Enjoy Your Root Canal!
Is your jaw swollen to the size of a peach? Have you got tooth pain that’s making your toenails curl? Is your endodontist considering a down payment on a bigger yacht? Then let me guide you past the pain of a root canal to the joy on the other side!
To start with, you will need at least one tooth requiring root canal work (or, if you'd like, you COULD fake it, just for the fun of it!), a high pain threshold, and a high expense threshold.
Begin your enjoyment of your root canal by selecting a young endodontist with a young staff. That way, with any luck, you’ll soon be supine on a leatherette dental chair, in the privacy of your own room, with some hottie hovering over you for a few hours, staring into your upturned face while running their fingers into your mouth. I understand there are more than a few traveling conventioneers who would pay handsomely for that kind of illicit pleasure.
Show up for your appointment wearing your sharpest, most up-to-the-minute outfit. You’ll barely be able to suppress the giggles when you see the doc’s checkered pants. Or those silly little pale blue caps, masks and aprons everyone wears. A few well-timed glances back and forth from their wardrobes to yours as you smirk will clearly convey your message — you’re too cool for the room!
As the doctor inquires if there’s anything more they can do to make you comfortable, maximize your enjoyment by asking, “Could you change that AM top 40 to some Bolivian pan pipes?” Or early Barry Manilow, before he got so full of himself? Or the homespun country classics of Slim Whitman? Or a Tyrolean yodeling chorus? Anything to throw the doc off his game!
Next, make sure you get your money’s worth by asking a lot of good questions, like “Hey, Doc, didja ever lose any of those tiny little drill attachment thingies down anyone’s throat? And didja then have to charge them even more, to replace all of ‘em?” Another good one is, “I understand you’re working on tooth #19; How are they numbered? Does everybody number them the same? What if I was missing tooth #18? Would tooth #20 become #19 then?” Or, “Who picked out your ceiling tiles?” And so on. Questions like these are especially effective at stretching out your appointment (thereby maximizing its value), if you ask them after everything — novocaine, swollen tongue, cotton, tools, fingers, excess saliva —is already in your mouth. Then, it would probably sound like, “Ey, Ah, ih-uh eh-eh oo eh-ee uh oh ii-ee ih-uh uh-aa-eh ih-ee . . . “ Well, you get the idea. You could go on like that for hours, and still never get a satisfactory answer to even one of your questions.
You can also make for a really entertaining appointment by keeping stone silent when an instrument hits a nerve, then yelping or grunting when absolutely nothing’s amiss. The whole dental staff will be scratching their heads at that, and, before you know it, they’ll be shooting extra x-rays and conferring out in the hall in urgent whispers. (Isn’t this fun?)
Also, don’t forget to ask the dental assistant why you have to wear that lead apron every time they shoot another x-ray, but you don’t get a lead crown. Does that mean your sex organs are more important than your brain? (Guys! — Don’t answer that!)
When they really get down to work on your tooth, and you’re staring up at the monitor showing your in-progress x-rays, make a few helpful suggestions, like, “Seems more like a medial lingual than a transverse tarsal to me.” Or “Don’t you think you oughta tie that first one off, before you begin on number two?” They'll like that you show interest and aptitude!
Finally, once the ordeal is over, and you’re standing at the front counter with a thread of drool from your numb lips staining your checkbook, ask if you can pay your bill in 37 equal weekly installments, ‘cause times are kinda hard right now. Then, once they figure the correct 1/37th installment payment, tell them you can come up with at least the first 3-1/2 payments today. That’ll go over big. And you will have eked out just about all the enjoyment you can out of your root canal. Until the next one.
See rickzworld for more fun diversions.
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