I like to find humor in uncomfortable circumstances. Yesterday, I went to the dentist.

I like to find humor in uncomfortable circumstances. Yesterday, I went to the dentist.

It all started about two weeks back, when I came into Shady Cove Family Dentistry for a cleaning and exam. Early into the visit, it came to me that my great dentist, Dr. Luke Murphy, was also a harbinger of prophetic utterances. I discovered this when he mystically shared a joke his little daughter had told him.

Q: Why did the princess go to the dentist?

A: To get crowned.

And that was before I even opened my mouth. But he is well acquainted with the treasure trove that lies therein.

Sure enough, it wasn't long before he'd located nasty Mr. Decay lurking beneath one of my antique fillings the size of Rhode Island. It was likely one of a horde of fillings that his predecessor, Dr. Lassen, installed before taking an early retirement. Now I needed a crown.

Anyway, yesterday was my latest coronation. I've gotten so many crowns I should get a punch card. As I indicated, it was a large molar, and I like to be good and numb, so he said he'd go slowly with the shot(s). I closed my eyes to the inevitable, and after a few moments of gentle preparation, I said, "Wow, that was gentle. I hardly felt a thing."

"That's because we haven't done anything yet," he said.


After the shots, I began to talk like Daffy Duck. I doubted I'd feel any discomfort because I couldn't feel my ears. I didn't stop trying to talk, however, and noticed Dr. Luke grab for his face mask. Jessica, his assistant, already had her mask and goggles in place. She wiped them.

One feature I love about the SCFD office is I can watch a movie while being subjected to all manner of intrusive tinkering. This visit, I brought a classic comedy from my library, "Living it Up." I chuckled and wiped my glasses of flying debris every so often as he drilled away, at certain intervals exchanging the drill for what seemed like a jack hammer that felt as if it was making a martini of my brain.

During one of my favorite scenes, I asked the doc, politely, if he could keep it down a little because it was the part where Edward Arnold threw his wife's fur coat off the balcony and it landed on Jean Arthur's head. Of course, it came out sounding unintelligible and he nodded, smiled and continued drilling and jack hammering.

At last, when Dr. Luke announced, "We've about got the lion's share of the drilling done," as he hovered over the crater, I thought I heard an echo.

I took inventory and discovered my petite mouth now contained two pairs of hands, one Rubbermaid cake carrier and a shop-vac hose. At least that's what it felt like. When the doc called for Katy to come help them shove in the Silly Putty, I marveled at the logistics.

All the while, Jessica was diligent at the suction tube and prevented my swallowing any nuts and bolts. When I got a break, I asked for a mirror to make sure my uvula was still attached. I later drank a vat of water to restore my bodily fluids to their normal levels, and my head popped back into shape.

When I went to the desk to pay for all this attention was when the pain started. But I'm just imagining the exotic places I'll see by using my United Visa card. I won't be able to eat when I go, but that's for another column.

It's two days later and my face is still numb, but I'm wearing one of my daughter Emily's old bibs. It pays to hold on to things.

I sometimes exaggerate, but the part about Dr. Luke Murphy being a great dentist is true. I wouldn't think of being crowned anywhere else.

Peggy Dover is a freelance writer who works from a 1900 farmhouse in Eagle Point. Reach her at pcdover@hotmail.com.