Monday, July 19, 2010

Novocaine for the Soul

The following knowledge has been acquired by yours truly in the past two weeks:

I have a compressed nerve in my left arm that is causing the index finger on that hand to tingle and periodically go numb.

My blood pressure continues to be a tick-and-a-half away from what my doctor classifies, per her expensive med school degree, as just beyond “something to keep an eye on.”

A few years ago, a guy I knew in high school blew his head off with a shotgun.

One of my favorite teachers recently died suddenly in his sleep.

Oh, and now my dog has an autoimmune disease.

This morning’s trip to the dentist for a filling replacement, therefore, seemed more promising than usual.

While my dentist punctures the upper left side of my mouth with a second round of anesthesia, in rushes the hygienist who has been cleaning my teeth every six months for the last three years.

“Uncool, when you are done here, you need to find me,” she says. “I need to talk to you.”

Her tone was not the normal Polish-tinged purr I’m used to hearing through her powder blue surgical mask. It’s unusually urgent and hurried.

“Oooh, you are in trouble now, boy!” my dentist says with another poke into my gums. “What did you do?”

That’s what I’m wondering.

Did she find out that I skate by on only flossing for a week immediately prior to my cleanings?

Has the way I tend to stare into her light-dilated eyes while she scrapes the doughnut remains from the buckles in wisdom teeth finally started to unnerve her to the point of filing a restraining order against me?

“OK, I know that already feels numb but it’s going to take a good six or seven minutes for the tooth to go dead as well, so just lay back there for a while,” says my dentist.

Then he yells out the door: “Hey, Uncool is free if you want to talk to him now!”

The rat.

I’m flat on my back in the pleather recliner and I turn my head at the sound of footsteps. She enters the room, safety goggles down, mask up.

Here it comes.

“Uncool! I want you to know that I loved your column about your daughter talking about cutting her hair to help sick kids! I stole the newspaper from here in the office and brought home for my daughter. And you know what?”

“Did she cut her hair and donate it to Locks of Love?”

“All the way to here,” she says, raising her hand level to the middle of her own head.

I try to smile but half my face is frozen in an impenetrable droop.

“That’s great,” I say forgetting, among other things, to worry about whether I drooled the words onto the collar of my shirt.

Video: Eels, “Novocaine for the Soul”

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Cure JM is still in 12th place for the $250,000 Pepsi Refresh grant with 11 days of voting to go. Please vote every day and ask your friends to do the same. Thing 1 is counting on you.


  1. Uncool, I certainly hope you get it all sorted will:)

    I need to mention that I almost fell over when I saw the Eels. It has been a while since I've heard that song...and that makes you Double Plus Cool.

    Peace ~ Rene

  2. I wonder if this qualifies as one of those 'light at the end of the tunnel' things people are always talking about...

  3. I have a packet of pithy platitudes for times like these. I could start slinging them around if that'd help. I find that hearing them is so damn endearing I forget about everything else in favor of concentrating on which of the speaker's body parts I want to use my foot on first for maximum damage.

  4. Into every life, a little drool must fall...

    Positivity comes from the damndest places sometimes. I grok where you are coming from.

    Peace, bro.

  5. Oh, and I voted, too. Keepin' at it, my man!

  6. I haven't heard that song in a while. Did you ever stop drooling?

  7. Awwwwwwwwwwww.............

    It's like great thoughts just keep going!

    Mind you - quite the scare for you!! Nothing like good scare in the dentists office!! As if the drill isn't enough.

  8. Yay! The Eels!
    That's just the price you pay for fame, drooly man...

  9. I happen to have the phone number for The World's Best Vet, should you want a second opinion.

  10. I hope the rest of the dental appointment went well (although a diagnosis of terminal halitosis would have made for a good punchline).

    Also, Yay Eels!

  11. I'm sorry to hear about all the bad news. And that sweet ending would've had me sobbing in the dentist's chair. Drooling, as well, as it seems.

    I didn't realize there was a widget for the Pepsi challenge! I put it up on my blog. Fingers crossed.

  12. Not the most awesome week ever, so much.
    Just think of the good karma you're owed for next week.

    Very cool that your article about your daughter got some praise and provoked some action, yes? See, things are already turning around.

  13. That's a great ending despite the drool. I too am on my way to vote.

  14. Hi there. I have been following your blog for a short while and I think it is excellent. It is one of the reasons I get out of bed in the morning. Well...that is a bit of an exaggeration...but your blog is excellent.

    I have selected you to be one of my fifteen recipients of the Versatile Blogger Award.

    Shoot on over here to check it out.

    I continue to look forward to reading you.


  15. Ummm... WTheck is going on???

    Did you do something to the universe?

    Although I rather love that your daughter was inspiring.

    She is such a great girl :)

  16. Seems to me, you're actually pretty cool.

  17. Yay for life not being all sick dogs and dead people. I guess when things get a little dreary that good things are bound to happen.

  18. That's awesome. My hygienist preaches the virtues of electric toothbrushes the whole time.


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