Granola Is Not Your Friend!
It was a lovely Saturday morning. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and I was sitting in the living room watching TV and eating some yummy granola. As I bit down I heard a crunch on the left-hand side of my mouth. I know what you’re thinking: It’s granola, of course there is going to be a crunch. But this crunch sounded different than all the other crunches. It was also very different than any crunch I had ever heard in the entire history of my granola eating time on this earth. There was something wrong with it. I swallowed what was in my mouth and put my bowl of cereal down on the table. I then slid my tongue across my bottom row of teeth till it reached my back molars. Something moved. It must just be a large piece of granola stuck between my teeth. So I pushed with my tongue and that’s when I realized it wasn’t a piece of granola that was shifting inside my mouth but an actual tooth. “Oh shit, this isn’t good,” I said out loud as I made my way into the bathroom.
I walked up to the mirror and opened my mouth nice and wide so I could get a good look at what was going on in there. Then I saw it. I had cracked my tooth in half. The oddest part of the whole experience was that I didn’t feel a thing. I just heard it. A strange crack, but there was no pain. Well at least I had that to be thankful for. So I called my dentist’s office and luckily they had an emergency number. Hmmm… I think cracking my tooth in half would probably constitute an emergency. So I made the call.
“Hello? This is Dr. Whatsherfuzzy,” I heard the voice on the other end of the line.
“Hi, Dr. Whatherfuthee, my name ith Thtacccee” I said. Oh my God what is wrong with me? I sound like I have a speech impediment. With the tooth being loose in the back I had to keep my tongue over to the right side of my mouth to speak. Quickly, before she could refer me to the Special Olympics, I stammered “I broo my toof on soom granola, and I think thith may be an emergenthee.”
“Are you bleeding and is the tooth impacted in any way?” she asked.
“No, bud ith crecked in heff and I’m afraid it might breck off,” I said, somewhat convinced she was not taking me very seriously.
“Are you in any pain?’ she asked me.
“I’ll see you Monday morning, 9:00 a.m. in my office. Until then, don’t chew on that side.” She said and then she hung up the phone. I couldn’t believe it! Is she serious? Don’t chew on that side and I’ll see you Monday morning! Oh I’ll be there lady…because at this point I really don’t have a choice!
I wasn’t really surprised that the tooth had broken because it had been years since I had last seen a dentist. And that last visit wasn’t anything I looked back on with fond memories. Her name was Dr. Cho and she was a tiny woman who always made me feel as though I was about to be thrown into an enemy containment camp.
“You don’t floss do you,” she said. You’d think with the whole “do you” ending, that this would have been phrased as a question. Nope. It was stated as a fact, as she shone that 5,000 candle power light into my eyes like an interrogation.
“You haven’t been to the dentist in a long time. You need a root canal!” She might as well have told me that I’m a bad girl and I needed a spanking. She proceeded to do all the masochistic things that dentists like to do to you. Suck, spit, suck, spit. Scrape, scrape, scrape. When she was done she sent me out to her receptionist. Her receptionist wasn’t any nicer. “You pay co pay! You need go to root canal specialist! You go to them then you come back here. YOU HEAR ME? YOU COME BACK HERE!” I always left Dr. Cho’s office wondering why I put up with this shit. Why did I pay her to yell at me? I had plenty of people in my life who would yell at me for free. How is this woman still in business?
So I went to the root canal specialist and they were wonderful. I asked them if they would finish the work. I begged them. I offered bribes. They told me that I would have to return to Dr. Cho. Hell no. No Mo’ Cho! So I never went back and I was left with temporary fillings. And with just one bite of granola I figured out exactly why these are called “temporary.”
I wasn’t exactly confident that my tooth would hold until Monday morning. Now what? I considered glue to hold the tooth together, but what kind of glue would one use for this procedure? Elmer’s is out for so many reasons. First there is no way in hell it would hold. Secondly the bottle itself was way too big to try and maneuver around inside my mouth with any accuracy. And third, I needed it to make sparklie ponies later that day. So no Elmer’s. Superglue crossed my mind for a second. But then I imagined myself being the butt of one of those “Darwin Awards” jokes that circulate the internet. Scratch that one. Then it hit me. Denture grip. Hell, if it can glue dentures to the inside of some dude’s mouth, it can surely glue my tooth together right?
So off to the store I went. I made it to Ralph’s and I was on a mission. I headed straight for the tooth section of the store and found my Denture grip. On a hunch, I picked up some Anbesol. Just because the crater in my tooth didn’t hurt now didn’t mean that it wouldn’t hurt in a couple of hours. You can never be too careful. Unless by “too careful,” you mean going to the dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings. In which case, I could have been a lot more careful. But no time for that now. I then went down to the cereal aisle and flipped the granola section the bird. I knew that they had secretly planned this attack and when I had my chompers fixed I was going to eat every last box of them as payback.
I purchased my supplies and went back home and started gluing. The denture grip seemed to hold the tooth pretty well in place and I was happy for the time being. But I started to notice that everything tasted like cherries. I f***ing hate cherries. I love Lifesavers, but I always threw out the Wild Cherry. Starburst? Same thing. Reminded me of cough syrup. Too late now. For the rest of the day everything I ate and drank tasted like cherry. I had cherry pizza with a glass of cherry chardonnay. Even my cigarettes tasted like cherry. It was pure torture and it was still only Saturday night. I think I went to bed around 9:30 that night. I just figured that if I went to sleep it might make things a little easier to bear.
I made it through Cherry Sunday and finally got to the dentist’s office at 9:00 am sharp on Monday morning. I filled out my paper work and was called into Dr. Whatsherfuzzys office. “Please don’t scold me,” I told her. “My old dentist used to scold me and that’s why I haven’t been to a dentist in a long time.”
“I’m not going to scold you,” she said. And she didn’t. She took X-rays and I had all kinds of fun going on with my teeth. I was going to need two crowns to replace some fillings that had been in my mouth since bell-bottoms were still in style. And I was going to have to go to another specialist for the broken tooth. It wasn’t something they could repair; it was going to have to be pulled. Damn you, granola!!!!
If I had only gone back to Dr. Cho and her various torture devices, I’m sure I wouldn’t have found myself in this predicament. But now I was losing teeth. Awesome. Just sign me up for a trailer and a tattoo to complete the look. There’s a reason that people compare a really difficult task with “pulling teeth.” Because it’s a pain in the ass. Much more of a pain in the ass than scheduling a freaking cleaning once every 6 months. Call your dentist. Right now. Trust me.
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To be continued…..