Visitation Day, Fibucetera 12, 40 A.B.

     Big day today.  Had visitors in for the first time since Kris Kringle Day.  They, in turn, took me out to lunch at an antique diner 10 miles to my south where everywhere you look there's a highly collectible advertisement of some sort urging you to drink Coke.  
     It's a place that always makes me feel as if I've become an unwitting lab animal that unseen corporate scientists are exposing to some weird genetic cross between George Orwell's "1984" and "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing In Perfect Harmony" just to see if the resulting twitching is really as bad as the FDA has found it to be in its own license-denying tests. 

     The best part, however, was neither the free Greek salad, nor learning that there really are people in this world still willing to sit with me in a public place, nor even feeling my rapidly twitching skin finally getting the exercise it needs, but something else entirely.
     Yep, that's right!  The best part was getting to stare out the car window at the cold, snowy Ohio fields whizzing by and thinking, "What a swell place that would be to have a tooth extracted!"

     For the benefit of my wife (who alone seemed confused by this thought when I first shared it with her after our visitors had left), here's why the sudden notion of outdoor dentistry thrilled me to no end.
     First of all, I can't recall ever hearing of it being done before.
     Second, it seemed as if no permanent damage would be done to the cold, empty fields in the process.
     Third, I've had lots and lots of dental work performed on my teeth in lots and lots of standard dental offices and I can't imagine for the life of me that having a tooth extracted in the middle of a wintry field can be any more unpleasant.
     Fourth, it occurred to me that having a tooth extracted in the middle of a wintry field just might be less unpleasant - and possibly even fun.

     Yes, fun.  
     First of all, odds are good that the dentist and his assistant would be in some respects as uncomfortable as the patient.  And it's a well-known fact that misery can bring people together.  In a standard dental office, the misery is pretty much one-sided.  That pushes people apart.  Sometimes to the point of making me cry (depending upon the appearance of the dental assistant).
     Second, it's really hard to be annoyed by the echoing sounds of dental drills or tooth roots being pulled free of the gums when there are no walls for those sounds to echo off of.
     Third, having your despicably diseased teeth ripped out in a natural setting reminds you that the real battle that's going on here is the one between you and the natural world which has given rise to such poorly designed things as the human tooth.  The idea that that battle is actually between you and your dentist is merely an illusion fostered by your being cloistered with your dentist in a claustrophobia- inducing small, man-made room from which Mother Nature has been exiled (save for a few of her remnants left to molder under the rim of the spit drain, the front of your headrest, etc.).  
     Fourth, when the urge to leap from the chair and run screaming into the woods proves overwhelming (as it always does in the end), I run far less chance of bashing myself silly against counters, windows, and other patients before I reach my destination if I'm close to the woods to begin with and have a relatively free shot at them.
     Fifth, my dentists always spend a lot of time bitching me out for having bad teeth whenever I finally get up the courage to see them again, and there's far less chance of my actually hearing their words if I have a biting northern gale whistling in my ears as they speak.
     Sixth, I can't prove it but it just seems to me that it has to be far healthier to illuminate the far reaches of our mouths with unfiltered sunlight than with those unnaturally bright bulbs and their Frankensteinian reflectors.

     That's really all I have to say on this subject for now.
     Whether or not I'd have to have fewer teeth pulled if visitors never took me to eat in diners plastered with highly collectible advertisements urging me to drink Coke I'll leave for smarter men and women than I am to decide....

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