Posted by: dougery | April 7, 2011

Better Living Through Dentistry

I’m a bit of a germophobe. Back when I worked at 57th Street Books there was this winter where I spent most of my days manning the cash register. The bookstore is in the basement, has no heating of its own (relying on radiant and ‘run-off’ heat from the pipes and spaces above) and the register is about 4 feet from the front door which never shuts properly. Winter in Chicago can deliver temperatures more commonly associated with the dark side of the moon and these along with my compulsion to wash my hands every time I handled money (granted, this was a bookstore, and the few transactions that occurred most often didn’t include cash but still) led to most of my knuckles becoming an angry red. Some would split leaving me to resemble a street fightin man.

Now I am not the only germophobe in the world. I was listening to the commentary on the latest Venture Bros DVD (seriously, you didn’t expect me to go very long without mentioning the VBs, did you?) and co-creator Doc Hammer gifted us the anecdote where he once fell face down in NYC and his diaphragm got punched in by the curb causing him to suck in air violently. Too bad his face was in a NYC black-water mud puddle full of used condoms, syringes and fecal matter. Doc was sure he was going to die (as I no doubt would be) but it turns out he did not even get sick.

We are tougher than all that, it turns out. Doc will even take off his shoe and lick the sole to prove his point but prefers not to so don’t ask. Now I’m not going to be licking the underside of my puma any time soon but I am learning to be better at trusting my body to handle its own affairs.

Take my teeth.

I haven’t been to the dentist in the better part of a decade. Remember John Kerry? Yeah, he and his chin hadn’t yet run for president and nobody knew what a swift-boat was let alone an Obama. But this morning I went in because my wife went last week and scheduled me an appointment knowing that I never would do it on my own. I’ll be honest, I expected a horror-show. I ended up with a slightly longer than average clean-up but all systems are go and my whites are once again pearly.

Seems my mouth is doing a good job all on its own. Well, I mean I do brush and floss and mouthwash so its not like I let it go feral or something. And I was told ‘Youth is on my side’ whatever that means. And I even signed up for a 6 month check-up. Because hey, free toothbrush. The important thing is I survived.

I survived going to the dentist.

Listening to: In Rainbows



  1. Is there really no heat down there???

  2. There’s no thermostat, if thats what you mean. The walls are stone and brick so they retain heat admirably well but its definitely sweater weather up front. or at least it was in aught-5.

  3. Hyde Park, as a rule, is draughty. I think it goes along with the gothic architecture and general misery to make the place seem more like Oxford circa 1346.

  4. ok, i’m going to bring things back around to the dentistry and say this is entirely unfair. i used to go to the dentist religiously every six months and had a cavity every single time and you can go whole decades and have youth on your side. ENVY!

  5. They did find one of my fillings had worn down and an xray will show if I need anything done so it wasn’t ALL good news. But seriously, on the whole I was like, really? You all know I’m like 115% Welsh, right? Pretty sure they should be made of wood by now.

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