Quite frequently I find myself fielding the same questions
over and over whenever I am introduced to somebody new.  Questions like, “Sweet bastard, what’s that
smell?”And “Sweet bastard, what the
hell’s wrong with your teeth?”

I haven’t figured out the answer to the first question yet
(I have theories), but I do know the answer to the second question. You see, I haven’t been to the dentist in
about, oh, a fucking eon or so.  Many
people tout the old adage of treating your body like a temple, well, I think
it’s more fun to treat your body like a biker gang’s outhouse.

Fuck you!  I’m gonna
smoke, drink and eat pork!

In recent years I have tried to be better about what goes in
and out of my body, as well as performing the general maintenance associated with
getting older.

So, about two weeks ago I finally swallowed what little
pride I had and decided to make a dental appointment.  This was a massive step for me, since I have
a paralyzing fear of strange men probing the inside of my mouth.  The last time I had a strange man shove his
hand inside my mouth it was a non-consensual affair that took place in the
alleyway behind a Thai restaurant.

And I learned two things that night:#1; alcohol doesn’t completely numb the body
and #2; too much curry makes people do weird shit.

Moving on…

Wandering into the dentist’s office, I was quickly put to
ease by the sight of an older gentleman sitting across from me in the waiting
room.  He had a harelip and, swinging
from his deformed kisser like a liquid pendulum was a thin, gooey string of
spittle.  Apparently, he was unaware of
the juice that dripped from his lip.  I’m
guessing this had to do with the intellectually stimulating reading material
that he was intently focused on.  For my
money, nothing explodes synapses quite like a People magazine article
about those fucking idiots from Jon & Kate Plus 8.  The whole time I was sitting there I was
thinking, Do people with harelips have more dental problems than people
without harelips?  I mean, their upper
teeth are more exposed to the elements since, you know, there is no lip there
to protect the enamel.  Do they have more
tartar buildup and plaque?

Before I could solve these deep riddles and before I could
barf or jam a complimentary toothbrush into my eyeball, I was summoned to the
X-Ray machine.  At first I got excited,
since a heavy bib was draped over my head.  Briefly, I thought, Sweet, Gabe’s gonna be eatin’ ribs tonight!  Alas, the bib wasn’t there to soak up
barbeque sauce, it was there to, I don’t know, soak up radiation or something.  Then a telescope-looking contraption was
swiveled around my head and I was forced to bite down on several hard plastic
things.  The last time I was forced to
bite down on several hard things I was in the alleyway behind a Thai restaurant
and…oh wait, nevermind.  Anyway, this interlude was somewhat disconcerting
because I have a severe fear of robots, machines, and, strangely enough,
radiation.  I handled this well though,
only a drip or two of piss trickled down my pants.

Anyway, after several years of neglect (wherein I gulped
down half a dozen fillings, regularly flossed my teeth with beef jerky, and
consistently gargled with Mountain Dew; leaving my mouth looking like the
worn-out bunghole of a shit-prone Rottweiler) I took my medicine like a man and
was calmly dragged to the dentist’s chair, where I white-knuckled my way
through relaxing probes, pokes and scrapes by a variety of sinister hooks,
spatulas and harpoons.  For a minute
there, I thought I had wandered into the OB/GYN office by mistake.  I can’t wait to get back the results of my
tongue Pap smear!

Immediately I realized that nothing eases the tension quite like
the feeling of a metal hook scraping across sensitive teeth.  I especially get a kick out of sharp steel instruments
being jammed into rotted-out cavities.  Somehow I was able to survive this torture, only to be told that I had
to come back for more work.

More work?

So this is what my life has devolved into.  One uncomfortable dental visit after another
(and, this is no knock on my dentist or anybody else at the office; they’ve all
been great).  As of now, I have a
temporary crown on my back, right molar; while the left side of my mouth has
more exposed holes than an AVN awards-show after-party.  Basically, this means I can’t eat anything
solid.  And that means I can’t eat
anything good.

So I’ve added more Whiskey to my diet.

Take care of your teeth kids!