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Speaking hypothetically [which might mean communicating virtually by forcing directed bursts of recently inhaled oxygen-nitrogen-miscellaneous ethereal non-visible compounds to rise from within the air sac viscera through the windpipe and past a discerning set of vocal chords (say, a G-major-minor-7 flat 5) under the epiglottis and over the taste buds the river and somewhere behind grandmother’s house oh what big teeth you have and then out into the void where someone is waiting patiently — and here’s the first occurrence of doctor-patient confidentiality, isn’t it? Doesn’t it seem like being someone’s patient shouldn’t mean waiting for 45 minutes for an 80 second consultation? — and fortunately, you’ve got an attention span of more than 4/1000ths of a second or you never would remember what you wanted to say before you launched into it per the preceding description], which might be to orally transmit similitudes or other such drivel (and as Isaiah once said, “I have used the little suckers!”), please turn and spit. Thank you.

The Twenty Percentists represented (do they sign their correspondence “Periodontically Yours”?), the proverbial four out of five — and using the word proverbial here does not refer to the fact that Solomon, although long in the tooth towards the end of his reign, was probably not working with a full set of choppers — would like you to rinse, please? Incidentally, if you’ll pardon the tongue-in-cheek (a little drill-side humor) do four out of five of the leading figures on the Caspian Sea and the Crimea — where Tartar control was at one time a little on the drastic side — feel that the ever-loving Constantinatives went a little overboard (and of course, that’s where they got the fish that had the taste that prompted the sauce that the Tartars built!). And on that same wavelength (a little fisherman’s’ humor, and as Charlie Mingus said, the shoes of the fisherman’s wife are some jive ass slippers) why eat fish that doesn’t taste fishy? Isn’t that like saying you want a tomato that tastes like an apple, or “Let’s have a misteak and Vidalia not-onion?” That’s all fine and dandy if you’re one of those that thinks that whiting tastes like haddock tastes like code tastes like scrod tastes like talapia and it’s all so much better drowned in a cream sauce, but why eat fish at all? Why not put a little salt and a few bones in some tofu? Anyway…

My relatives, with little regard for the medicinal benefits of scotch, get gin-give-itis around the holidays. Here all this time I thought they were talking about Tartan Control – and that suits me fine, because there are just too many Scotsmen and not enough single malt for my liking. Throw the Highlanders (including Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert) overboard and pour me a shot of Laphroaig or Glenfiddich. Four out of five Gaelic practitioners of the orthodontic arts recommend Tartan Control Plaid Remover. And while we’re talking about dentists, please remember that the Listerine will never get into your mouth if you’re sitting in front of your mirror like the Quiet Man and that little bottle is swinging across the treetops yodeling like Johnny Weismuller. Oh, those crazy Scotsmen. Our Father, who art intoxicated, hollow J & B thy brand. Perhaps the fifth (not of scotch, this time, but of those irrepressible dentists) doesn’t work with patients who chew gum — then again, if all the world were bread and cheese and all the sea were ink and they told their friends and so on and so on how would we ever find time for sweet chewy nasty unwholesome foods that without which there might be little need for the man in white smock who sounds like a golfer (“You’ve got a hole in one on the back nine there, my friend,” or “Nurse, I’d like the putter, please,” or whatever it is they say). Is there a little stamp that goes on the Doctor of Dental Science certificate that indicates membership in the Four Out of Five Club? Do associate members get discount rates on green fees, or just on those neat sharp pointy instruments the use of which inevitably brings the remark, “That didn’t hurt a bit, did it?”

Speaking hypothetically (which in addition to being next to impossible with all this stuff in my mouth), turn and spit (I almost forgot, that’s better). It’s the next best thing to being there and take it or leave it, it’s all we’ve got, because my dentist (who happens to be one of the four looking for a fifth on the isle of Islay where they make Laphroaig in copper kettle and age it for ten years and that’s why it tastes like heather and peat moss and shag tobacco and has a little quaint mist about it but still doesn’t explain why it has to cost at least thirty-five dollars a bottle) is out of town fishing. I hope he’s got a bottle of Tartar sauce with him, because I tripped on the Col Gate and have Crest fallen and I can’t get upper bicuspid. Somebody left their Trident on the lawn and I’ve got a lump on my jawbone that feels like a sermon from the Molar Majority. Feels like I’ve just Neptuned in and caught the end of Poseidon’s Misadventures (edited for television).

Gives a whole new meaning to brushing up your MacBeth.


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