she exclaimed. “They look quite hideous. Just look at these caps! They need to be replaced. People must be shuddering every time you smile.” Frankly, I hadn’t noticed any cringing. People normally seem quite glad at the sight of me, unless they are putting on an act. Anyway, she planted the seeds of doubt in my mind, so to alleviate any further recoiling I thought I’d go along with the re-cap. My previous dentist never said any such thing, maybe because he was always rushed and permanently had a waiting room full of patients. Like you might have guessed, I went for a consultation only on an Absolutely Need To basis.
A friend of mine has named this new dentist The Tooth Fairy, and I must say it totally suits her. She’s tiny and dainty and flits around very quickly. She works fast too, and before you have let out the outraged yell you want to, she brightly says, “All finished! All done!” She attacks with deadly intention. No hesitation whatsoever, she just ignores all the gasps and moans and relentlessly pursues her task at hand and works so fast that the torture is over just when you are thinking of protesting.
Anyway, as I walked in to her consulting room, she brightly said, “Good morning! How are you today?” What? I’m a bundle of nerves! Anyway, on the last occasion, she tried to wrench out the old caps without using any anaesthesia. I could hear a grinding and crunching like a mill, ringing in my ears. I yelled out,” WHY AREN’T YOU GIVING ME AN ANAESTHETIC?” “Ah, you want one? Okay!” she replied brightly and proceeded to give me three vicious jabs which really hurt. Looking at my expression, she kindly patted me on the head. Then I couldn’t feel half my face, but she tugged and said, “All out!” Then she brandished the drill and busily whizzed all over. Thank heavens I couldn’t feel it. Then I was fitted with a temporary set of caps and shown my teeth in the mirror. My nerves were shot to pieces and I didn’t see anything particularly nice looking in the mirror. After all, they were just teeth. So today I grumpily told her that she’d better give me something before she started torturing me. She sprayed something onto my gums, and then got a little hammer and started hammering at the teeth. I almost jumped out of the chair and ran out. The hammering was shaking my brain. Just when I thought I’d give a piercing shriek, one tumbled out and she made approving noises. Then the other one was banged out and my brain was jolted again. I breathed a sigh of relief. The worst was over. Then she worked very quickly and fixed the two new caps, no more drilling, thank goodness. I heard some whizzing noises but kept my eyes firmly shut. Then I heard the magic word, “Rinse!” and it was all over. Once again, the mirror was flourished under my nose. I was too relieved to look and just gave it a desultory glance. “Isn’t it beautiful?” she cooed. I burst out laughing. I said I hadn’t noticed any drastic improvement in my appearance.
Then she started on about some other teeth, I asked her to please give me a break, my pulse and breathing had still not returned to normal. I had a general conversation with her, mentioning in between that I don’t want to be tortured often. She said, “Oh you are so funny. I really enjoy your visits. You make me laugh!” I think that was a compliment? She wants to visit now and chat properly. So long as she doesn’t bring her implements of torture, I most certainly don’t mind.
- Honky Tonk Woman