Letter to the Editor: A tale of great (dental) humor

Dear Editor,

Without humor where are we? We are in the grip of the negativists, the ultra no it all-I am rightists no matter what the issue and it is their way or the highway. I say listen not to these folks, as ‘we go around but once’ and take this truism as a lead to life and enjoy it. OK, enough on my philosophical view of life.

Here is a tale of great humor, at least for myself: last week I was meticulously cleaning my teeth when a small cleaning device broke off between two back upper molars and remained there, please keep reading, being a wizened 75 year old I knew I could fix this easily by forcing it out with a tooth pick which immediately broke off with the tip lodged right alongside the other device. After about an hour of wrangling with a pair of needle nose pliers I realized that it was all futile. What to do?

Too embarrassed to tell my wife of my dilemma I told her that I was on my way into Margaretville to get a haircut at Skips which was overdue anyway when in actuality I was bee lining for my dentist Dr. John Caronia. What was my approach, no appointment, how many patients would be there, would he take me, could I tell him my problem without others over hearing? It was an lovely drive entailing much planning. Upon arrival I very tentatively entered the office surveying the others at the desk and waiting room, cowered in a corner until the place cleared, approached Linda at the desk, when Dr. John came in and exclaimed “hey Jack what are you doing here? With Linda all ears of course, I began with great chagrin describing my dilemma to both, and somehow great humor reigned over the three of us which removed in its entirety my anxiety and embarrassment as it was overwhelmed with laughter and chuckles. Guided to the ‘chair of anxiety’ I laid back and Dr. John donning the rubber gloves and with long forceps deftly removed the lodged objects within a minute and proudly displayed then to Linda. With a chuckle he exclaimed that he might place them in an artifact room yet to be designed. There was no charge. Upon return home, hair uncut, I claimed Skip had just gone to lunch.

With people like Dr. John Caronia and Linda around surely “It’s a Beautiful Life”.

Jack McShane
Andes NY

PS: Please no one tell my wife the real story, too embarrassing.