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Terror Tuesday with a twist

Posted by Mick on March 9, 2010 – 11:42 am

Terror Tuesday.

For fans of genre cinema and the Alamo Draft House, Terror Tuesday is a happy day.  For those of you unfamiliar with this thing of which I speak, allow me to explain.

For many years, the Alamo has shown a horror movie from the 70s or 80s, screened in 35 mmm wonderfulness, on Thursday nights.  They called it Terror Thursday.  The move to 6th Street necessitated a change, and Terror Thursdays were moved to Tuesday, with a corresponding change in the name, because Terror Thursday on Tuesday just sounds silly, and it confused some of the slower fans. 

But this particular Terror Tuesday is different.  This isn’t their Terror Tuesday, this is my own personal Tuesday, with a healthy dose of my own personal Terror.  I’m going to the dentist. 

You might not like going to the dentist.  You might be afraid of the dentist.  You’re a lightweight.  I have night terrors about the dentist.  In fact, I can honestly say that, while I have very few nightmare level dreams, almost every one of them involves my teeth, my teeth breaking, and/or a dentist. 

In a cruel twist of fate, or some sort of divine joke, I have bad teeth.  It’s an inherited thing.  I’m not complaining, my mother’s side of the family has blessed me with good genetics for the most part.  We are a long-lived family, and that’s long-lived and active, there’s not many nursing home residents amongst my elderly relatives.  There’s little if any cancer, almost no heart disease, it’s a healthy family, and for that I am grateful.  The trade off for all this health seems to be bad teeth and gums.

I have a mouth full of old fillings from my childhood – the old amalgam fillings (MERCURY FTW!).  Many of my teeth have cracks in them (probably from the fillings).  My gums recede.  I have pockets that trap food.  My mouth is a dangerous place for teeth.  I brush several times a day with a fancy Braun toothbrush designed to fight the demon horde of plaque.  I floss – maybe not as much as I should, but still pretty regularly.  But I avoid the dentist.  I know I shouldn’t, but here’s my reasoning.

  1. It’s expensive. 
  2. I haven’t always had the money to go.
  3. I haven’t had dental insurance
  4. The dental insurance I have now isn’t great.
  5. It’s terrifying. 

Reason 5 trumps all the other reasons.  It’s terrifying.  There are very few things I am afraid of, but the dentist tops the list.  It’s not even the dentist, to be fair.  It’s teeth.  Teeth freak me out.  I don’t like hearing people talk about teeth.  I don’t want to hear what the dentist did to you.  I can’t watch scenes in movies that involve teeth.

Yes, I saw American History X.  No, there is absolutely nothing in any movie I have ever seen that I find more cringe inducing than the sidewalk dentistry scene in that film.  I’m shaking right now just thinking about it.  It’s horrific.  If that had been me, Edward Norton would have had to shoot me.  There’s no way in hell I would have put my teeth on the curb like that.  I’d rather die.

I would rather die.  This is a fact.  This is not me being hyperbolic, this is not me being dramatic, this is not me telling a story.  I would rather die than have my teeth broken like that.

I broke a tooth while skiing once.  The binding came off my ski.  Read that sentence again.  The binding, which is securely attached to the ski and functions in such a way that it hold the ski firmly to your boot and thus firmly to your foot, that binding, CAME OFF THE SKI.  It came off, then the ski came off my boot, then I fell, going into a lovely roll down the mountain.  At some point, the butt end of the handle of my ski pole made full on contact with my face, resulting in a shattered front tooth.  By shattered, I mean I was spitting out some pieces of my tooth, whilst other pieces were still sticking out of my gum.  Sharp pieces.  I had to ski the rest of the day like that. 

It’s almost impossible to eat a sandwich when you have a broken front tooth.  I learned that.

When I was a child, my mother would always make me potato soup after the dentist.  I’m not really a fan of potato soup, but to this day, the thought of potato soup after a dental visit is still calming.  That, and pudding.  Chocolate pudding.  Chocolate pudding makes everything better.

Back to today:  One of my back teeth is hurting, one of the cracked teeth, and I guess if i don’t go to the dentist it will get worse.  I’m trying to behave like a responsible adult for a change and I’m going to go see the dentist and ask him (or her) to please fix it before it gets worse, no matter how much cry.  There may be a crown involved, or there may be an extraction.  I hope he doesn’t want to pull it.

I had a tooth pulled about two years ago.  It was my first extraction as an adult (if you don’t count my one wisdom tooth, which I say doesn’t count because it was removed by an oral surgeon), and I learned something else on that day.  My teeth may break, my teeth may decay, my teeth may hurt, but my teeth do not let go.  I didn’t think he was going to get it out.  He had to take a pry bar to my mouth at one point.  I would prefer not to do that again.

So, in just a few short hours, I will be at the dentist.  I’m already starting to freak out.  By the time I get there, I will be close to a full blown panic attack.  But this too shall pass.

I’m a big boy.  I can do this.

There had better be pudding tonight.  And potato soup would be nice.  That’s all I’m saying. 

Be good to each other.

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