Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
The Dental Emergency
"Ouch," I screamed. I had just fixed myself a nice
bowl of breakfast cereal, but when I bit down on it, a bolt of
lightning shot through my mouth. It can't be my tooth, I
thought, I was just at the dentist for a checkup this week. It's
probably a sore place on my gum from the cleaning.
By the next day, it was clear something was going on. Every time
I tried to chew, blue thunder crashed and bolts of electricity
shot out my ears. It couldn't be that bad, I consoled myself, or
they would have found it when I had the checkup. I'll call the
dentist from the office Monday.
By Monday morning it was clear I was not going to the office.
Mt. St. Helen's had erupting in my mouth, and molten lava was
pouring into my sinuses. Please, not another $5000 root canal. I
have better things to do with my money than send the dentist on
another vacation to Hawaii.
I called for an emergency appointment and he could work me in
that morning. I'm probably his favorite patient, I thought. I
should have a designated parking place as often as I seem to
empty my bank account there.
"What seems to be the problem?" he purred when I
arrived, as I held tightly onto my purse so he couldn't snatch
it. The problem is the $5000 you are going to charge me, I
thought, but what I said was, "I think it might be
After taking x-rays, and picking and prodding in my sore mouth
like a miner hitting gold, the dentist scrapped me off the
ceiling and told me the good news. "The tooth already has a
root canal." Then he told me the bad news. "I don't
think it can be saved. We might as well make our plans to get it
It can't be saved? It can always be saved. Even if it is only a
cavity attached to a dead root, they always want to save it.
Apparently, he doesn't want to vacation in Hawaii again this
So, he put me on drugs and gave me an appointment to come back
for a major torture session. I could hardly wait. I tried to fix
it myself by brushing, flossing, rinsing, and using dental gel,
but it was too late.
On Thursday I showed up for the assault of Genghis Khan.
"Good morning," said the nurse. Did she have to be so
cheerful? "Good morning," said the dentist, tripping
me with his leg before I could get out the door and flipping me
into the chair with an amazing judo move.
Then he pulled out a needle the size of a jackhammer and
proceeded to shoot my gums with Novocain. After I came to, he
asked how I was feeling. "Otay, I tink," I mumbled as
the dental assistant wet vacuumed the slobber off my chin. Okay,
for a person whose face is now a stone statue, I thought.
Then he attacked me from behind with a pair of pliers. "You
might feel some pressure, he said, as he put me into a full
hammer lock and latched down on my jaw. I heard a horrible
cracking sound, and knew my jaw bone was broken. Call 911!
"I'm going to die. Bottle rockets went off and beautiful
fireworks exploded right there in the dentist office. Amazing, I
thought, as I watched my spirit float out of my body.
The dentist said, "That's it. We're done."
That's it? I'm alive? I can't believe it. Let me out of here, I
thought, as I wondered how far the jump was from the window. I
ran from the office with a hole the size of Crater Lake where my
aching tooth used to be and a mouth full of gauze. "Dood
dye," I said, "Tanks."?
I locked the door to my car. A swat team could not have stopped
my escape. I'm still numb, I thought, I can't feel the bullets
if they shoot. I'm invincible. If only I could make it home
before passing out.
Then I remembered, I forgot to ask for the tooth. Maybe if I
write a nice note for the tooth fairy on the back of the bill
and leave it under my pillow, she will understand.
Copyright 2010 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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