Monday, February 29, 2016

The importance of clean thoughts and good oral hygiene

A short story

By Bob Boldt

I was finally having that tooth drilled, the one that had been killing me for over a month now. Dr. Ralph was busy with the first stages of the excavation of the offending rear left molar.
    In spite of the discomfort, I became aware of the presence of the dental hygienist’s body, her pressure against my knuckle tightly clenching the arm of the chair. I was sort of distracted in my discomfort by this erotic sensation, even grateful, but got to wondering about pain and pleasure. For practitioners of negligent oral hygiene like myself, the dentist’s office rarely presents appellations other than titles like “The House of Pain.” I tentatively moved my hand, relaxed it and slid it slightly more to the outside of the armrest. I wasn’t avoiding contact or encouraging it either. The movement was a reminder that it was there, just to avoid or confirm any misunderstanding or misplaced intention. Her pressure remained as firm and constant as before. In fact, before my move, the bone of her hip had been faintly sensed beneath starch and flesh and muscle. Now her new alignment seemed more deliberately erotically charged that before. It brought the softer front of her lower abdomen in more direct contact with the back of my hand, flat against the side of the chair. Did I mention she was a very pretty dental assistant? Beside the obvious attractiveness of a twenty-year-old nicely endowed female, Betty’s personality was as plain as her name. She was still sexy, though, more the result of her youth, heredity, and nutrition than intention. Personally, I find that quirkiness in others, especially the opposite sex, trumps nearly all other traits and physical attributes. Betty was remarkably un-quirky. Should I mention that I felt a slight tinge of guilt that nearly overrode the distracting annoyance of the dentist’s deep drilling that now seemed to be reaching unfathomed depths? Why should I feel guilty? She was doing the pressing. Her job was just to maintain the rhythm of rinse, suction, spit. That could have been done at any of a number of distances from my importunate hand. Speaking of importunate appendages, my manhood (as the Victorian poets called it) began to stir at this renewed, persistent pressure from Betty’s body. Normally the little guy remains accommodatingly docile, even retiring and unobtrusive. Now, against my best intentions, it began to lengthen and stiffen, unfurling if you will, as it will. The autonomic nervous system’s involuntary dictates, which defeat even the prudish, rational mind at times – even inconvenient times like this one – are not to be denied.
    Ralph Branch, DDS, Dr. Ralph his staff calls him, is a strange critter for a dentist. The thought of the ham hands of a person weighing well over three hundred stone delicately navigating a space measured in microns in a back molar seems infinitely more improbable than expecting a gorilla to remove a tiny teacup off the dark interior of a doll house table. Only in plastic surgery is the appearance of its practitioner more important than in dentistry. Let’s face it, for most, a good white smile is more important than a perky nose. In that PR appearance department, Dr. Ralph possesses the look of a giant, unmade, overstuffed Cabbage Patch Doll (remember them?). He has one of those pencil mustaches that used to be so popular with riverboat gamblers and abused car salesmen. Topping that was his tattoo. It surprised me on my first visit when I caught sight of it as he reached past me for an examining mirror. There on the inside of his right forearm, about ten inches from his wrist, was the small image of a skeleton riding a motorcycle. At first flash, I thought I was mistaken. No. When he returned the mirror to the table, I got a good second look. It was amazingly well detailed for its size. It would have easily fit within the space of a single dollar bill, and every bit as complexly inked. It’s once-brilliant colors, if it had them, had darkened to the blue-black common to old tats. Just the barest memory of red flames farting from the bike’s pipes could be imagined and there was a faint glint of a green star in one of the dark sockets. This immediately led to speculations about Dr. Ralph’s past, as perhaps a Hell’s Angel, one of Jerry Garcia’s cohorts, or a pirate. In spite of all that, Dr Ralph was a pretty good dentist and he let you pay over time, a practice unheard of in the profession these days. That, and he worked quietly. There is nothing as agonizing as a chatty dentist who conducts a rhetorical non-stop diatribe about everything from politics to sports. With a mouth crammed full of an arsenal of tools and tubes that would be the envy of a Porsche auto mechanic, the best you can say in response to his asking about your expectations for the Kansas City Chiefs this season is a frustrating discharge of a throaty “Hunhmuff?” You can’t even nod for fear of dislodging a complex array of clamps and suction devices. Such people should seriously consider expanding their skill set to the fields of bartending or hair styling.
    A little pink stab of pain breaking through the soft pillow of numbness that was the lower left side of my face brought the drill and these thoughts to a halt. Dr. Ralph adjusted the light. “Hum.” The word instantly raised little electric sweat beads at my temples and sent a small jolt of fear spurting from my adrenals. You don’t want to hear a word like this from a dentist. “It looks like I see a little nerve there. That cavity is deeper than I thought.” He said to Betty, as if I weren’t there.

Copyright © 2016 by Bob Boldt


  1. The first woman barber I ever went to did that and as she finished cutting my hair(there was a room full of other GIs) she whispered would you like a shave. Hell, why not? I sure couldn't stand up looking the way I did.

    1. Hilarious! Nice comment, Ed. Brings back some red-faced memories of more potent years than I am now trying to enjoy.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. One wonders what got Mr. Gupta removed from the thread. I thought I was the most outrageous commentator.

  4. Mr. Gupta's comment was so patently a tough piece of spam, I was disappointed that Blogger didn't dispose of it for me.
        Outrageous you may be, but at least you don't ply tainted meat.