The Wages of Candy

It’s 9:00 AM and I’m sitting in the dentist’s chair. The news is not good.

“It needs to be extracted,” the dentist says, pronouncing my molar’s death sentence.

“Wow,” I reply. “That bad?”

“Yes.”

“You can’t fix it?”

“You could get a root canal and a crown,” the dentist replies. “But even after spending all that money the odds are good you’ll lose the tooth anyway.”

“So it makes clinical and financial sense to have it pulled.”

“Yep.”

“Just great.”

“I don’t like to lose,” the dentist says, almost apologetically. “But the tooth is too far gone.”

“That’s what I get for letting it go so long.”

The dentist pats me on the shoulder. “It’s a fairly straightforward extraction. Shouldn’t be too much trouble.”

“When should I have it pulled?”

“The sooner the better. I’ll see if I can get you an emergency appointment with the oral surgeon today.”

“Okay.”

The oral surgeon can’t squeeze me in until 5:30 PM, so I have seven hours to kill. I go to the grocery store and pick up some food – soft food that is. I buy yogurt, soup, ice cream, an onion, a can of diced potatoes, and a half carton of eggs. Since I have no cash I get into the express lane which accepts credit cards.

“I’m sorry, sir,” the cashier says, handing back my Visa. “Your card’s been declined.”

“What?”

“Your credit card’s been declined.”

“Why?” I ask, looking at the cashier’s terminal.

“The computer says you have to call your credit card company,” the cashier says with a diffident shrug.

“Just great.”

“Do you have another card?” the cashier asks, looking at me like I’m “sketchy.”

“Yeah. Hang on.”

As I fumble through my wallet the fat man standing in line behind me starts groaning impatiently. After a few seconds I find another charge card. Satisfied I’m not a deadbeat; the cashier rings me up and bags my purchases. Once I get to my car I call the credit card company.

“We detected fraudulent activity on your card,” the customer rep says. “So we shut it off.”

“What kind of fraudulent activity?” I ask.

“Adult websites, offshore gambling – the usual.”

“How much did they charge?”

“Not a lot,” the rep says. “About $60 bucks worth of stuff. They were probably testing to see of the number was good.”

“I wonder how they got a hold of my number.” I say. “I’m so careful.”

“There’s no way to know, sir,” the rep says. “They’ve got thousands of ways to get your information.”

“I better call my other credit card companies,” I say. “Make sure no other hanky panky’s going on.”

“That’s a good idea, sir.”

The rep tells me I’ll get a replacement card in several days. I go home, heat up some soup, and review the purchase history of all my credit cards. Other than the recent thievery I’m okay – unless you count the $200 I spent on gas has last month.

At 6:00 I’m sitting in another dentist chair waiting for the Novocain to kick in. As my lip starts to puff, I run my tongue over the condemned tooth. I actually feel sorry for my molar, guilty that I didn’t take better care of it.  Suddenly a wave of anxiety washes over me. Sitting alone in the office I feel small and vulnerable. I just turned forty, my teeth are falling out, identity thieves are funding their wank fests with my hard earned money, and gas costs over $4 a gallon. I fight the urge to flee the oral surgeon’s office and escape with my molar. But I had a tooth abscess on me once. I know the pain that’s in store if I don’t take care of this situation right away. I stuff my raw feelings deep down inside me. It’s time to “cowboy up.”

“Are you ready?” the oral surgeon asks as he comes into the room.

“As ready as I’ll ever be.”

“Are you numb enough? I don’t want you feeling any pain.”

“I think so,” I say. “Let’s just get this over with.”

“You want any gas?”

“No thanks.”

The oral surgeon is very skilled and works quickly. After a few minutes of pressure, crunching noises, and a blast of mind searing pain, it’s all over.

“Ughhhh,” I say, spitting blood and bits into a spittoon. “That sucked.”

“You okay?” the oral surgeon asks.

“Uhh huh.”

“Look at this tooth,” the oral surgeon says, pointing to the shattered molar lying on the instrument tray. “It’s completely infected.”

‘The wages of candy is death,” I reply, feeling like someone punched me in the face.

“It was a time bomb. You’re lucky we got it out when we did.”

“Wonderful,” I groan.

The dentist gives me prescriptions for Vicodin and antibiotics along with my post-operative instructions. Before I go to the cashier I stop in the bathroom to wash my face. I don’t want anyone to see that I’ve been crying. Some cowboy.

I drive home with an ice pack on my face. Of course I get stuck in rush hour traffic. By the time I walk into the pharmacy it’s 7:30PM. The Novocain’s starting to wear roof.

“How long will it take to fill this?” I ask the pharmacy tech.

“An hour,” he replies.

“Oh man,” I say. “Can you speed it up? I just had a tooth pulled.”

“Sorry, sir,” the tech replies, flatly.  “We’re behind today.”

I decide not to get aggravated. That’ll only make matters worse. I go home, pop some Advil, and take Buster for a long walk. After an hour I return to the pharmacy. The line in front of the counter is huge. I learn from elderly health care cognoscenti waiting with me that the regular pharmacist quit the day before and a sub’s filling in. I wait another forty-five minutes behind a disheveled man who’s muttering to himself and producing a prodigious amount of flatulence.

“You have a prescription for me?” I ask the tech when I finally reach the counter.

“I’m sorry, sir.” The tech says. “It’s still not ready.’

“But you’ve had over two hours!” I yelp, my patience finally buckling. “I’m in pain.”

The tech gives me a shell shocked shrug and turns his attention to another customer. I go to the waiting area to sit down, but It’s full of miserable looking elderly people so I can’t. I lean against the counter and wait. For another half hour I listen as anxious people crab about money, ailments, and insurance. I’m starving and the empty socket in my jaw starts to ache. I feel like Job.

I finally get my prescriptions and go home. I make a potato and onion omelet, carefully eat it with the untraumatized side of my mouth, and wash it down with water and 500MG of Amoxicillin. I’ve had a really bad day. I want a drink. I pop a Vicodin instead. Exhausted I get into bed. As I slip under the covers I run my tongue around the empty socket where my molar lived for almost forty years.  I’m feeling very sorry for myself.

But as I start nodding off I think about the tough things some friends of mine are dealing with – death, disease, injury, and unemployment.  I’m not having a bad day. I’m not even close to having a bad day. Or am I being too hard on myself? Am I minimizing?  I don’t know. I’m sleepy. Buster curls up next to my feet and I drift off into a narcotic slumber. At some point during the night I dream that a dissatisfied restaurant customer reaches into my mouth and pulls out my teeth.


Comments

The Wages of Candy — 179 Comments

  1. Whoa. This was just a story about a bad day until you wrote the very last line. Now it’s about something bigger and deeper.

    Funny how we try to compartmentalize our lives and it doesn’t always work.

  2. you have my sympathy. could be worse though.
    last week my dentist was having a terrible time
    removing my old bridge. he’s in his 70s and
    was breathing and perspiring heavily for over
    an hour, muttering that he might yank out
    one of the anchor teeth inadverently. if that happpened no bridge would work and I would
    wind up being a gummy bear because no denture will work on me due to a congential condition. anyway in the end all went well.

  3. $9 a gallon here in the UK. The country is almost on strike now, there’s talk of a national strike in which everyone boycotts work until the government reduces tax on fuel to an acceptable level – whether the strike is legal or not is another things entirely; we could end up with cheap fuel and unemployment through the roof.

  4. Feeling your pain – I’m ‘Dental Royalty’ myself, with the amount of crowns I have in my mouth. I lay the blame solely at the feet of my British father.

    Other than the wisdoms, haven’t had to get one extracted yet. Root canals are a bi*ch, though.

    Chin up – savor the Vicodin.

  5. I’ve had a LOT of dental work done…oral surgery of any kind really sucks! So go ahead and feel sorry for yourself for a bit. You’ll feel MUCH better soon! Take care.

  6. I like to remind myself every day that I live life like a Prince because I’ve never had to ask if I’d eat, but rather what and how soon.

  7. Count your lucky stars Waiter–you’ve got a good dentist! Most (at least most of the ones I’ve ever had the displeasure of dealing with) see what you need done and almost immediately you can see their eyes light up with $$$$$ signs– like you are going to help finance their new Lear jet…. My teeth aren’t even that bad and I had one *sshole tell me it was going to cost $15,000 for the work and “how would you like to pay for that?” The nerve….”DDS” should be changed to “DHR”–Doctor of Highway Robbery!

    Bottom line, it’s the same everywhere–nobody wants to work anymore and everybody wants to strike it rich and retire–great example–ever notice who the ambulance chasers ads have changed from “Have you been injured in an accident?” to “Have you been SERIOUSLY injured in an accident?”. Won’t be long and the lawyers won’t take your case unless they can clear a million……

    I’m not bitter–I’d just like it if people would actually do their jobs/not whine about it/and not automatically expect me to make them rich…

    I guess I expect too much…..

  8. Waiter, you realize of course that you will eventually be the guy muttering to himself and producing a prodigious amount of flatulence. As will I. Take care of the rest of your teeth, my friend.

  9. The wages of candy….and then dream sequence.
    Even whining you make me smile but how about a little love for the denist?
    The occupation has one of the highest if not the highest suicide rates. They have to be medical-school smart. It takes forever to get through school and nobody wants to see them. Nobody listens to them. I know I don’t. I still have a mouthful of work I’m saving $$$ for and putting off for courage to grow.

  10. Aw man! Wow! I know how you feel…strange how we guilt trip ourselves for having a bad day simply because there are so many worse things that could have happened or are happening to others. Every man’s own problems seem like the worst though, don’t they?
    I think we all know how it feels to have such an awful day, where nothing goes right and we can’t seem to catch up and recover.
    Hope you’re starting to feel better.

  11. For what it’s worth, I love having a missing molar. They took out the last of my baby teeth when I got braces and one tooth never grew back. I like having the empty space and have never seriously considered getting an implant. (And this way, you see, I won’t starve to death if I get lockjaw!)

  12. Damn that’s timely. I feel your pain, literally. I had to have a molar extracted this morning for just that very same reason. Thanks to a (small) handful of acetominophen I just have a dull ache, though after work I’m getting some Darvocet to put me out for the night.

  13. Ouch – I’m sooo sorry that happened to you, Waiter. You definitely have my sympathy.

    I really appreciated your sense of perspective at the end of the post – I always take time to count my many blessings when I feel like the world is pooping on me. Good luck, and I hope you heal up soon.

  14. It’s very difficult to face any of the little hiccups along the road as we get older. Even more difficult for those of us who are single, we all long for someone to hold our hand and tell us it’ll be okay. In the place of that good friends, faith and some perspective on how much worse things could be always help me find solace. Sounds like you’ve got it in hand.

    Hope the next day pain wasn’t too bad.

  15. Sorry WR, but Lee was right.

    The last line in your post is the deal, the `tell’, the truth.

    You are in great shape – remember that – but you need to mix more.

    Hollywood will take care of it.

    :) )

    Why you have pain at a Dentist in 2008 in the USA makes the mind boggle. Doesn’t happen here.

  16. I am sorry you went through this- including your pharmacy experience, but you do seem more optimistic in this blog than some of your other recent ones.
    Feel better soon!

  17. I could write a book on dental nightmares that have happened to me. From dentists who threw objects at me because I shook in fear as a small child to having a molar pulled because I knew my mother couldn’t pay for a root canal for me. During my early married years I had my jaw broken, and wore braces for 3 years, all with no insurance and a lot of doing without to make payments. I have an appointment on Tuesday and even though I like the dentist, I dread it. My facial nerves grew around my teeth from my broken jaw and now I have experienced two separate appointments with no anesthetics while being drilled. It was stressful on the dentist and he kept asking if I was all right, and I urged him to go on mostly to get it over with. I just did it because I felt I had no choice. The older I get, the feeling of having no choice in medical matters seems to be the norm. I still have no insurance and I’m driving 3 hours away to reach my dentist. Yes I feel the pain and I use a technique learned in childhood to deal with it. It’s one step away from MPD and not something I had a choice in learning.

  18. I feel your pain. I got my wisdom teeth out last Tuesday…and was hoping to be able to go back to my own place (I’m in school about 3 hours away from my parents’ house, and that’s where I work) Sunday, but the lower left socket went dry on me, so I’m stuck here for a couple more days. Yaaayy…

    Happy hurtin’, Waiter, and I hope we feel better soon.

  19. Vicodin always makes the happy come back. Hoping you make a speedy recovery and don’t an inadverdent side-effect of writers block,

    Sincerely,
    The Canadian version of you

  20. No, that’s a bad day. When I have a bad day, people always used to bring up how people are dying all over the world, being raped, etc. Yes they are and their days are absolutely awful. But every person works on their own scale. Just because they have it worse doesn’t mean that it isn’t absolutely miserable for you. I’m not saying you should just curl into a ball and cry yourself to sleep, but all those factors definitely do help make a shitty day. Hopefully this is just one low point and not the start of a string of bad events.

    Oh also? If anyone gives you hell about whining on here, screw them. This is your place on the internet where you can go and laugh, cry or do whatever the hell you feel like. If they have a problem with what you write they can go to a different website.

    Sorry if this is kind of incoherent. I had back surgery 2 days ago so I’m very high on pain killers as well. My mind is a giant pile of goo.

  21. My sympathies, I still have vivid memories of having my wisdoms cut out. You’re also quite fortunate…my FIL got a bad infection in his mouth which almost killed him. It surprised me how bad it can get.

    Good luck with those dreams.

  22. As a candy addict with an overwhelming fear of the dentist, I feel for ya Waiter. As a teenager I was molested by a dentist when under ‘twilight sleep’. It took me 30 years to get the nerve to finally see a dentist when the side of my face looked like I was morphing into an alien. I’ve still got the candy addiction and an extremely patient and competent female dentist. Enjoy Vicodin land Waiter!!!

  23. Waiter, I feel ya. I had my wisdom teeth pulled last month and it was straight misery for a week. The painkillers did their job, but having to eat milkshakes and soup for a week got to me. So did seeing all the blood on the guaze in my mouth. But thankfully I have a wonderful husband who did take care of me.
    It’s OK to have a bad day. It helps us appreciate what’s good in our lives. Get better soon!

  24. and rem save any leftover Vicodin for a rainy day NO selling them to coworkers. TO the nonservice industry readers -a waiter never has as many adoring friends as when he has half a scrip of pain meds left over.

  25. Sympathies! I just turned 40 myself and had to have a root canal. *sigh* :)

    On the other hand, I have a friend who talks a lot about the difference between “inconvenience” and “crisis”. (It’s an Inconvenience not a Crisis) Considering that he just got diagnosed with pancreas cancer, I guess he kinda knows what he’s talking about! So everything in perspective.

  26. Aah, pumpkin, hang in there. I find that usually when I am feeling sorry for myself, it is best just to go to bed and try and get a good night’s sleep. things usually look better in the morning. Just something I”ve learned since I’ve passed the 40 mark.
    Don’t feel bad about the teeth. You acted pro actively. Rest, eat the soft food, take the drugs when necessary, and you’ll snap back soon, I promise.

  27. Oh, poor honey, I am so sorry. Really, what an awful day. The only bright side to this is that your dentist didn’t play with you and stretch this out into expensive agony.

    Sleep, rest, get better. You aren’t whining. You’re being a human being. It’s okay.

  28. Dude, I just had a dream about losing a molar! And there was a car wreck, too…

    Never feel like you aren’t entitled to a bad day just because others have it worse. Yes, that was a bad day, and I hope things are looking up now.

  29. Today is the day that VISA cut off my credit (my house is being foreclosed).
    “No sweat,” I thought. “I’ll just stop at the bank and get some cash with my ATM card.” My Social Security check was just deposited, and I know there’s plenty in the vault.
    Actually, I know that going on a cash basis will be good for me — just inconvenient.
    I punched in my usual monthly cash withdrawal of $260, only THEY REFUSED TO GIVE IT TO ME. I finally got $50, and tomorrow will have to go back to the bank to see what’s going on.
    LIFE SUCKS, UNTIL YOU CONSIDER THE ALTERNATIVE!

  30. Wow – the story about your tooth and the pharmacy is almost identical to mine. I also had a tooth abscessed, though they didn’t yank it they did roto-rooter it out pretty good. I also got stuck in rush hour traffic, had to wait at the pharmacy for an indifferent clerk to fill my script as the anesthesia wore off, and felt awful sorry for myself for not taking better care of my teeth. I’m also dealing with similar issues and trying desperately to cowboy up, if for no other reason than I don’t have any other option (does any one of us, though?). All I can say is that it can make you feel, as you say, awfully small, and awfully alone, no matter how big your support network is.

    Everyone hits rock bottom in their own way, some more specatacularly than others. But there’s no doubt it royally sucks for each one of us, individually. Just try to keep getting up, getting up, getting up. Best of luck, waiter. To you and all of us.

  31. ohh Hun, that bites. I’m with you though, I have to call the oral surgeon tomorrow to make my appt to get the 3 remaining wisdom teeth taken out. :-( Hope you feel better!!

  32. Ow Ow Ow! I would rather have knee surgery than go to the dentist…seriously! (And I’ve had 5 knee surgeries, so I know what I’m talking about!)

    One piece of advice…never turn down the gas. Using the gas really makes a huge difference in your comfort level…even for some time afterward. For years, I went to a dentist that didn’t offer it, and I was always “white knuckles.” Then I switched to one who did offer it, and that was soooo much better. Very calming. I highly recommend it.

    Hope you feel better soon.

  33. Don’t feel so bad. I have had horrible teeth since I was a child and a dentist applied what at the time were called “sealants”. I remember him acting so proud that he was the only dentist in the area to offer them. What they ended up doing was dissolving the enamel (outer layer) of all my teeth. I’ve had rotten teeth falling out of my face since my 20s. I’m now forty, and most of my teeth have fallen out. In another year or so, I’ll be in full dentures, which are never cheap, but I’m tired of hiding my teeth behind a closed-lip smile all the time.

    Oh, and a good friend of mine just last week discovered that his wife has been sleeping with a local police officer for several months, spending time at his house, sleeping over while he worked the night shift, and spending his money on gifts for the cop. Now she’s contacted a lawyer and they’re discussing alimony. She sleeps with another man and he’s going to have to sell his house, his truck, and pay her for nearly ten years, besides the fact that he still loves her dearly.

    Yeah, the old “other people have it worse” admonition doesn’t make one feel any better, but it is true.

  34. I hate the dentist. I went last week for a cleaning and ended up being told I have to go back for a filling. It was a disappointing day since I never had a cavity for awhile. Hope your having a better day today.

  35. As I eat my third Jolly Rancher, I thank my lucky stars that I have good dental coverage at work. The restaurant industry is not known for its great benefits, unless you consider ulcers, insomnia and low wages to be beneficial. :)

  36. I often use the ‘someone somewhere has it a lot worse off than I do’. When it comes to health/discomfort/pain stuff, I think, Wow, I’m so glad I’m not a farmer in China or a girl in N. India or whatever (in fact, when I had a baby in China, as I laboured, I kept thinking, sorta deliriously, I’m so glad I’m not in Bosnia!). So I don’t think it’s a pollyannish way to go. Contentment is a state of mind, not of circumstance.

  37. Jesus Waiter! That sounds like a bad day to me, and not much you could do about it too.

    This post comes like a sent from hell to me, I’m 21 and I’m (finally) getting my wisdom teeth, more like a tooth, though. And you know what? I do not want to go to the dentist, not that I’m afraid of all the machinery and the weird noises, nor the blood, I’m afraid (s)he’ll say: “Oh, that’s a bad tooth we got there, off with it”, I can almost imagine the dentist like the Queen of Hearts with a mask and an evil grin under it. You see I’m terribly afraid of the syringes, I don’t want any of that near my mouth and, on the other hand, I’m terribly afraid of anaesthetics. Last time I was in that dreadful chair it was because of cavities, seven of them actually and had them all scraped out and refilled without anaesthetics, the doctor warned me the drill was going in deep, but I didn’t care, therefore I had to deal with head-splitting pain for almost 40 minutes whilst he worked on my teeth, that’s exactly how scared I’m of syringes.

    Waiter, I really hope you feel better, enjoy the Vicodin while it lasts, because it’s candy from the Gods.

    Oh, and one more thing, where I live the gas is $5.7 a gallon and keeps raising, people where bringing it up so I though I would throw in my two cents.

    Good luck, and keep those teeth clean!

  38. You’re allowed to feel like you’re having a bad day even if there are others who have it worse.

    And don’t those thieves realize there are free porn sites???

  39. Oh man, I feel your pain. I too live alone and feel like I may never have someone to take care of me on days like that. I’ve never had a tooth extracted but there have been many doctor’s appointments when I have wished I had someone to drive me there, to hold my hand, to give me a hug and say it’s going to be okay, to pick up the groceries and prescriptions so that I can go home and lie down on the couch. Days like those I feel like poor old Atlas. I wish I could have been there for you. But it says a lot for your mental health that you’re able to put things back in perspective without a major reality check. I find the world is a harsher place without sleep and food and my perspective returns when I’m rested and fed.

    FYI, some say that teeth problems mean you’re having trouble making decisions. Anything to that?

  40. I’ve read every inch of your blog over the years and I’m also a pharmacist. Your post cut through me. Find another pharmacy. Stay away from the chains. Go to a supermarket or a mass merchant retailer like Target or Walmart. I used to work for a big chain and pharmacists know what it’s like to “be in the weeds”. I work for a supermarket now and people like you never wait more than 10 minutes where I work now. Feel better.

  41. Look for a new dentist. There should be no mind searing pain – a good dentist will know how to make it pain free. Also, a good dentist will call the prescription into the pharmacy for you so you would have just walked in and picked it up. It’s not that hard – and they do it all the time. Next time ask them to phone it in while you are in the office so you do not have to suffer.

  42. hope you aren’t in much pain any more.
    I have to get my wisdom teeth pulled in a few weeks. not looking forward to it at all. :(

  43. It must be in the air, I just broke a tooth – we’re across the country from home. Luckily the closest dentist got me in that same day, and they were wonderful. Expensive, but the the wife’s employer gods came through with dental insurance. Then last night I too had The Broken Tooth Nightmare from Hell. At least I’m in good company!

  44. As a recent sufferer of the wages of candy, I totally feel your pain. I had to have my first(and hopefully last) root canal the day before my birthday, and what they didn’t tell me was that it was going to hurt like fuck afterwards. They also didn’t prescribe me ANYTHING for the pain they knew would ensue. I had to call them, practically in tears the next morning and beg them for drugs. When they finally gave in, the meds I got weren’t strong enough to even take the edge off the hurt, so I eventually resorted to other means: rifling through my medicine cabinet until I found some darvocet left over from an ankle injury last year. Thank god I listened to the little voice that told me to stash one or two away “just in case”.

  45. Waiter, sorry you had such a bad day. My motto has always been better living through chemistry, so enjoy the drugs, now that you have them! But once the drug-induced haze wears off and you feel better, you should probably check your credit report, if you haven’t already. http://www.annualcreditreport.com is the government site that provides one free credit report per year from each of the three credit reporting agencies. Might be a good idea to get one now, another in 4 months and 8 months, just to make sure your credit is safe. Hope you feel better soon!!

  46. Spellcheck did you no favors today, either —
    “The Novocain’s starting to wear roof.”

    Hope you feel better soon & thanks for the didactic tale! I think I might even finally start to floss after this entry.

  47. My dentist, who I love to tears, said that pulling three of my wisdom teeth would be a piece of cake. “They’ll roll right out.” So with several shots of Novocain “rolling right out” ended up as a three hour procedure, one shattered tooth, and me sobbing so hard with a bloody mouth full of cotton that the people in the waiting room were asking about me. Tooth extraction is not something that’s easy to “Cowboy Up” for.

    Sorry you had such a bad day. You have good perspective, but, ya know, sometimes you’ve gotta cut yourself some slack and just let yourself wallow for the night. :)

  48. “a blast of mind searing pain”

    LOEFL…you should be glad it wasn’t uh…simmering.

    I just couldn’t get enough of your sense of humor.

    Keep up the good work. Thank you~

  49. *Sigh*…As a former dental hygienist of 20 years experience, reading through the litany of “horror stories” brought it all back to me: the patients who were angry with me or the dentist because their oral health was poor and now they were suffering the consequences. The reply I would have liked to have used: “I didn’t make the cavities, sir, I just find them!”

    No one should experience pain in the dental office unnecessarily, but sometimes the infection is so extensive that really good anesthesia is impossible to achieve. And, NO, sealants do not cause the tooth enamel to “dissolve”! There are numerous reasons why that may occur, either genetically or from acidic foods, drinks, drugs, etc.

    Don’t believe everything that people relate in their horror stories. (It’s like hearing tales of giving birth–EVERY woman was in hard back labor for three days and wasn’t given any drugs.) By the way, Vicodin was the drug of choice of abusers in the dental office, so beware, y’all.

  50. mmmmmmm. narcotic slumber. mmmmmmmmmm.

    It really sucks when pharmacy techs could really give a crap how much pain you’re in. At least they could be nice and pretend to be in a hurry.

  51. I’m turning 40 soon. I’ve been feeling miserable lately due to work and finances. I still rent, I’m going no where in my career, my car is just about done, etc.

    The one thing that was making me feel happy today was eating a dark chocolate bar as I started to read this.

    Now I’m worried about my teeth too! I expect to have toothy dreams tonight.

  52. Diced potatoes in a CAN??!!?
    I’d rather have a molar out than to eat that quite frankly.

    Feel better(and buy real potatoes for Pete’s sake)

  53. It is ok to feel bad for yourself when you are having a rough day. You do not have to deride yourself comparing yourself to others who have it worse than you – that doesn’t make you feel any better at all. Just know you’re on a roller coaster and you will be going up the hill again soon. Hopefully the downturns will go very fast. You will be happy and comfortable again soon, I just know it.

  54. NEVER say NO to the gas LOL…i learned the hard way, I love that stuff…and dont really hate my dentist half as much anymore

  55. It’s 4 dollars a litre here in New Zealand.

    “But as I start nodding off I think about the tough things some friends of mine are dealing with – death, disease, injury, and unemployment. I’m not having a bad day. I’m not even close to having a bad day. Or am I being too hard on myself? Am I minimizing? I don’t know.”

    Life’s not much better when you compare yourself to others… especially when the comparison is in the pains of life.

    Count your blessings.

  56. First, my gas-woes: Drove four hours to Minneapolis last weekend to see Kid Rock and spent more on gas than we did on tickets. Worth … every … penny.

    Waiter, if you wind up with a dry socket, ask them for this cool clove-flavored gel you squirt in with an oral (non-needle) syringe. Works like a CHARM. If you need the actual name of the stuff, LMK and I’ll call my oral surgeon. Four wisdom teeth and three weeks of dry sockets gets ya some “ins” …

    MOST importantly – way to not hit the bottle. VERY good work!

  57. Going to the dentist? Aside from someone dying, getting seriously injured or raped, or me and my boyfriend splitting up… thats about the worst possible thing I can do. I’d rather go to ANY other kind of doctor, and please bear in mind I’m a girl.

    Sleep off your bad day, Waiter. Looking forward to your next blog.

    Oh, and con graduations on your Vicodin. Always good.

  58. Jeezus sorry about all…of that.

    Bad days are bad days. I think people try too hard to negate their own misery by thinking of starving babes and unhappy friends. Human pain isn’t really relative.

    Hope the next day is better.

  59. I’ve had days like that. All sorts of different areas of my life seem to have problems, some big and some minor, but each annoying in its own way. Unless it’s something really insignificant and you have an overreaction to it, there’s nothing wrong with feeling sorry for yourself, or rather feeling a little annoyed, miserable, or pissed off at what’s happening to you. The key is, don’t let it ruin your mood for an extended period of time and don’t let it affect the way you treat other people. I’m a bit of a hypocrite because I tend to be bad at that, but it’s something everyone should try to remember, no matter how many times we fail to act like that.

  60. Hi waiter, excellent post, as always. One thing I don’t get, though (and I’m from another country, which is probably the reason).

    What do you mean, he couldn’t “fill the prescription”? Did he have to mix some basic stuff himself, or was the medicine somewhere in the back where he couldn’t easily get to it?

  61. great post.
    I hope you’re feeling better now.
    it’s OK to feel you are having a bad day and to feel sorry for yourself when you’re in pain and alone.
    just remember that you are a successful blogger and a promising writer and that people all over the world anticipate your posts and care about you!

  62. It doesn’t make you a bad person to pity yourself even though it’s minor in comaprison to other people. You are allowed.
    When I had my own teeth pulled, a co-workers car had been stolen, yet what could I do to help? Nothing.

  63. Having not been to a dentist since I was 16 my wife lost patience and made a family appointment some years ago. I was 33 and was not looking forward to the experience as to what they would find after all that time especially since I confess to being a chocoholic.

    NHS Dentristy in the UK in the 1970s reminds me too much of that Dustin Hoffman movie and I did have a bad experience with a molar extraction in 1978 which seemed to go on for an eternity. I can still see that dentists face contorting as he tried to remove same molar placing his foot on the chair for leverage. My face and jaw were tender for a couple of days after.

    Come the fateful day I was relieved to find all that I required was replacement of 2 fillings – my wife though had to have 2 extractions and some repair work which went on for some time. I didnt dare make any comment as to this being her idea in the first place as I wished to hang on to what teeth I had.

    I have regular visits twice a year and happy that so far they have consisted of no more than a clean up, however on the last visit I was informed that I have 2 new molars growing in …. at 44 years old. I can just feel them under the gum and I have been informed that if they start to burst through then the existing molars will need to come out to make room.

    Something to look forward to ……. my wife has offered to hold my hand during the procedure ( comment = unprintable )

  64. hey, you’re a forty year old who has a large following and one of the best read and most popular blogs in cyberspace. be proud buddy.

  65. I’m 35 and just starting to deal with the teeth troubles. Nothing as bad as an extraction, thankfully (you have my sympathies!), but my first crown, the first two cavities I’ve had in 20 years. That kind of thing. I’ve started getting the other mid-life signs-of-aging difficulties, though, and it’s… unsettling. It’s definitely giving me motivation to live a healthier life, even if that’s often a difficult thing to do.

    Have you tried a different pharmacy? I used to think pharmacies were just like that, until I finally flipped after a prescription mistake that could have caused me real problems if I hadn’t been familiar enough with my meds to recognize what they’d done. I switched from that Rite Aid to a CVS and was amazed to go from hour-long wait times and prescriptions that weren’t done when promised to 10-minute wait times and extremely helpful workers.

  66. I love your blog and enjoy your writing. But throwing in the detail that the annoyed man behind you in the grocery line was fat was gratuitous. He was annoyed, maybe unnecessarily so, or irritatingly so, but his being fat had nothing to do with it.

  67. Somebody talked about implants. Yeah, they’re good when nothing else will work, but insurance won’t usually cover them, and then at 50 percent. Not an option for a lot of people.

    Tooth-pulling dreams are serious stuff. I had mine in the middle of a break-up that I didn’t want to admit was a break-up.

    Good post, all in all.

  68. I inherited my father’s peridontal disease, and felt real low when I lost the first couple of teeth. Those, and all the ones that have come out in the years since were white, smooth and healthy. Nothing at all wrong with the teeth, just with the gums and jaw that gave up on holding them in place. – breezyknees

  69. You poor thing, I’m so sorry you had such a rotten day. Snuggle in and take care of yourself – you deserve to baby yourself for a few days.

    Smooch!

  70. I’ve only recently become acquainted with your blog and was instantly hooked. I have already read all your past posts. You have a real talent for the written word. Probably why you’ve managed to be published, huh?! I just wanted to let you know that I find your writing amusing and very engaging. I hope that helps to lift your spirits on a day when you seem to have needed it.

  71. Hopefully you won’t need to have any more surgery any time soon, but just is case, I have some advice. Ask the doctor you’re working with to give you the ‘scrip ahead of time. That way you can go fill it prior to the surgery and have it waiting for you when you get home.

  72. Waiter,
    So sorry for your troubles. Ditto what pharmacydude & heather said. I bet you went to a pharmacy that starts with “W”. They love those 2-3 hour waits. It’s a totally different mind set – try CVS or a grocery next time – NO ONE should have to wait more than 10-15 minutes for their meds – EVER!!!
    Karen

  73. Sorry about your Tooth Waiter :o ( it’s no fun. Good way to look at the bigger picture in the end. Hang in there!

  74. I agree, you just had a bad day, but it could have been worse. In the end, you had a dog to cuddle with, a bed to sleep in and the money to pay for the extraction. Things could indeed be worse.

  75. I was a dental hygienist for 20 years, and my husband was a dentist for 30. We were both good at our professions and tried to make patients as comfortable and at-ease as humanly possible. However, many people let their teeth go for too long and then expect “miracles” from their dentist! Sometimes the infection is so extensive that it is difficult to achieve complete anesthesia, so if there is any pain, it’s the dentist’s fault.
    I can’t tell you how many times, when my husband was on-call for the weekend, we would get demanding and angry calls from patients who had either ignored the problem or couldn’t be bothered to come in during regular office hours, but now insisted he see them at 10:00 at night on a Saturday or a holiday!
    Dentistry is a difficult profession that doesn’t make one a millionaire (contrary to popular belief!) It’s been likened to “repairing a fine watch while someone is spitting on your fingers.” And, by the way, sealants do NOT dissolve tooth enamel! (That was a doozie I hadn’t heard before.) Also, watch out for the Vicodin, folks. That was THE drug of choice of abusers in the dental office.

  76. Oh, Waiter, I feel your pain! I have always been a very independent sort, and rarely (if ever) did I call home for financial help or sympathy. But in my early 20s, after having two wisdom teeth pulled on opposite sides of my mouth, I called home and reached my dad. “Oh, Dad, it really hurts,” I moaned. “Well, Babe,” he said, “during World War II, I was on a destroyer off the coast of Greenland. One morning in the dead of winter, I had all four wisdom teeth pulled onboard ship. That afternoon, I had to go out on a small patrol boat and stand patrol for four hours, and the temperature was minus-60 degrees.” Boy, I felt better immediately. I’ve learned that no matter how badly we feel, it can always be worse.

  77. ouch! I’m sorry… I can feel your pain.. well.. prob half of it, I just had a filling re-done, and it hurt like a m-f!!!!!

    after reading your story, I guess mine isn’t that bad..

    another entertaining post.. thanks.

  78. Ugh, I completely empathize. A couple of years ago, I fell into a construction site and busted out a front tooth and park of the bone underneath it. Took about two years and six surgeries to completely repair the damage–absofuckinglutely miserable experience! But why oh why did you let them do a local anesthetic only? I told my dentist “I demand total sensory deprivation!” and got put under each time.

  79. So many people made the comment how difficult it was to extract their teeth. I have the opposite problem: when my first tooth was pulled, it came out so easy that the dentist dropped it down my throat. I almost choked! So, the NEXT time I had to have a tooth pulled, I told the dentist to be careful and not drop it. He got annoyed with me and said “I DON’T drop teeth I pull.” Well, guess what? He dropped it. He couldn’t believe it!! He said my roots were unusally straight and that’s why they come out so easy. However, I would rather have “easy” than hard and all the accompanying pain and misery.

  80. I noticed a few typos…which is odd of you, my dear. I fully attribute it to the Vicodin :) . I do hope you get to feeling better very soon, and my thoughts are with your friends who are dealing with their own hard times. Just don’t eat any ice cream, you’ll be ok..:).

  81. Oh, poor Waiter. Don’t be so hard on yourself, it really was a very bad day. When that happens, let yourself be sad and angry all you want to be. Perspective is always good, but you don’t want to add guilt to all those bad feelings.

    And don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll feel better in no time. Look at the liquid food as a sort of fashionable celebrity diet. ;-)

  82. Sunspot – my husband had a language tutor in China whose day job was a dentist. She kept after him to get his wisdom teeth out. About all she ever did was pull teeth, and she convinced him that because he was tall and skinny, they’d come right out (she ignored me :) . Well wouldn’t you know, she was right! Minimal numbing too.

  83. Man, how weird. I just got my wisdom teeth pulled out yesterday. Took less than five minutes for both teeth (after the prep of novocain and nitrous oxide, of course.) But I know that pain and the weirdness of feeling that emptiness in your jawline. And not getting Vicodin for hours? I would have been on the counter clawing at the clerk until I got my pills. You’re braver than I am, sir.

  84. I have an unnatural fear of dentists myself. I know it stems from a bad experience I had in a dentist’s chair when I was about 9. At 37 I still have monster sized anxiety about going in even for a cleaning. I had a bunch of much needed dental work done a year or two back and I was totally fine once I got in to the chair and the doc started his work. But the drive to the dentist, getting out of the car and forcing myself in to the office was just short of torture.

  85. When I was a kid, my dentist was such a bastard that I bit him. Then he tried to smother me. Then my mother heard me screaming. We changed dentists.

  86. YeOUCH!
    I am sorry about your tooth. I hate when the novacaine wears off. I actually don’t mind the dental part, I have even been known to fall asleep in the chair! But I can’t do many of the painkillers~ bad reactions, so its the afterwards that I hate the most…
    Be well. Love your posts!
    M

  87. That’s harsh, dude. I’m sure if my dad knew how to use a computer, he’d relate. He’s lost about 5 teeth at this point and all before the age of fifty. Me, I’ve just had braces.

  88. I went to a bargain rate dentist once; he was obviously from some foreign country as he had a very heavy accent. I didn’t really care – until he asked me, “Do you have any teeth that are particularly sensitive to torture”? It took me a while to understand he meant “touch” – and even longer to explain the difference to him! I never went there again.

  89. No, relative to other people’s mental and physical health problems, unemployment, and emotional distress, you didn’t have as a bad a day as you could have had. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a bad day or that you shouldn’t be sad; it means that you shouldn’t let yourself feel depressed and you shouldn’t hold on to feelings of helplessness. You’re employed, a published author with a world-famous chef endorsing your book, you have a roof over your head, enough to eat, you have your health (besides your tooth), your credit card people caught the suspicious activity, you have a loving dog, and so far, over a hundred people you have (likely) never met have left comments of concern and are wishing you well.

    Don’t fall into the downward spiral over one bad day. Count your blessings. Gratitude is the secret to happiness.

  90. I have a huge phobia of the dentist, so I can understand your tears. I had to get two teeth pulled and I was scared sh*tless!
    On the plus side, as another poster mentioned, gas is more expensive here in Canada, you have a book coming out that hundreds of us have been waiting forever to read and (this is the big one) you’re still on this side of the ground. As one of my co-workers used to say, that’s all that matters, everything else can be dealt with!

  91. bummer man, but atleast your human enough to consider how little your problems matter when compared to those of other folks. If taking solace in that fact doesn’t pull you out of your spiral than you can always pop one of those vicodin you have.

  92. i just had this done. mirrors my experience exACTLY.
    hang in there. we’re with ya.

    2) what an idea for a support group.”waiters with freshly extracted teeth, and customer tooth stealing”

  93. Waiter,

    I’m sorry to hear about your dental problems but I’ve noticed that all latest posts include some kind of remark about the price of gasoline. I wish you’d quit whining about that… Here in The Netherlands the price of gas is – are you ready? – $11 a gallon! I’d be pretty thankful if I had to pay only $4/gallon…

  94. If you decide to replace the tooth (which you’ll probably want to do to keep the other teeth from moving), I recommend having a dental implant at your local dental school. It will cost a lot less than going to an oral surgeon and you’ll get top-notch care (fourth-year oral surgery students who are already dentists and who are under the supervision of professors). An implant is better than a bridge, too, because you don’t have to crown the adjacent teeth. I paid $600 for mine six years ago.

  95. I totally empathise about your visit with the dentist – I have had more than my share of those days I can tell you. How about something on the subject to cheer you up?

    It’s a poem from a British poetess of the “down to Earth” variety – Pam Ayers – if you can live with some of the british words, it is hilarious….

    I Wish I’d Looked After me Teeth

    Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth,
    And spotted the perils beneath,
    All the toffees I chewed,
    And the sweet sticky food,
    Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.

    I wish I’d been that much more willin’
    When I had more tooth there than fillin’
    To pass up gobstoppers,
    From respect to me choppers
    And to buy something else with me shillin’.

    When I think of the lollies I licked,
    And the liquorice allsorts I picked,
    Sherbet dabs, big and little,
    All that hard peanut brittle,
    My conscience gets horribly pricked.

    My Mother, she told me no end,
    “If you got a tooth, you got a friend”
    I was young then, and careless,
    My toothbrush was hairless,
    I never had much time to spend.

    Oh I showed them the toothpaste all right,
    I flashed it about late at night,
    But up-and-down brushin’
    And pokin’ and fussin’
    Didn’t seem worth the time… I could bite!

    If I’d known I was paving the way,
    To cavities, caps and decay,
    The murder of fiIlin’s
    Injections and drillin’s
    I’d have thrown all me sherbet away.

    So I lay in the old dentist’s chair,
    And I gaze up his nose in despair,
    And his drill it do whine,
    In these molars of mine,
    “Two amalgum,” he’ll say, “for in there.”

    How I laughed at my Mother’s false teeth,
    As they foamed in the waters beneath,
    But now comes the reckonin’
    It’s me they are beckonin’
    Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth

    Great Blog – Thanks

    Steve

  96. Oh Waiter! I am so sorry and I wish I could sympathize with the pain! I have made it so far 30 years with only one cavity but live in fear of what you just described! Get better and I hope the Vicodin work for you. They always make me sick…

  97. My name is Kum Hurray, I do everthing fast, that why they call me Kum Hurray. This story good, poor teeth, waiter need more brush inside teeth. That all, thanks!

  98. That feeling of panic and wanting to leave the dentist’s office? The epinephrine they put in the shot can make you feel that way for a bit. It bothers me so much I get numbed without that added to it…since I did once actually get up and leave.

    Great post.

  99. I have a lot of sympathy for your situation right now. I’m in mid-process of getting a dental implant after having a baby molar pulled. Managed to make it last over 40 years, but it was finally done. I’ll be glad when the post has healed in place and the crown is done and my mouth is used to the new tool. Meanwhile, I’ve got more fun appointments to look forward to. At least this oral surgeon is fairly painless. And my dentist really is painless. He’s the best! Too bad he’s here in Chicago and not NYC, or I could refer you.

  100. I had a wisdom tooth out on Monday, and was prescribed some Tylenol-3′s.

    Today, when I went back to work ( as a restaurant manager), I had to smile and talk all morning, as my mouth got worse and worse.

    Finally, I called my surgeon and burst into tears.
    I went back to see him this afternoon and it turns out I have dry socket. He stuffed cloves and stuff into the incision and it will stay there for a week. Every breath I take, every bit of food, every moment- I taste cloves, and I will for the next week.

    The only thing the surgeon would prescribe me was Taradol- so please, enjoy your vicodin on my behalf.

  101. Glad you had Buster to keep your feet warm. A good dog goes a long way. While it’s true that someone, somewhere, has it worse, it’s ok to feel picked on every so often. Hope you heal quickly.

  102. I had a root canal a few years ago and it was actually not that big a deal, more like getting a filling that took longer than usual. Take heart, dental phobics! But there was a painful part..the assistant never, NEVER shut up the whole time. An hour is a long time to hear all about someone’s husband, kids, tanning program, soccer schedule etc.

  103. Ahh, waiter. You need someone to take care of you. Someone who knows your favorite PJs, will cook you dinner and give you fluids in your favorite glass. Long backrubs, back scratches and let’s you watch all your favorite TV shows. Clean sheets, fluffy pillows and reads to you until you fall asleep. Hang in there…

  104. Came across this golden oldie later in the day from usual corny British seaside postcard. Picture very attractive lady in dentist chair

    Dentist : ” Afraid that tooth has a cavity and will have to come out”

    Attractive Lady :” Oh God no , I would rather have a baby than have a tooth out ….”

    Dentist : ” Let me adjust that chair then …”

    Dont shoot me , I am only the messenger.

    Anyway Waiter, hope the pain has subsided and your only pain today is reading that above.

    Regards from fellow dental phobic

  105. Waiter, you’ve got to love this line…

    From a “Married with Children” episode, Al goes to the dentist, and when the dentist examines his mouth he screams out in shock. Later, the hygenist (sp?) is taking a picture, and the dentist says (something like), “okay, make sure you get the face to prove this is a human mouth.”

    Good luck!

    Kum: no need to announce yourself as your name appears at the beginning of the entry!

  106. Dude you think your teeth have issues. I climbed a waterslide when I was 6, fell flat on my face, half of one of my front teeth snapped off, and the other half went up my gum >__< After 8 years and 7 bouts of agonizing root canal the bastards finally decided to put a cap on it. My case was actually put into one of those medical journal type things.

    And gas is about $9 per gallon over here in Britain. Sucky.

  107. Your story illustrated why I approach dental appointments with a little fear. There’s always the possibility of pain!

    Sometimes I look around the children’s hospital where I work. Between the suffering of the children we serve and the struggle with cancer among several of my co-workers, my little troubles seems so minor.

    But I still freak out about the dentist!

  108. first, let me say, i love your blog. now that that’s out of the way…

    i mean, holy shit i’m scared of the dentist. but after this, i think i’m making an appointment (my first in 6 years) just so i don’t have to have anything pulled. my stomach was doing flip flops just reading this. yeesh.

  109. Your email address bounces back. I’ve got a newspaper article you might enjoy about a restaurant throwing a customer out for poor timing

  110. From dreamsleep.net:

    “Dreaming of teeth falling out may represent insecurity. These dreams often occur at a time of transition between one phase of life and another. When we lost our milk teeth, we also gradually lost our childhood innocence. Loosing your teeth therefore show that today you have similar feelings of uncertainty and self-consciousness as you did in childhood. The dream could also highlight your worries about getting older or your sexual attractiveness.”

  111. Thanks for that Bodacia – I’m glad you liked it (look up Pam Ayers online – you might like more of her stuff)

    However if you think the one I posted about teeth is different – you should see the one I have (from a different writer) about Heamorroids (sp?) – well Piles anyway! :-)

    Steve

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  113. For those of you attempting to commiserate with your wisdom teeth, let me just say that having your wisdom tooth pulled is NOTHING compared to losing an actual functioning tooth. I came close to having that done and it was pretty scary. A wisdom tooth hangs out where you don’t need it — a molar is a tooth you chew stuff with. Sorry waiter! My sister is missing a molar though, and don’t seem too upset about it. I never noticed until she mentioned it either.

  114. To all the dental workers; how nice for you to sit in your ivory tower of perfection and blame people for their pain. Because after all you must know everything about everybody, after 20 years experience! Pompous asses! And yes the use of nitrous gas in the dentist office makes it much better. While under the gas I wouldn’t care if they gutted me like a fish and scraped my organs out; that’s how good some dental gas can make the whole procedure go. But don’t forget that might add an extra $100 to your bill! There are a lot of good dentists out there and some bastards that graduated at the bottom of their class yet still passed enough to get a degree. Prayer helps immensely also, some people find Motrin to be a great pain drug, better than the vicodin with no drunken feeling headaches the next day also.
    Also to all those giving examples of worse pain – who cares? Does knowing someone else, somewhere in the vast universe has a worse problem make the pain magically disappear!?! NO! Enough said!
    Take care waiter!

  115. Perhaps someone’s already commented on this, but when the dentist says “do you want gas?” the answer is always YES! YES gas! YES Novacain! YES vicodin, morphine, demerol! YES,…hit me in the head with a mallet and knock me out!
    I hope the empty space in your mouth feels better soon, and thank you for reminding me I MUST get to a dentist to fix my own molar.

  116. GAH!! u’re scaring me! i’m getting TWO molars out soon and it sure as hell sounds like a whole lotta pain’s comin my way eh. haha u really should have gotten GA when he offered u some tho!

  117. Here’s something else to be cheerful about, Waiter — if they just got your credit card info, technically that’s not identity theft, which involves more complex changes to your existing accounts and various bits of personal information/ID used fraudulently to create new ones!

  118. Someone needs to eventually tell me why in this country you have to wait sometimes way too long for a so-called pharmacist to fill out your prescription, instead of selling you prepackaged drugs, the way it’s done in most other civilized countries. It’s such a rip-off and an inefficient way to deal with drug distribution. It’s like America is still stuck in the old days of the apothecarian with his big jars. What a shame.

  119. Ooh, bummer. I had two wisdom teeth removed, fricking felt like I was burning the wounds everytime I had to throw up, and a month later had to have one side of my mouth reopened to remove food that had gotten stuck when the wounds healed too quickly. Sadly, I was awake for the procedure, and having a dentist guess the food that had started rotting in your mouth while feeling the hose suck it out was pretty nasty.

  120. Well…maybe this is not the place to ask this question…but

    about Job…why did he suffer the first place anyway?

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  122. I have the best dentist…in Korea!
    I took full advantage of my Korean healthcare which covers acupuncture among other great treatments. In Korea you have state of the art dentristy, I’ve never seen anything like it in the States. Even though I had my teeth cleaned barely a month ago, just before leaving I decided what the hell, I should get them cleaned again. It took 15 minutes, no pain.

    Take care of your teeth, kiddo.

    Felicia
    http://www.nearandfar.wordpress.com

  123. By the way, Penny….. Job suffered due to a little Old Testament wager between God and the Adversary (the Devil). In a nutshell, God and the Devil were having a little chat during which God mentions that Job is a fine example of one of His chosen People. The Devil counters that Job is only a good Jew because Job has such a pleasant life, but, would that God allow all of Jobs fortune to turn to misfortune, then Job would renounce God. God agrees to allow the Devil to test Job by bringing misery into his life, at first allowing the Devil to do anything but cause Job bodily harm, then agreeing to let the Devil cause Job and his loved ones as much harm as he likes, in order to determine whether or not Job will continue to love God even with his life in the can. Job holds out throuout the vast majority of the Devil’s little tests (such as causing him to loose all of his assets, killing his family and releasing a pox of boils onto his body) until, near the end, Job finally curses God for the horrible things which had befallen him- a pretty sensible thing to do, in my humble opinion. Personally, I would have told God to get lost far earlier than that, but, then again, I told God to get lost after reading some Sartre back when I was 14. There’s no way I’d be waiting around for the boils….
    There’s supposed to be a message in there somewhere, one which, I’m sure, Waiter could illuminate a loot better than I given his seminary background. To me, however, I always found the story to be pretty sick; pretty sick indeed.

  124. Good synopsis, Daniel.

    Job was not Jewish; he was from Uz, which is either in Edom or Arabia.

    The story is not sick, it is a poem to tell about the problem of why innocent people suffer.

    Even though his friends encourage him to, Job does NOT curse God, he merely concludes God has abandoned him and wishes he knew why.

    In the end, Job is reastored and God gives him twice what he had before. Job repents for having thought God had left him.

    The lesson is that even the just may suffer in this life, but it is best looked upon as a test of fidelity, and not as a license for revenge. Our limited human minds can’t accurately discern the infinite ways of God.

    Not a sick story at all, really.

  125. Hi, my name Kum Hurray, I do everything fast, that why they call me Kum Hurray. Why you tell Job story, Waiter have job is a waiter! That all, thanks!

  126. Oh waiter–I had the same experience wih my wisdom teeth–but I took the gas. And the doc was an ARTIST…i heard nothing and felt nothing…and it was impacted. And no Vocodin–only motrin. P.S. Do not smoke or drink through a straw–to avoid dry socket syndrome. Take a day off waiter…take care.

  127. I’m a future dentist (graduating end of this year, hurrah!) and when you do extractions daily, it’s difficult to be truly sympathetic after a while because that’s what you’re doing day in day out.

    It’s only when I visit the dentist when I remember the horror of having to go through dental work.

    Don’t understand why you had pain during the procedure though – most dentists will not proceed until you’re completely numb.

  128. Daniel,

    Thanks for the story.

    Why was God so childish? If God loves his people so much, why would He make them suffer for no apparent reasons? Just to show off?

  129. Hey waiter – love what you do – got a widget up for your book on my blog: http://dishtc.blogspot.com

    Also have a Reader Rant section, inspired by you, where my readers add their voices to rant about all things food/drink/restaurant related. A Waitress recently bemoaned the “black napkin people”. Do you know of them? Any thoughts?

  130. You’re not minimizing, nor being hard on yourself.We have it very easy here in this part of the globe.
    I was watching footage of Hiroshima survivors being interviewed, and couldnt get the thought out of my head: I know nothing about suffering.
    There are probably many more examples of regular people going through much more pain than I have,often with great dignity.
    Perspective!
    Thats why I read your blog.

  131. Wow! reading that made me wince… And it reminds me of a similar experience my husband had when he turned 40. I hate to be the bearer of grim news, but he is now 42, and just passed his first kidney stone last week. He tried to “cowboy up”, too – in fact, it is creepy that he used that exact phrase. He cowboyed for about 8 hours until at last I convinced him to go to the doc – since we didn’t know at that point what was causing him the bend-over-double pain. After the routine pee in a cup, the diagnosis was Kidney stone – and his recommended prognosis: go home, take 800mg ibuprofen and drink 5 beers. Oddly enough, it worked!! LOL So, just think of what you have to look forward to!! Aren’t I just a ray of sunshine in your day? :)

  132. This is so crazy. This is a carbon copy of my Tuesday. I got my molar taken out because of an impacted wisdom tooth. I was feeling really low that day. Thanks for your story.

  133. there’s an old Indian technique called oil pulling that works wonders with oral matters. there’s a group at the curezone website that’s dedicated to it… I’ve had gum problems for years and this is the only thing that’s helped me. It’s weird, kind of gross, etc, but the benefits are well worth the effort.

  134. hello again, It has been awhile since I have posted on your blog.
    I had a very simular day one day.
    I had a wisdom tooth pulled that had shattered while I was with child at a movie theater eating popcorn with my father. Needless to say to this day Harry Potter is ruined for me.
    When I was FINALLY able to get it removed some time after giving birth (8lbs 12 oz of perfect girl cuteness) the tooth was about to distroy my face. I thought I had the worst day ever when I got it removed. The line at Walmart where I got my meds was very long and then hole opened up and there is nothing like trying to fill a perscription while trying to hid the fact your mouth is filling with blood.
    I kept thinking this day could not get worse…until the next day when I realized the pain of the bad tooth was GONE. Yes it was still sore but it was worth going through hell for that moment of realization that it was finally over. I never look bad on that day now. I actually am thankful for that day instead. But I still get a sick feeling in my stomach when I watch Harry Potter with my children.

  135. You’re always so eloquent. I’m jealous of your ability to evaluate any situation while simultaneously giving thought of what it’s like in the other person’s shoes :) .

  136. I would be so thrilled & happy to be in your sneakers & wear your smile. On July 11,2008, I had to have a full mouth extraction of 28 teeth. 19 were perfectly healthy, 5 broken at the gum line, & 4 with fixable cavities. I have a problem with my blood work, with only 28,000 platelets which cause excessive bleeding. That is why I ended up having them all out because I couldn’t find any, not even one Dentist to even clean my teeth & forget about filling a cavity. I went to over 100 different Dentists all with the same answer-”mot w/o a written Dr.’s ok, which I couldn’t get. Also, my teeth kept me off the transplant list because of the risk of infection. Finally Jackson Memorial admitted me, gave me general anesthesia, along with platelet & plasma transfusions. The next day my fair complexion (i’m blond & 38 yrs old)was jet black, not a deep purple but black from my eyes to below my breast & my face was 5 times it’s normal size. They gave me several doses of morphine via I.V. & sent me home with antibiotics, some mouth rinse to use in 4 days & 50 Roxycodone 30mg. It has been 8 weels, got a refund on the first set of dentures – made me look like the offspring of King Kong & Mr. Ed or to be blunt I looked like a Jackass. I’ve lived on yogert, ice cream, applesauce (yuk) & either beef or chicken broth. The only good thing is I have finally lost the extra 15 lbs I’ve been trying to lose w/o any luck. Now 8 weeks later I grind my food in a grinder which turns like baby food. I am in desperate need of teeth so I can go out in public like to the grocery store. This has made me a very sad, & lonely hermit. Not to mention the fact I am unable to speak to anyone by phone, they can’t understand me. I try to spell my name out & no one can understand I am trying to say Nancy. I went to a cosmetic Dentist to get him to make me some stable dentures with the posts/implants. His price was $12,000 w/o dentures just for the studs or mini implants to keep the dentures in place. He exrayed my supposedly toothless mouth to make sure I had enough bone for implants, which thank you God, I do, but he also found the oral surgen at Jackson had left two (2) yes TWO teeth in my upper mouth. They also were supposed to do a aveoplasty which is the cutting open the gums & sanding or smoothing of the jaw bones so the dentures will fit w/o having to use the nasty tasting glue to hold them in place. So now, 2 month later, no teeth, can’t speak, eat or smile & would rather die than to have anybody see me w/o teeth whether I know them or not. So I’m back to square zero at least before I was at square one with a beautiful smile. I just want to smile again, even if it’s only for one last day I could die with a smile and in peace. I do feel bad for your one bad day, but don’t complain until you have walked in someone elses shoes. I’m not complaining just telling my story. There are so many people with no legs or arms or have lost a child, I count my blessings every single day. Every day above ground is a great day.

  137. Pingback: Zoloft.

  138. People are just different when it comes to their teeth and pain. In the years since I turned turned 30, I’ve had 4 or 5 root canals and 5 (1 extra) wisdom teeth removed. Never felt a thing. The biggest complaint I’ve heard from people is the amount of time you have to leave your mouth open with a pair of hands in it but a good endodontist can do a root canal in 20 minutes. It was certainly nothing compared to the searing pain of having an exposed nerve (that lead to the wisdom teeth being removed) and the excruciating migraines it produced.

    Also …

    Penny asked:

    “Why was God so childish? If God loves his people so much, why would He make them suffer for no apparent reasons? Just to show off?”

    One of the major plot lines of the story that I didn’t see here (too many comments) was that Job asked the same question. God’s response (paraphrasing): “Where were you when I created all that you see?” Basically, “Who are you to question Me?”. The idea is that man can’t see the big picture thru God’s eyes and that His will should not be questioned – that you will understand in the end.

    I assume Waiter is at least somewhat religious since he was in the seminary and I consider my faith strong. Someone I know once put it as well as I have heard. He said he doesn’t believe that God is into the details, hence free will. But sometimes He may need to take a life or move the pieces of the puzzle around to satisfy the bigger picture that we don’t see even though we may think it’s unfair and do not understand.

  139. Holy comments batman. I didn’t read through them all to see if this has been said already, but when you dream about teeth, it usually means a lack of control. You body is telling you that you don’t want to do this waiter stuff anymore.

    Sorry.

  140. Three years ago I had all four of my wisdom teeth removed at the same time. Everyone joked that I would get high off the Vicodin, but honestly, I was in so much pain the Vicodin barely succeeded at knocking me out. I was basically a zombie. Oh, and for the next two months popcorn and chicken were my worst enemies. Getting those stuck in the abyss where my teeth once were was the bane of my existance. At least you only had one pulled, and they didn’t have to put you under to do it.

  141. Bodacia- WTF? Where your father comes from has nothing to do with his teeth or yours? It’s your own fault for not brushing. Way to go with stereotyping *rolls eyes* Plus your dad is either from England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland (north), he can’t be from all of them. Duh.

  142. Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids. I found
    a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to
    her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

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