Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Dental Minute

Yesterday the dentist shoved some stuff in my mouth and said he needed me to hold still for "just a minute." Then he corrected himself. "Well," he said, "Actually more than a minute. I mean a dental minute. " I nearly choked on my wad of cotton. Rendered mute, I could only sass back to the doctor mentally, sending surly thought waves in response. That's all you can do when you're in the dentist's chair --make your thoughts as loud as possible, even if you're the only one hearing them. Earlier, while he had been drilling, I had thought-yelled, "I'M ALRIGHT! I'M OKAY! I'M ALRIGHT! I'M OKAY! "It was strangely comforting to do that. Now I silently wailed about the length of a dental minute ---as swollen as my anesthesized lip, the seconds stretching out like the sticky caramel I was warned not to eat. Oh to have a New York minute in the dentist's chair. The prodding and poking would just be a fantastic blur. The dentist's intrusions would come and go as rapidly as stations flashing past on the subway line. But a dental minute is the antithesis of all that. And as my dentist cheerfully pointed out--much, much longer than a minute.

Steve Martin in "Little Shop of Horrors"


  1. God, this is funny! I realized when I read this that I do not want my dentist being clever or funny when he's fooling around in my mouth. Just get the damn job done. I bet this makes dentists lonely people, though.

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  3. I like this little piece. Dental time is wild! Too bad there's no hallucinating involved. I have to admit, I loved Steve Martin in this role.

  4. thanks for reminding me of the sadistic dentist in "little shop of horrors", simone. your blog post was very amusing. akk! i HATE dentists! never heard that term "dental minute" before, but by golly, i will be vigilant next time in the chair. oh woe,,it's coming next month! my dentist hums along to the easy listening tunes being piped in to the room.

  5. i no longer hate dentists. i love my dentist. he is nice