The Dentist of Doom

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed a post about my tooth breaking in two. That happened on Friday night, when I was supposed to be editing the two short films we made for the Philips Cinema Parallel Lines competition. Instead, eating a Snickers ice cream caused one of my teeth to split in two, and we had to get to a dentist. The only open dentist at that time of night was at the other end of Frankfurt, but it was an emergency, so we had to take a taxi, which cost us more than we would normally spend on food in several days. Still, we’re lucky; we got away with paying something like 60€ for taxis and dentist; if we lived in the United States, things might have been quite different.

The Dentist of Doom, as Verena called him, turned out to be a lunatic. What is it with strange racist dentists? This is my second one now. (My normal dentist is very nice, and not racist at all.) This one honed in on my last name and couldn’t shut up about Greece. But everything he said was bizarre, and conversations went exactly like this (with my mouth wide open and him poking at my gums):

Jonas: Is there no way of repairing the tooth?

Dentist: Alexander the Great destroyed Persepolis, did you know that?

Jonas: Well, he conquered it, and…

Dentist: He killed everyone there. Not even the dogs were allowed to live. A Greek person told me that.

Jonas: Uh, yes, well…

Dentist: But he wasn’t Greek, right? Alexander the Great. He was Persian.

Jonas: Actually he was Greek. Northern Greek. Macedonian.

Dentist: Is that so? Well, I don’t speak any Greek. Sorry. Maybe I’ll learn some today. Hah hah. I had a Greek assistant once. She was very nice.

Jonas: Aha.

And it kept getting weirder and more non sequitur. He was not happy when I pointed out that German is actually also a native language of mine, and I’m only part Greek. He also went on about the fact that he likes to pull out teeth. Which is what he did with mine. Whether or not it was really necessary, I will probably never know. He sure had fun.

It could all have been much more painful. I suppose you could say I was lucky that the tooth was almost dead anyway – if its deadness had not involved an eight-month root canal (or endodontic therapy, as the Wikipedia calls it) that on occasion caused me pains that words have yet to be invented for. Now I have a missing tooth at the back of my mouth and a strange glob of congealed blood, and I kind of wish they’d pulled the tooth out back when it first started hurting like a motherfucker.

Oh well. At least the impolite elitists have struck again in Harold Bloom and the Death of Art, aka The Comments Thread That Will Not Die. Someday I’ll have to write a real follow-up to that one.

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