Thursday, February 01, 2007


No, not the 41st president George Herbert Walker Bush. Me. The guy who could not fathom being as old as 40 turned 41 this past weekend. I keep thinking I'm going to die young but I keep having birthdays instead. Maybe I should pay better attention to my 401k. I can't imagine being 60 but at this rate that might happen too.

"No Junk Food January" concluded successfully. That's right: Mr. Sweet Tooth went a month without a doughnut. I also kept my resolution to work out every single day of the month, which my knees did not appreciate. They protested more ardently as the month wore on until I literally limped to the finish. But I made it.

If I had any notions of rushing out to the new Dunkin Donuts store near my home to celebrate, they didn't last past my dental appointment this morning. I got my first filling. Yes, I lasted 41 years before having any of my teeth drilled. They are my singular genetic talent. There was some decay at the base of a tooth near the gumline. As the dentist readied the needle to give me the novocaine, he warned me my mouth would feel numb for a couple of hours. I hadn't eaten this morning and asked if I could eat. "You can," he said, "but since you can't feel your tongue you might start chewing on that and not know it." So I still haven't eaten today.

After the shot the dentist quipped, "Now you know why people hate going to the dentist." Later while giving me the play-by-play of the job, describing the various expoxies, finishers, fillers and spackling compounds he was using (Forgive me if I got that wrong. As he said it I was still processing allowing someone to stick me with a needle. Inside my mouth. While I was alive. With my permission. Twice.), the dentist told me how much he loved his job. "It's better than staring at a computer all day," he said to a patient whose current employment entails staring at a computer all day.*

At least I don't inflict pain on someone for a living, pal.

*Not counting the freelance TV work I do, which has to be at least as fun as staring into people's open mouths all day.