Jack Bauer: Endodontist?


Leather-Faced "Pretty" Lady With Crinkly Cleavage And Frosted Lipstick
Perky 12-Year-Old Hygienist
Motherfucking Girl-Voiced Endodontist
Invisible Photographer
Jack Bauer


A sunny, warm Monday morning in suburban Texas. Birds are chirping, lawnmowers are humming, motorists are flipping each other off… it is a bourgeois paradise.


Glass. Granite. You're gonna pay $4,000 to fix your tooth? Goddamn right you're going to a place where the dentist chairs have back massagers built into them. 


Leather-Face (smiling brightly, batting Tammy-Faye eyelashes): Well, you must be Kari!

Me (offering a hesitant smile that hurts like a motherfucker because of this motherfucking tooth): Yes.

Leather-Face: Have you taken any ibuprofen today?

Me: Nope. I though you weren't supposed to take ibuprofen before any——-

Leather-Face (laughing): Oh, honey. You need to take four of these. Right. Now.

[Leather-Face reaches over, crinkly orange boobs dangling, and drops four generic Advil into a cup. She hands me a small bottle of water]

Me (not crying or running for my life or staring at the orange boobs, but thinking about all three): Awesome. Thanks.

[I sit down on a stylish leather chair/chaise thing and choke down the four pills. I stare at the door and continue to contemplate running. I briefly worry about the state of my own boobs. A door opens, but not the one I'm staring at. This one is behind me and creaks ever so slightly.]

12yo Hygienist: Hiyee! How ARE you?! Come on back!

Me (wondering if I am suddenly on a Japanese game show called "Hi Fine OK"): Hi. Fine. OK.

12yo Hygienist (smiling brightly. Too brightly): Have a seat!

[I sit. The 12yo Hygienist puts a bib on me and tilts the chair back until all the blood rushes to my motherfucking tooth, which begins to have a heartbeat of its own that seems to spell out in Morse code: You. Are. So. Fucked.]

12yo Hygienist (always smiling. Never stops smiling): I'm going to put some of this numbing gel in your mouth. It will help with the injections. Open up!

[She holds out a Q-tip covered in something bright red and sticky and then proceeds to swab all over the inside of my mouth with it. It tastes like poisonous pennies.]

Me: Stupid asshole.

12yo Hygienist: Sorry?

Me (realizing I just said that out loud): Oh, not you! My phone. My NPR app keeps crashing. I was going to listen to some stuff about Chess Boxing during the—-

[12yo Hygienist's eyes have glazed over, but she is still smiling. I wonder if I have killed her with boredom. Or maybe she's a robot and she's gone into sleep mode. The Motherfucking Girl-Voiced Endodontist appears. I hear him before I see him and think, "Wait, did I schedule this with the girl dentist?" I am still nearly upside down in the chair so I see a scrubs-clad crotch as it walks by. Nope, not the girl.]

MFing Girl-Voiced Endodonist (also smiling brightly): Let's numb you up!

[Searing pain, much giggling on the parts of 12yo Hygienist and Motherfucking Girl-Voiced Endodonist as they chat about iPads. There is some whimpering on my part. Time passes. My phone is still being a stupid asshole so I give up on NPR and start playing a little Rage Against Machine. I see people staring at me expectantly, so I turn the music down.]

MFing Girl-Voiced Endodonist: Open, please!

[He's holding something that looks like a tiny latex tablecloth with a square cut out of the middle. Inside of the square is a tiny bear trap. He slides a plastic thing into the left side of my mouth for me to bite, so that my mouth will stay open with very little effort. I immediately begin to drool. Then, I begin to blink rapidly as the bear trap comes closer and closer to my face. The Motherfucking Girl-Voiced Endodonist deftly attaches the bear trap to my sore tooth (which is blissfully numb at this point) and the small blue, latex tablecloth slaps me in the face. He gently tucks part of it under my nose so I don't suffocate to death.]

MFing Girl-Voiced Endodonist (his girly voice chirps): Now the area is secure!

[At this point he positions a giant microscope over my face, points a blinding light in my eyes and reaches full on into my mouth with an array of stabby, whirling, whining machinery. I close my eyes. As he is drilling and hacking and pressing and pounding I hear a camera shutter click and the insides of my eyes go red at the flash. WTF? They're taking my picture? What kind of sadistic, weirdo place IS this? I try to swallow as my anxiety builds. But I can't swallow because of all the shit in my mouth. A drool situation is developing. I long for the days when dentists had spit basins. I really, really need a spit basin. And then…]

12yo Hygienist: Would you like to sit up for a minute? He'll be right back.

Me (in my head – my mouth is full of philips head screwdrivers and bear traps and drool): WHAT THE FUCK? He'll be back? Where the hell did he go? I have an entire Home Depot's worth of tools in my mouth right now PLUS a sinkhole of drool. And why are you guys taking pictures of me?

[I sit up and realize a stream of drool has slid down my face and into my shirt as I've been laying in the chair. For a split second I worry that it's blood and not drool and I think I might pass out. It's at this point that I begin to worry that I am not actually at an endodontist's office. Maybe it's all a front for a covert government operation. Maybe they aren't really performing dental work, they're implanting some kind of device into my tooth. Or maybe they're trying to torture information out of me. At any moment Jack Bauer is going to show up and he is going to threaten me with me a live cougar and the Patriot Act if I don't tell him everything he needs to know – and he means everything. So now I'm thinking that the Motherfucking Girl-Voiced Endodonist has disappeared to work out his torture strategy with Jack Bauer while I am left to ponder my mortality in front of  – hey wait! The 12yo Hygienist has been REPLACED. In her stead is a new hygienist. Or else I have been here long enough for the original hygienist to dye her hair and come back.]

12yo Hygienist/ Possible Android: Oh, here he comes! Back down you go!

[I am tilted back down, but this time I can't see the Motherfucking Girl-Voiced Endodonist because of all the equipment in the way. Hands go back in my mouth. Tugging, pushing, grinding, jamming, weird smells, more flashes from a camera and I begin to sweat. Maybe the Motherfucking Girl-Voiced Endodonist has been replaced just like the 12yo Hygienist. Maybe the person with the ham-sized hands in my mouth is now ACTUALLY Jack Bauer. But why isn't he asking me any questions? Is he waiting to start slowly electrocuting me first? More flashes from the camera. I start to whimper.]

MFing Girl-Voiced Endodonist: Looks like you might have had enough for one day.

Me: mmmmmppphhhffffffgggguurgglee [translated: get me the eff out of here]

MFing Girl-Voiced Endodonist: I'm going to put in a temporary filling and I want you to come back in two weeks, OK?

[What he actually means to say: You have to come back in two weeks. Otherwise, the tiny bomb I've placed in your tooth
is going to blow up your head.]

Me: (nodding, wiping drool from the back of my neck)

[The 12yo Hygienist/Possible Android takes off my bib and helps me stand up. She walks me to the front desk]

Leather-Face (smiling, dessicated boobs shaking with her mirth): So we'll see you in two weeks?

Me (it's impossible to talk when half your face is sliding off): Uh.

Leather-Face: Don't forget the ibuprofen next time!

Me: Uh.

MFing Girl-Voiced Endodonist (throws a wink my way): Call if you have any problems!

Me: Tell Jack I don't know anything! There's probably a mole. Hell, there's ALWAYS a mole. Please don't post any of those pictures you took on the Internet! Also, next time don't use my chest as a tray for your torture tools! What if I had giant, dessicated orange boobs? I hate this place! Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!

Me (in actuality, slurring a little): OK.

[I run to my car as fast as I can, slam and lock the door, wipe the drool from my chin and peel the fuck out of the parking lot. I imagine the Motherfucking Girl-Voiced Endodonist, the 12yo Hygienist/Possible Android and Leather-Face all tracking my progress with GPS devices on their iPads. They cackle together and Jack Bauer walks around the corner, removing a mask that has hidden his identity.]

Jack Bauer: We have her where we want her.

Leather-Face: Weeping softly in the P. Terry's parking lot on William Cannon, unable to drink her milkshake through the straw because her lips are too numb to pucker together?

Jack Bauer: Yes. And also the other thing.

MFing Girl-Voiced Endodonist, 12yo Hygienist/possible android, Leather-Face: Hahahahahaha.


5 thoughts on “Jack Bauer: Endodontist?

  1. Wow, it’s as if you were at my last dentist appointment & have now made a screenplay. I didn’t think it was an amusing experience until I read this… I chortle because I’ve been there.


  2. Maybe it’s because I’ve been visiting the dentist every freaking week lately, but I could not stop laughing reading this. Like, gasping for air laughing. I highly recommend nitrous oxide, btw. They gave me some by mistake last week and it was AWESOME. I was the most relaxed I’ve been in years. Aaahhhh.


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