Who’s laughing now?

Published 4:01 pm Thursday, April 2, 2009

There are two folks in the dentist’s office, and one is laughing. Is it the nice, fat guy squeezing the chair with the cool perspiration on his forehead, or is it the bully standing over him with a weapon in his hand? But can you guess who gets to tell his story the way it should be told this time?

When I first came to Clanton, I heard all the stories about the painless dentist. This got my attention because I must admit that I needed all the encouragement I could get—having someone drill into a tooth is way down the list of fun things to do for me. “Lets give it bout 6 shots!” “Yes sir. Now that really feels good, thank you. Have you noticed how the pretty little ladies are trained to ask you in that sweet voice, “Does that hurt?” Of course not, as you flex your old muscles.

I’ll never understand how he tricked me into this one. I had an appointment for a water safety interview for a Montgomery TV station and two front teeth to be capped. Thinking I had plenty time in between, I had my teeth “prepared,” thinking the temporary would somehow maintain my good looks. I remember the words, “Oh, they look fine!” I promise, he was the only person that thought so.

The fellow doing the tape was even in on it. Every way I turned, he was right in my face. Looked like two giant grains of corn. They even rubbed it in by sending me a copy of the tape!

I had a chance to get even—well, almost. I saw his big pontoon boat was out; I spotted it across the lake, loaded with passengers. I eased my boat alongside, and pulled my hand away from my mouth and as politely as you could possibly spoil someone’s day on the lake, I said through my swollen mouth, “Doc, we have to go to the office. Now!”

Every doctor looks forward to this situation. This was Christmas morning! After sharing a cookie with Santa Claus, I lost one of my caps! Again—a little less direct this time—”Doc, do you think we could go to your office?” I almost managed a smile as I tried to imagine either of us dressed as Santa.

Back on my own turf, easing along watching other folks doing what I had rather be doing, I couldn’t help but see these two huge smiles disguised as Gene Cost and “The Good Doctor Baker!” All smiles! What? I think I had better check these two cats out. As I got closer, the smiles faded into more like, Who me?

Fish were flopping everywhere. Usually, this is the time to get to brag, but you have got to be sure when you are bragging to the police! Wow! How many do you guys have? Again that look at one another. Very alertly, Curtis replied, “Almost the limit.” A very good answer. An even better answer was (if I had believed it), “Bill, I didn’t catch but about 18 of them”. The look from Gene was, “Thanks a lot buddy.”

Kind of under his breath, Curtis asked as a whisper, “What’s the limit?” I think I said, “I’ll give you a chance to count them before I do.” I never did tell them that they could have one hundred! I’ll bet they will know next time though!

And, I’m not even gonna tell that Ma Bates told all the little children, “Eat all that bubble gum you want, Dr. Baker fills that jar every Monday morning.”

Wait ‘til you see the new pearly whites that the ol’ man is sporting!