If, as James tells us, the tongue is a fire, then the tooth must certainly be its kindling. After all, what other part of your body is so small that can cause such trouble?
For the first time in seven years, I went to the dentist today. That’s right: seven years. It wasn’t as if I arbitrarily decided that 2005 would be a Jubilee year for my teeth—I went because an old filling had fallen out about a year and a half ago. As you might have guessed, I’m a little slow.
I had a crater in that tooth the size of a small quarry. I could never seem to eat enough to ever fill its abyss, so I thought I’d visit my local dental practitioner. The dentist office is the subject of much fear and loathing, to borrow a phrase from the late Hunter S. Thompson. There are drills, picks, needles and countless other instruments that would look just as at home in a medieval torture chamber as they do sitting on the tray that floats above that vinyl-covered recliner.
Those tools of teethery have never scared me. Not one bit. My nemesis has always been the dreaded and obligatory DENTIST OFFICE LECTURE. You know the one I’m talking about. It’s the one where they give you that stern look and proceed to tell you that you should be brushing eight more times per day than you normally do and that you should floss hourly. Then, as if you’re not already feeling small enough, they ask you the dreaded question, “It’s been how long since your last visit?”
I knew that last question would undo me, so I went in expecting the worst. Then something amazing happened. No lecture! I was cordially ushered immediately to the instruments of destruction, and an hour later, my tooth was repaired, my lip was numb, and I was off. I may just have to start doing this more often.
Now let’s see…it’s been a while since I’ve had a hair cut…