There's no better blog fodder than a visit to the dentist, or in this case, the dental hygienist. Alas, I have no cavities, but suffer from gum disease, or so they say---conspiracies galore!---and needed some brutal oral cleansing. Perchance this debilitating tooth barnacle stems from my love of pastas? No! No... I dare not blaspheme against such celestial starches.
Whatever the cause, the hygienist took great delight in impaling, scuffing, stabbing, scraping, and out-and-out gouging away my gum decay, er... or something less rhyme-ey. I vaguely recall having a remote control in my hand and CNN International reviewing over and over myriad terrorist actions abroad, and yet, were a bomb to explode on the floor above us I would only know it if the ceiling collapsed on my face. Such is the fearsome intimidative powers of dentistry. I say (facetiously, of course) in order to combat "terror"ism, we must employ a greater dread. Send armies of orthodontists to the Middle East, and a bomb would be a smidgen less excruciating. Well, not really.
Why I chose to leave news of renewed hostilities in Algiers and continued troubles in Pakistan on the television while the lady hygienist did her professional best on my gums I don't know. Naturally I couldn't even enjoy Stargate: SG-1 while someone was spraying my own salivary goo into my eye, and then shoveling out spaces between my teeth I didn't know I had (but probably should).
What was strangely more excruciating is that this particular hygienist was an art major at BYU years ago, had dated one of my painting professors, and knew the faculty. She seemed eager to discuss my experiences, goals, etc. (and her frustrated hopes of marriage) and I, drowning in my own spit and trying not to lacerate my swollen tongue on the hook dangling ominously next to it couldn't say my own name intelligibly, let alone have an engaging conversation. Picture someone at the dinner table trying to communicate with numerous random dental utensils protruding from their yap and the bottom half of their face the relative consistency of soggy pizza. Humorous, no? Suffice it to say I emitted something like, "Vischewow Arrrh... Kasshsandwa Baweee... Gwawik De-ahn... etc." At times, I border on Kelsey Grammer-like (Frasier) erudition and vocabularied sophistication, evincing at least the facade of intelligence, perhaps here and there sprinkled with lofty wit---(I've never been brief, so wit ever eludes me). At the dentist's I am reduced to Cro-Magnon buffoonery, and herein the chuckle Bill Cosby refers to rears its ugly head. I have no doubts that this hygienist couldn't help herself. She HAD to continue asking questions because she delighted in seeing me struggle to press sound past my water-logged vocal chords without showering the room in a foul elixir of blood, phlegm and at least one-year-old victuals.
Well, I've survived, dearest readers, and it's on to the next challenge: how to ingest anything before work when my mouth is as good as cotton?