Screams & Grumbles

“Hassled (By a Piece of Meat)”

by E. Watson


As a dedicated oral health professional, I adore treating you lovely patients.

Most dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants claim to like treating patients like I do but they’re liars.  Pay them no heed.

I adore treating patients because I love digging out your chunks of food debris and smearing the pulverized globules on your patient bibs.  It makes my mouth water.  I don’t why.  I like to smell it, too.

In fact, I love to smell it.

Forcing myself to refrain from prematurely taking a giant snort of your ground up breakfast burrito is really hard to do.  That’s a big issue for me.

How would that look to you beautiful patients if I shoved my dental scaler up my mask to take a huge whiff of your chewed-up tuna and spinach salad… right in front of you?

As a clinician, I must own up to my professional boundaries and parameters.

I smell it after you leave my operatory.

If I had to pick a favorite kind of food to release from in between your neglected, plaque-coated teeth I’d have to go with meat.  I don’t mean poultry, now.  I mean red, rare, steak-ish kind of beef.  It’s unfortunate because I don’t get to see much of that kind of meat.

Typically, in adults, it’s masticated fish, chicken, or broccoli mixed with the stench of their five-cups-a-day Starbucks habit they really can’t afford.  Oh, yes, my silly patients.  I’m able to smell it all.

Yet, for reasons I still don’t understand, folks are cutting down on their cow intake nowadays because they believe ‘it’s bad for them’.

Live and let live but I’m the one that’s missing out.

That’s what I thought… so naïve.

I get down to business, ready to clean the living crap out of this particular patient’s bovine-ridden mouth.  I’m doing my usual thing– staring at all of this delightful, beef-in-between-the-teeth sight, slavering and sucking up my saliva like crazy so my mask wouldn’t get damp, and then I come across this particular fragment of beef.

It’s a goddamn nightmare.

It’s like the John Boehner of chewed-up steak: the most stubborn, elitist, piece of plutocrat animal flesh I’ve ever dealt with.  I couldn’t get the cow out!  It was wedged so well between my patient’s upper left molars that I found myself sweating, cursing under my breath and not getting off on my saliva anymore.

It was right there; there within my grasp to be picked out, gazed at, and ready to take the biggest, fucking whiff of…. and I couldn’t get it out.

I was pissed.

After working the area for over thirty minutes or something, I gave up.  I put down the blood-soaked dental scaler (this patient doesn’t floss) and kept thinking how very disappointed I was with myself as a clinician.

All I wanted to do was get it out and smell it… dumbass, meat.


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