Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dental Chickens, Normal Fail, Fun with Puns

Well, dear readers, the dental chickens finally came home to roost for this intrepid typist. I have avoided going to the dentist since probably 2008 or 2009. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t have a dental phobia per se. I was the victim of an over-zealous hygienist some years ago, who scraped my teeth so hard that I couldn’t chew on the right side of my mouth for almost two years, and couldn’t have anything touch my right molars in certain areas without shooting pain searing through my entire body. The thought of anyone scraping my teeth anywhere near those areas was too much to bear, so I figured I’d just brush twice a day, use Plackers, and hope for the best. The other day while flossing, I felt something weird on my front bottom tooth, pulled my lip back, and discovered a completely exposed root. The gig was up. I needed to see a dentist, stat. I was a total wreck about it, but the staff at the dental office was very nice. I was trying desperately to act normal and hide how scared I was, but obviously I failed spectacularly. because they kept giving each other knowing looks and talking to me very gently, as though I were a fragile mental patient on the verge of a crackup.

The bottom line is that have to get a two-part procedure involving unspeakable things that I shan’t go into here. The first part was last week, and I have Part Two to look forward to this week. I stupidly decided I’d be fine to go into work after last week’s procedure, figuring I could just hide out in my office until the numbness wore off, but they had to pump me up with so much anesthesia that that my mouth remained numb for five hours, and, it just happened to be one of those high-drama days in which I kept getting called by the Information Desk volunteers to come and help with various and sundry issues involving the public. On top of it, for some reason my right eye was tearing up endlessly, so I was lurching around, slurring, my eye running indiscriminately, trying to convince the public I was a competent human being who was able to help them with their problems. I kept getting strange looks from my co-workers, too. The following day, one of them told me I had looked half-dead. This week I might just skip the formality altogether and go home afterwards.

In writing news, I’m doing a final push on the novel; getting down to the final or semi-final edit.  I have a teacher friend who offered to read it over the summer while she’s off work and help with an outline and a query letter, so I’m determined to have a polished version for her by June. I’m at the point where I truly don’t know whether the changes I’m making are helping or just muddying the whole thing up, so I’m going to have to call it done pretty soon and release it into the universe. In the meantime, I started working on a new short story/essay hybrid-type thing that’s coming along okay but desperately needs a solid narrative arc. And, a heads-up—the anthology “Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace” is going to be out next week. It has a few of my poems in it from “The Acme Employee Handbook”. Check it out!

I know that puns are supposedly the lowest form of humor, but I don’t give a damn. I think they’re hilarious and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I came across this the other day and I laughed, and laughed, and laughed. So there, humor snobs! (Warning--there is one very inappropriate joke smack in the middle of the clean ones, so don't watch if you're easily offended.)

--Kristen McHenry

No comments: