How I Lost My Teeth

I can’t talk at the moment.

There’s something like toilet paper crammed in my mouth.

I’m bleeding.

And missing four teeth.

I guess that’s what I get for telling the cashier at Wal-Mart that professional wrestling is fake.

Actually, I just had my wisdom teeth removed. My dentist said that it was time. I nodded in agreement. But on the inside I was thinking that maybe I’d get it done sometime around the year 2032. Upon further review I realized that waiting much longer might mean me trying to log on to the government’s broken website and eventually having my teeth extracted in the back of a van owned by some guy named Vinny. So I decided to go ahead and get rid of my teeth as soon as possible.

The oral surgeon recommended that I have general anesthesia. That is, he wanted me to be knocked out. The same thing they do to you when they remove your liver or give you a new hip. I figure that there are two reasons for this.

1.) More drugs means more money.

2.) If I’m knocked out, he doesn’t have to worry about me jumping up in the middle of the procedure and starting a fight like a Wal-Mart cashier that just found out that wrestling is fake.

But I opted for the local anesthesia. That is, I remained awake with some sort of a numbing agent in my head. There was one reason for this.

1.) Have you ever seen one of those episodes of Dateline NBC where doctors mess around with patients while they’re unconscious? One of my life goals is to never appear on Dateline NBC.

Sorry, Doc.

I brought headphones with me. Someone told me to do this in order to keep my mind off the fact that there is a circular saw in the back of my mouth. That sounded like good advice.

The only problem was picking the right music. You don’t want something too mellow. Beethoven wasn’t concerned with covering up the sounds of circular saws when he composed Moonlight Sonata. But you also don’t want to go too heavy. Metallica might send the wrong message. I went with rap.

Before we got started, the lady asked me if I wanted any gas to help me to relax.

By this time, a 15-foot needle had already been inserted into my jaw. Numerous times. My mouth was too relaxed to say no thanks. But I tried my best.

“No gas, please.”

You’d be surprised how many times a day my wife says that to me.

And so began the digging. It was nothing like what I expected. The oral surgeon shook my head around like one might do while trying to remove the last drop of ketchup from the bottle. I turned up the music. And started to wonder if maybe I should have taken some of that gas.

Right about then the surgeon’s assistant said something to me. I couldn’t hear because my music was too loud. I’m sure everyone in the building would have preferred Moonlight Sonata. As I turned down the volume, I expected the worst.

“Sir, the police are here and they would like to talk to you about the volume of your music.”

“Sir, something is happening to your teeth like we’ve never seen before. Nurse Rockinghammer, get the catheter. Quickly!”

But it was nothing like that. She told me that the procedure was over. I wanted to hug the oral surgeon but he wouldn’t let me. So I just gave him a thumbs up.

On my way to the car all I could think about was spitting. I got to the parking lot and let lose. Sort of. The spit never really let go. It just sort of hung on to my lip, refusing to leave the comfort of my newly renovated mouth. And then a car drove by. There’s no better advertising for your dental office than a guy standing in the parking lot with four feet of red spit hanging from his bottom lip.

Sorry, Doc.

Driving home, it was like the radio DJs knew that I had just had a mild numbing agent put inside of my head. They played a continuous stream of Pink Floyd and The Doors. That was the first time any of those songs every made any sense to me. I contemplated hurrying home to watch The Wizard of Oz before my medicine wore off.

But I settled for professional wrestling instead.

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