Ivan: “I’m going to give you just a little stinger, and then your whole mouth will be completely numb. How about that?”
I give him the thumbs up sign from underneath the bib I’m wearing, which at this point is the only possible way of communicating with him, due to the fact that there are three different metal objects being inserted into my mouth. Why this man replaces “shot of Novocain” with “little stinger” is beyond me. Maybe the Ninja Turtle wallet I pulled out last time I was here made him think I haven’t graduated to “big kid” terms yet.
For full effect, go ahead and download any soft rock and roll, 90’s-themed, cornflower blue background music that fills the airwaves of any dentist’s waiting room. By the way if you really want to pee a little bit laughing, go ahead and picture the giant that I am lying on my back in a dentist’s chair with my mouth wide open and a mask full of happy gas keeping me calm. Meanwhile Ivan the Great suits up with his plastic gloves and mouth tools, ready to dissect my upper right molars.
Ivan: “Alright, so in a few minutes we’re gonna go ahead and replace that onlay on number 2. How does that sound?”
I try and smile. But do you have any idea how hard it is to raise the corners of your mouth when it’s open wide enough to handle 37 hotdogs? Plus, the wrinkled buttercup hygienist just slurped away the last drops of saliva from my throat to make sure I won’t drown in my own spit. Sure Ivan, that sounds great.
Ivan: “So, how’s things goin’ these days? How’s work been treatin' you?”
Me: “A aoawa eeh aw a ew ehs. I uh eer ouw ehhas oouh.”
Conversations with dentists usually only include words made up of all vowels. Why Ivan thinks I can answer in structured sentences doesn’t make much sense.
Ivan: “That’s great. So we’re gonna go golfing this weekend, you care to join us?”
Me: “I ou uhh ooo. Uouaee, I ahh io ehaehs.” Giving this man a yes or no answer would be much simpler of course, however I’m afraid by jiggling my head around in a certain direction would only knock out the metal contraption hanging out of my mouth.
Ivan: “So how’s the love life going? You datin’ anyone these days?”
Why is everyone and their dentist obsessed with my relations with the opposite sex? It’s like they live vicariously through me to satisfy the single creatures living underneath their own skin, every one of them having a secret solution for finding my soul mate.
Me: “Ell, I I ah I eh iws aah I aeh. I uhh aoee ah eioo uhh. Ah ooh?
Ending that last vowel with my voice going up is hopefully a strong enough indication that I asked Ivan a question.
Ivan: “Yeah, well she’s out there somewhere. You just have to keep looking.”
Me: “Oh, o ih ah-owe.’
He pauses and gives me a strange look, his four enhanced eyeballs having a staring contest with the little dangly thing that’s not really dangling in the back of my throat. Part of me wonders if he caught my response as the all-vowel curse word I was intending. The other part of me wants to braid his nosehairs I’ve been staring at for over an hour.
Ivan: “Well, I sure know some sweet ladies to line you up with if you’d like, one in particular actually. Can you see yourself with a 40-year old?”
If I were Barney Stinson, forty would be my thirty. And who do you think you’re going to line me up with, a widow from Mesquite with 13 cats? I want to get to know a woman for who she is right now in her life, not help her son log all of the hours for his driving permit.
Me: “O A, O EH!”
Great! I’ll get you her number once we’re done here. I’m sure you two will hit it off and really fit each other.”
I wince in agony and my eyes start watering.
Me: “I aw aeh. I o aw eh ueh!”
Ivan: “Oh, sorry about that, let me give you another little stinger to numb that up again.”
He doesn’t know it, but my broken tooth isn’t the reason I’m in pain right now.