Thursday, April 17, 2014

Getting Sex-Murdered by Your Dental Hygienist

I would like to start out by mentioning that I have never had a cavity in my life. Does this make me special? Maybe. Does Thor’s hammer make him special. Also a definite maybe. So you would expect that I would be pretty popular with dentists and especially the hygienists. And for the most part you would be correct.

In fact I’ve had more than one hygienist compliment me on how strong my tongue is*.

But I have recently been seeing a new hygienist and things have taken a turn for the worse.  

First off, I’m not getting much praise from her. I’m used to getting a lot of compliments on my no-cavity Thor-esque mouth. I didn’t even get a simple “Good for you” from her.

Also, during my first appointment with her, after about 20 mins of silence as she examined and cleaned my teeth, out of the blue she stops and says. “Did you know that you are now older than how old the dad character from Family Ties was back then?”  

I need to have full confidence in the mental capacity of the people I have entrusted my health to, Pat. This is just not going to do.

I have additional issues with her but I wanted to get your thoughts so far.

Pat: Hate to tell you this buddy, but I was all set to tell you to just suck it up and deal with it. Not all hygienists are going to massage your ego (or tongue?) in order to make you feel dentally superior. And I’m not just saying this as a slightly jealous and bitter cavity-plagued patient. I think you need to stop being so needy, man.

But then you mentioned the comment about Family Ties, and I was like, “Whoa!”. There are limits, man! Lines you DO NOT CROSS for fear of breaching the social contract. And she did it. Right in your face. Or your ear. Or mouth. Whatever.

Not cool.

Christian: I know. This is not how someone who has never had a cavity should be treated. But to be honest I can live with the Mr. Keaton comment. There are other things that I’m having bigger issue with.  

For example the amount of mouth care she is wanting me to maintain. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a firm believer in brushing at least twice a day and flossing is always a good thing. But after my first visit with her she didn’t so much suggest as command that I purchase a electric waterpik and start using it. Naturally I asked “Do I need to still floss if I’m using a waterpik?”

She laughed a second and then became silent and said with a serious look “Of course you do”.


But upon my second visit with her (still no cavities!) she gave me a prescription for some mouthwash stuff she wanted me to rinse with every night and….AND… said I should start using rubber picks to clean in between my teeth each night. She even told me I should get them at Costco so that I can get large quantities of them for cheap. Naturally I asked, “Do I still need to use the waterpik then?”

“Oh definitely,” she replied as if I had asked if I still need to breath in oxygen on a regular basis.

So for the record, every night, she wants me to brush my teeth, floss, use the a waterpik, then clean with a rubber pick followed by rinsing with mouthwash.

Doesn’t this seem excessive for someone who has never had a cavity? My nighttime mouth cleaning routine now takes forever. I had to start leaving work early just so I would have enough time to get ready for bed.

What am I to do here?

Pat: She’s sounding a bit, umm, dentally aggressive, man. Gentle flossing...fine.  Inconvenient--yet polite--conversation...okay. Gritty polish-swill-spit routine...sure. Pokey metal pick probing into my soul gums...whatever. But c’mon, man...she’s just asking too much of your relationship.

Sounds like trouble. I might suggest you get out while you can.

Christian: But that’s just it. How? She told me that it’s important to see the same hygienist on each visit so they can track progress or some bullshit, so she makes sure to always schedule my next appointment on a day that she works.

And as of my last visit she wants me to start coming in every four months instead of every six months to 2 years like I had been doing beforehand.

And have I mentioned, I have never had a cavity?

I’m just going to cut to the chase and state my real concern with all this. I’m concerned she’s going to end up sex-murdering me. She’s obviously obsessed with me and my teeth, and sex-murdering is naturally the next step.

I’m going to end up in the bottom of some indoor well as she yells down to me “It puts the floss in the basket”.

Help, Pat.

Pat: Is sex murdering really a thing. Like, a common thing? Because you bring it up kinda’ often in our conversations, which makes me think it’s either a bigger thing than I know it to be, or you might be secretly fascinated with sex-murdering, in which case you…

Never mind. I wasn’t thinking anything. I don’t know. Just stay calm.

Have you checked with your insurance provider? I ask, because mine will only cover two check-ups a year as part of my plan. You might want to look into that, as it could be your out.

Hmm...who’d have thunk that bureaucracy could save your life?

Christian: Pat, I assure you sex-murdering is a real thing. In fact it affects 1 out of every 300 million Americans every year. I might be that American this year!

Even if my insurance only covers me for two appointments a year that’s only going to postpone the sex-murdering by a couple of months.

Dear god, I just noticed I have a dentist appointment in two days! Pat, if you don’t hear from me again just go ahead and assume I was sex-murdered. Call the police, the FBI, and Interpol (the band). And please tell my wife and kids something that will cheer them up. They’re gonna be bummed.

Pat: Will do. Good luck buddy.


Pat: How did your appointment go?


Pat: Christian? Did you have your appointment? Are you ok?


Pat: Dear god! Have you been sex-murdered!?!?!

Christian: Sorry. I ate a bad burrito. Put me out of comission for a bit.

Nope. I did have the appointment but no sex-murdering. This time. However within the first five minutes of the appointment she mentioned the movies Single White Female and Fatal Attraction. I’m not sure if it was a threat or not but I don’t like it.

I’m still afraid.

But, woohoo! Still no cavities!!!

* Totally true.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Was I THAT guy?

Okay, Christian, simple question:

You’re at a concert. The kind with music that falls between rock and pop and folk and indie (or whatever the kids are calling it these days) and jam-band. The kind where some people are sitting but most are standing. You’re standing among them, sometimes moving your body with the music (or whatever the kids are calling ‘dancing’ these days).

Is it okay to talk to the person you went to the concert with?

Christian: This is not a simple question. There are many factors involved and I will need a lot more information before I can give you the correct answer. First off what did you have for dinner before the show?

Pat:   Not sure. Bourbon and Cheetos™, I think. That doesn’t sound like my typical dinner, but those are the two things I remember consuming that night.

Just to be clear, unlike many other people, bourbon and Cheetos™ turns me into a joyful and compassionate member of the community...not a sloppy drunk.

But all of that is beside the point. Would you talk or not?

Christian: I needed to know what you ate so I could get an idea of where your breath was at. If you had a bunch of garlic tacos or something I would say you should be limiting your talking to anyone for a few days. But bourbon and Cheetos seems fine.

How large of a venue was it?

Pat: Smallish. About 300 people. And to be clear, it was mostly a rockin’ show. There was one song where the band left, and the singer announced that he was going to try a particular song a capella, as he’d done at it the previous two shows with the band and it didn’t sound right, so “this time I want you all to be real quiet so that I can see if it sounds right.” Or something like that.

I kinda’ hate it when performers do that stuff. To be clear, I did not talk during that song. Can’t say the same for the rest of the show.

C’mon, man. You were in a band. You played shows. How did you feel about your audience having a good chat while you were strumming your heart out?

Christian: I think I need some more clarification. Is your concern that if you talk you will be offending the band? Or are you concerned of annoying the person you are with? Or are you concerned of annoying everyone around you?

Just to warn you. Most likely you’re annoying someone.

Pat:  Yeah, and at this point I should probably take it out of the hypothetical and let you know that I DID talk, I DID annoy someone, and I think I WAS that guy.

The exact words exchanged were:

Annoying guy:  So, umm, are you two planning on talking throughout the entire show?

Me:  Well...yeah, I think so.

Annoying guy:  Oh,  that’s kinda’ lame.

Annoying girl (not related to annoying guy):  Yeah, it’s really annoying, you know.

Me: (silence)

Still, I don’t think that’s fair. I thought there was an understanding that concerts were fair game for open conversations. If the band isn’t holding your attention then you may converse. Do you see it differently?

Christian: First off, those people sound like hipsters. Were they hipsters? If so next time just say that you heard some local thrift store had a ton of vinyl and they’ll be running off to their fixed-gear bikes to buy records and be out of your hair. Or just spray them in the face with some mace.

Secondly, having been in bands and having played many shows, seeing two people have a lengthy conversation during our show wouldn’t be ideal. But it would be better than having them just walk off. Or having them spray me in the face with some mace.

If they were the opening band they might have been offended. If they were the headliner it’s probably not as bad since you obviously were sticking around to hear them. However if this band claims to be any sort of rock band at all, then they are at fault for this whole situation. If people can still hear conversations being held while they are playing then they are no rock band.

Let me guess, they were a sissy rock band*?

Pat: Yep. They were a pretty hard-core, to-a-tee-fits-your-definition-of-a-sissy-rock-band rock band. Nice job...very descriptive!

And you know what? Since we started the cordial and informative back-and-forth on this post, I’ve been to another concert--one where I was very interested in seeing the performer, in a small, intimate venue--and there was a group of dipshits nearby conversing throughout the whole affair, annoying the shit out of me and proving to myself that, yes, I was THAT guy at THAT concert.

Do you know if there’s a public online forum where one can go to be absolved of their concert digressions?

Christian: I wouldn’t know. I’m not THAT guy.

* Sissy rock band is the style of music where the band claims to be a rock band and has the traditional rock band instrumentation (electric guitar, drums, bass, etc.) but for some reason only plays slow to medium tempoed songs with very little energy and absolutely no hint of any raw emotion or angst. My go to example is Death Cab For Cutie.