First off : Why a guy ( or a girl ) goes into dentistry I’ll never know . Looking into someone’s mouth all day ? Are you kidding ? Doing intricate work while the poor victim writhes and whimpers and tries to hold still ! Really ?
I asked my dentist of twenty years what made him go into dentistry . Was it always his dream to be a dentist from a young age ? He looked out into the hallway , lowered his voice , and for once in all those years he whispered .
” I was a math teacher , ” he said . He said it conspiratorially , knowing that I , too , was a teacher . He , apparently , didn’t want his technicion to know . He didn’t want his office manager to know . I was okay , I guess , because I was one of them , a teacher .
He told me that his wife bugged him about salary . He didn’t have to say : You know what I mean , because I knew what he meant . A dentist makes more than a teacher . Even a math teacher . He went into dentistry for the bucks . So , why not ! He could have done worse .
What’s the name of the dentist who shot Cecil the lion ? It’s been all over the social media . Dentists ! First off : You have to be a little squirrely in the cabeza to be a dentist . Looking all day long into people’s mouths for a living , having one -way conversations , piling up your cash and wondering , perhaps , about the meaning of life ? Is this what it’s all about ? ” Open wide ! ”
My dentist died a few years ago . Ada called him ” the Nazi ” at first because , in part , he made fun of her Polish dental work . He even called in his fellow dentist to point it out to him while making disparaging remarks as if Ada wasn’t right there sitting defenselessly in the chair . I thought the guy was somewhat of a jerk , too , at first , but he was USC trained , and taught at USC , and was highly qualified . I would rather have a talented jerk working on my teeth than a friendly incompetent. After awhile he and I had become friends .
Over the years Ada got to like the guy , and he confided in her . They were dental chair confidants , I suppose . He told his deep darkest secrets to her , I think , and she probably told him : Doesn’t matter that you’re a dentist . Life still offers possibilities . There is hope .
To me he talked sports and politics . It was several years before it dawned on him that neither of these topics got him much of a response from me . Dentists love to talk to helpless people who have their mouths propped wide open and full of Novacaine and/or extremely sharp dental instruments . Dentists ! To paraphrase from another context : We can’t live with ’em and we can’t live without ’em !
I have a carpenter friend whose ex-girlfriend is a dentist . She dumped my friend and married an ambitious young corporate lawyer and they bought a house together high up in the Hollywood Hills . My friend built a deck for them so that they could sit out in the warm California air and enjoy their magnificent view of the city . My friend and the dentist forgot to mention their former romance to the lawyer . She promised dental work in payment for the deck . It sounded , at first , like a good deal but , after his fifth or sixth trip over there to make another alteration for the picky lawyer , my buddy realized that he’d made a bad bargain . One day he put his foot down and refused any more unpaid alterations and was summarily threatened with a lawsuit . Life is complicated sometimes . Mark Twain said if you don’t lie you don’t have to have a good memory . But it all , eventually , worked out. No one sued anyone . The lawyer had no time to enjoy his deck , though , after all . He was on his way to being a partner .
Let’s move on .
When I was a kid my mother took my brothers and my sisters and I to a dentist named Dr. Abercrombie . There was no Fitch . Dr. Abercrombie found two or three cavities every visit and he filled them with silver fillings . The silver affected my brain and , over time , made me an imbecile , moody , and subject to random fits of rage and insanity . I don’t blame Dr. Abercrombie , though . He was only doing what he thought was best , and he had children’s magazines in the waiting room . Maybe he dreamed of killing lions while he poked around in our mouths and poured the metal stuff into out teeth , but he didn’t show it.
Sometimes a guy’s ( or a gal’s ) profession affects them in more ways than might meet the eye . Someone should do a study of dentists to see how the particular stresses of that job are manifested in other parts of a dentist’s life . Maybe a study of this type has already been done but the government has kept the results securely under lock and key . A whole hell of a lot of stuff that probably should not be classified , as we know , is still classified . On the other hand , maybe we just don’t want to know too much about dentists and their fantasy lives of being big game hunters and the like . It would only upset us .