Curious Canals

They flicked the lights on.

Try and make yourself comfortable. It’s really not as bad as everyone thinks. Most people, most, don’t even feel a thing.

Thin assurances my reader. But what was I to do? I was already on my back, affixed to the reclining chair. A needle flying towards my face like an airborne military gunship. Ready to strike with (clinical) precision.

I’ve never had a root canal before, dear reader.

My mouth was about to be permanently altered. The hiss and grumble of the drill was audible over the otherwise nice-sounding chit chat.

Contact. The needle reached strike point alpha. And like the bunker-buster missle, buried deep into my gum before releasing it’s payload.

The dentist’s office is always concerning to me. There are variety of social conventions forlorn in the land where only teeth have wisdom. 

For example: before you’re on your back, at the mercy of the instruments of (legal and not liable) torture, you shake hands. They ask you how you’re doing. They pretend to know you by reading notes off a pad. 

Instead of having a conversation with you, they have a conversation at you. You are helpless. Want for a response – assuming you even wanted to respond, and not just jump from the chair and power out of there. But hey, you paid to be here. A deformed and decaying irony in life, to be sure.

They invite you to have a seat using pleasantries like “please” and “thanks.” But make no mistake, they hold all the power. 

The dentist calls in the henchman. Dr. Drill-Baby-Drill and Lieutenant Hand-Me-That-Thing roll over to your side.

And then they don masks. Beneath which no smiles are discernable​. 

Why does my mouth have to be open? I can’t even see yours!

The injection complete, the serpentine drill snakes it’s way to the open cavity. 

This is the moment. The farce ends now. They are going to enjoy this. And-

Nothing. No pain. No involuntary plaintiff wail. No onerous cracks of lightning.

Actually the whole thing really wasn’t bad at all. They really were smiling the whole time. Such fine manners. Skilled hands. Highly competent individuals. 

Root canals, dear reader, are not so bad after all. The whole experience was – while not something I’m eager to repeat – not altogether unpleasant. 

“My, so much easier than everyone makes it out to be!” I thought as I left my former chair-based prison.

And then I had to pay.



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