Saturday, November 17, 2007


My bad luck streak from last week continues.

I had to have a tooth extracted this week. As I sat in the cold chair somewhere high above Madison Avenue, waiting for the massive amounts of Novocain that my oral surgeon pumped into my face to take effect, I noticed an ipod and speakers in the room.

"What kind of music would you like to listen to?" Dr. Gray asked.

I've never been a person who listens to music to relax, so the thought of choosing a soundtrack to go along with the act of prying my tooth from its happy home in my jaw was beyond my comprehension. There's no music that goes along with "abject fear".

"Most people don't object to the Beatles," said the chipper doctor.

And so he leaned over me, and I trembled as he reached into my mouth with a big pair of tooth pliers. He sang along with the CD as he worked:

Get back, get back.

Get back, get back.

Back to where you once belonged

Get back Jo.

There was a loud pop! and I jumped.

"Sorry about the noise," said Dr. Gray, then resumed his singing and prying.

When it was over, Dr. Gray explained what he had done, gesturing with his rubber gloves, which were glistening with bright, horrible blood. John, Paul, George, and Ringo sang on in the background.

"Can I see it?" I asked. Why did I ask that?

The assistant held out the tooth on a metal tray. It was gruesome-looking and much bigger than I thought--who knew molars were so large?

I was suddenly energized by the blood and the Beatles and the fact that I was free of my problem tooth. I practically skipped to the front desk, where the nurse handed me an ice pack and told me to eat soft foods and not to exercise strenuously for several days (not a problem, as I can't actually remember the last time I exercised at all, let alone strenuously).

Then she handed me a prescription for Percocet. "In case you need it," she said.

I was full of Novocain courage. "I don't think I'll need it," I slurred from the un-numb side of my face. "I feel pretty good."

The nurse smiled.

The Novocain wore off about 5 hours later.

I needed the Percocet.