Al Dente? Who the hell is he? LOL! No, he’s not a person. He’s a thing. Al dente is actually Italian. It means “this bites.” (Disclaimer: This is a guess. I was too lazy to google. –Ed.)
In honor of my wife asking me to think about what I’ve learned during ten years of marriage (our anniversary is next week) I thought really hard and remembered spaghetti.
That’s using the old noodle!
My wife, although technically not a “chef,” is nonetheless extremely accomplished and talented in the kitchen. She really knows how to cook. Naturally this is both good and bad. Good in the sense that there are a lot of good eats. Bad in the sense that every meal dirties every pot, pan and kitchen implement in the house.
It’s bad in one other small way. It’s such a slight of a trifle that it’s almost not worth mentioning. Almost.
Every single thing I do is wrong. In the kitchen, I mean.
So there I was this one time making spaghetti. That means I had dumped some packaged noodles in a pot of boiling water. To me that’s “cooking.”
As was often my wont, when the timer went off I picked up the pot and dumped the noodles in a colander in the sink.
My wife saw. “What the hell are you doing?” she yelled.
Oh shit. Little Tommy in trouble.
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All across this beautiful nation of ours people are getting stoned out of their gills. (Which, thanks to fantastic advances in high jinx pharmacological science they literally believe they have. Gills, I mean.) Some get so high, either by themselves or administered by their prostitutes) that they depart for a higher plane of existence.
Me? I’ll imbibe the occasional mint julep (in honor of Dr. Leonard McCoy) but that’s about as far as it goes. I don’t get high. I get even. And man, I am so even right now. But seriously, though, the best I ever accomplish is a temporary hit to my already questionable judgement. And a nap. Alcohol is always followed by a nap.
Beyond that, the only time I have need for drugs is when I’m in pain. P-A-I-N. Like when a tooth goes supernova. It’s the old arrow through the tooth routine. Ha ha.
But unlike every street rat and Silicon Valley exec, my choices are decidedly limited. I have abscess to anything as long as it literally does nothing (except, maybe, the side effects). What a deal!
So I call the dentist. It’s an “emergency,” I say. No problem! “How does Tuesday next week sound?” How does that sound? How about I feast on your soul with my last working tooth?
They always think I’m after the drugs. Yeah, people on the streets are scarfing pills like they’re Fruit Loops but I’m going to call you, my dentist, to get my fix on.
“Just take some over-the-counter stuff,” he says. As if the words uttered by a dentist actually makes them effective and gives them power. Acetaminophen. Ibuprofen. The words just roll off the tongue. Or they ought to for all the good they’ll do. Are you freaking kidding me? They just announced a study this week which revealed acetaminophen is no more effective for lower back pain than placebos. Which is unfortunate because acetaminophen is pretty much the #1 recommended analgesic for lower back pain. Oops. Our bad. (Which, by the way, you can’t spell analgesic without anal. Coincidence? Methinks not. Someone is too damn clever.)
How about you shove that OTC back in your analgesic, k?
I have a question. When you call the dentist why isn’t his response should be limited to one of two possibilities? 1) Come right in and I’ll work on you now and make it stop. 2) Come right in, I’ll take a quick look, and I’ll be happy to prescribe a serious pain reliever until I can see you sometime next week.
Why the hell don’t they do that?
My theory? It’s punishment. It’s the dental equivalent of dad grabbing the belt and taking me out behind the wood shed. Someone has gots to be learned a lesson. Maybe next time you won’t wait so long until you call? How many times do I have to drill this into you? This hurts you a whole lot more than it hurts me.
Today I saw the dentist and he readily agreed my mouth should be toured by the President in a helicopter after being declared eligible for disaster relief. “See? Aren’t you glad I made you wait?” Then I was finally handed a script for Tylenol-Codeine and admonished, “Be careful while taking these. Don’t try to drive or anything. This is powerful stuff.” Yeah, I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck, lady. I saw that episode of M*A*S*H, too. The one that went on to become a template for modern medical science. “Take these sugar pills and call us in the morning. Be careful! Powerful stuff!”
They say life is pain. But maybe that’s just because everyone except me gets abscess to the good stuff.
Yes, I replaced every instance of “access” with “abscess.” That’s my literary genius at work. I don’t even charge extra. -Ed.