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The Handsome Chronicles – part 7

Secrets Of Dental Perfection

 

Those of you who know me are aware that I have always taken tremendous, embarrassed pride at my perfect teeth. My teeth are straight, they are white, they shine with moisture and can win over any subversive with a short flash of my dreamy pearls.

 

But those who REALLY know me, (and if you didn’t know this, this doesn’t mean that you are not my friend, or that you are not a loyal fan — it only means that you didn’t know something about me because you’re not as close to me as you might want to be,) know that I’ve only been to the dentist 4 times in my entire life.

 

When I was a young boy I would beg my father to take me to the dentist. I’d clip out ads from the PennySaver or those coupon Val-U-Paks that come in the mail. Clippings with large bold print which advertised “FULL DENTAL CHECKUP + X-RAYS + CLEANING = $5”. I’d tape the scraps of paper to his bathroom door, sneak into his car and leave them on his dashboard and hide them in his wallet when he wasn’t looking.

My pops had gotten the hint after a few years of this that I really wanted to go to the dentist. I’d started to wonder if it was just a casualty of Reaganomics, his aversion to paying out the $5, but the truth was that he was so well aware of the litany of handsome perfection he’d created when he’d had me. One morning after I’d asked him for a trip to the dentist, he brought me in front of the mirror and said, “Smile, son.” I obeyed and smiled. “What good would ever come from spending money on these teeth? We might as well save the $5 toward that kitten you wanted.” I did want a kitten, after all, so it made sense. And he was definitely right about the quality of my teeth. Every time we’d visit the supermarket, the checkout ladies would all coo over my gorgeous eyelashes and fawn over my teeth. “Oh, you have such a wonderful smile. Did you know that you have a beautiful smile? Oh what straight teeth — Did you ever wear braces? I’ve never seen teeth that bright!” It was truly embarrassing and this type of oozing over my handsomeness never went away entirely. How could it?

 

On my 14th birthday my father cheerfully decided that it was time to humor me. He unstuck one of my dental coupons from his bathroom door and he slapped a fiver on the receptionist desk at the dental office. I got a good cleaning and a fluoride rinse. That was nice. I was intrigued by their frightening tooth-mangler apparatus. They poked and prodded and scraped and tapped. They were baffled that I had no signs of cavities or any history of dental procedures. It was a very pleasant experience for me aside from some discomfort at having their weird, pokey, water-leaking tools jabbing into the more sensitive parts of my mouth.

 

“Visit the dentist every 6 months” is the official recommendation by every dental professional, national health official, elementary school teacher and man-on-the-street, but the next time I would visit the dentist was 11 years later. That was embarrassing. When you go to a new dentist they always ask you, “How long has it been since you’ve seen a dentist.” When you answer “11 years” they act a little incredulous.
“11 years?”
“Yeah, but it’s not as bad as you think, I’ve never had any dental problems. Not even a cavity!”
“Well, we’ll see about that. It HAS been 11 years, hasn’t it?”
“Well yeah, but I don’t have any pain or anything.”
“Cavities don’t always cause pain. Anyway, we have an opening next week…”

 

I rolled into the office and they put me through the usual battery of disbelieving questions. “So you’ve never had a cavity?”
“No.”
“Not even one?”
“No.”
“Not even in your baby teeth?”
“No. I didn’t go to a dentist for the first time until I was 14.”
“So then how do you know you never had a cavity?”
“Well, I never saw anything wrong with my teeth. Never had any pain or anything.”
“Didn’t we already tell you that cavities don’t always cause pain?”

 

As you would anticipate, the dentist didn’t find any cavities then either.

 

I went to another dentist about 5 years after that, and again I received the usual incredulity. “It’s been 5 years? You need to go to the dentist every 6 months.”
I argued, “Why do I have to go every 6 months if I never have any problems with my teeth?”
“Because going to the dentist is how you prevent problems from happening to your teeth.”
“But I don’t have any problems with my teeth.”
“How do you know if you never go to the dentist?”

 

And so I visited a dentist about a week ago, and all of the dental technicians praised my enamel, the straightness of my teeth, and the virgin quality of my mouth. They took digital photos of all of my teeth, x-rays, cleaned them, yadda. The dentist asked me if I’d ever had any teeth pulled. “No.”
“No? You’ve never had any teeth pulled?”
“No.”
“Not even your wisdom teeth?”
“No.”
“How often do you go to the dentist?”
“I’ve only been to a dentist about 4 times in my life.”
“4 times? You should go every 6 months!”
“I know…”

 

Another glowing bill of health. No cavities, etc. I didn’t expect anything different. When you’re born with the curse of unbridled handsomeness as I was, going to the dentist isn’t something you ever need worry about. At this stage, the only reason why I go to the dentist is because I like the feeling of extra-smooth teeth, and I get a kick out of shooting water out of the new-found gaps in my beautiful smile. I’m sure you are all wondering what my secret is to perfect dental hygiene. What do I do that’s so special that I’m rewarded with a Christ-like smile? Really I don’t have an official formula — I just go about doing my own thing. But if you follow all of these rules, maybe you’ll get perfect teeth. **

    * Be born handsome. Handsomeness yields perfection from head to toe, skin to spirit.
    * Have a straight set of teeth. I’ve never had braces. I have an overbite, but it works perfectly.
    * Drink 2 liters of diet cola each day.
    * Eat lemon wedges whenever included with iced tea. Eat the lemon rind as well.
    * Don’t bother flossing. Use dental picks. They’re like soft plastic toothpicks with a brush and a pokey.
    * Chew plastic. I’ve chewed plastic since I was a kid. Battleship pegs, straws and other soft plastics.
    * Drink alcoholic beverages.
    * Stay away from cigarettes.
    * Have a pH neutralizing saliva.

 

** These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA or ADA and are not intended to treat, prevent or cure any disease.

 

 

[c] 2009 Russ of America

Toss That Salad

DAY ONE
Hey everybody, someone left two fruit stickers stuck to the kitchen sink. I don’t know which one of you has been eating plums and peaches, but one of you has, and you probably know that it was you. We’d appreciate it if you’d please go back to the kitchen and throw out the fruit stickers. It’ll only take a minute. Thanks.

 

DAY TWO
Hey everybody, if you left a plastic container on the kitchen counter, I’m going to throw it out if you don’t claim it by the end of the day. It looks like it’s been stained with chili or tomato sauce or something, if that helps to jog your memory.

 

DAY THREE
Hey everybody, I forgot to throw out the plastic container yesterday, but really that was your job. You have until noon to claim it or I’m chucking it. It looks like one of the expensive ones. Also, the fruit stickers are still stuck to the sink. If you remember eating fruit any time in the last week, please go to the kitchen and take the bullet for the fruit-eater team by throwing out the stickers. You can cash out your good karma at the next fruit convention.

 

DAY FOUR
Hey everybody, if you take the last donut, please throw out the box. It’s not fair for someone to go into the kitchen and expect the last donut or bagel or pretzel or cake slice or whatever and open up the box to find nothing but a dirty knife. Also, please wash the knife when you’re done with it.

 

DAY FIVE
Hey everybody, most of the people in the office don’t like it when people take half of single serving of something and then leave the rest. So like if there are cookies in the kitchen and you take half of a cookie and then leave the other half, it upsets other employees when they go to the box of pastries and all there is left is half of a cookie. Same with donuts and bagels and stuff like that. People want a whole serving of whatever it is. They don’t want half of a serving or to find an empty box. Opening the pastry box to find half of a cookie is worse than finding no cookie. With no cookie, people think, “Oh, he forgot. Maybe next time he won’t forget.” With half of a cookie, people think, “That guy is too lazy to throw out the box that he’s gonna cut the last cookie in half just so he doesn’t have to bother.” And then they get incredulous because that person left behind the dirty knife too. If you’re so concerned about your weight that you can’t eat an entire cookie, maybe you should stay away from the cookies, you know? I mean, the difference between a half of a cookie and a whole cookie is negligible, calorie-wise, and all you’re doing is depriving your neighbor of the ability to eat an entire cookie. That’s totally selfish. I’m sorry to come off as so hostile, but it’s just so frustrating that I always get a big disappointment when I go to eat something that’s in the kitchen.

 

DAY SIX
The fruit stickers are still in the kitchen. Any time you want to get rid of them, would be great.

 

DAY SEVEN
Something died in the refrigerator. I’m doing a fridge clean-out tomorrow at noon. I’m not throwing out the fruit stickers though. I’m going to leave them there until you get sick of them. If you have anything in the fridge that you want to keep, it’d better have your name and date on it by tomorrow at noon.

 

DAY EIGHT
I’m cleaning out the fridge right now. Last chance to claim your stuff.

 

DAY NINE
Okay, whichever one of you cunts put the garbage that I threw out BACK into the fridge, is a goddamn fucking prick asshole. That’s so fucking nasty!! I can’t even comprehend how you could have touched that with your bare fucking hands. When I threw out that old orange chicken from Lu’s it was covered in fucking liquid fungus. Why the fuck did you put that shit back in there? I swear to fucking Christ, I have no fucking idea how your infantile dick-head minds work. You’re being totally disrespectful of everybody around you, you’re perpetuating a filthy work and living condition, you’re propagating germs and sickness, and you are condoning and encouraging some real anti-social behaviors. How the hell do you maladjusted, pedestrian jerkoffs function in contemporary society? I have no idea how you can be allowed to exist and I am completely and totally sick of working with you goddamn pig motherfuckers.

 

DAY TEN
Hey everybody, I just found out that today is going to be my last day, so I just wanted to say goodbye. I threw out the fruit stickers. If you want to keep in touch, um, feel free to MySpace me. It’s been fun working with such a great group of people and I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

 

 

[c] 2008 Russ of America