Open Wide

Roaring Laughter

“What was the last thing that gave you a real, authentic, tearful, hearty belly laugh? Why was it so funny?”

This question is by far one of the easiest I’ve ever had to answer. I am what some might consider an easy laugh and they’re right.

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By: Thomas Barbey

My answer to this question came on Friday, February 5th while sitting in, are you ready? the dentist chair. How many people can say that?

I’ve been going to my dentist for years. My mouth is a dental Disneyland so it’s a win/win. Always exciting, always something new, and always guaranteed cash. What’s not to love about that?

We really have a wonderful relationship, especially now that I’ve put both his children through college, and I’m currently helping him with a real estate deal in Center City. I’m such a giver … really. 

Well, on Friday I was going in for a quick $418.00 visit. Off with the temporary cap, on with the permanent one. In and out. Nothing ever goes according to plan with this mouth.

As he was getting started he signaled his assistant to get the suction going, but something was off about the conversation. I could tell he was getting frustrated. Um because I was right there with my mouth opened like the Holland Tunnel listening. 

Dentist:  Are you hungry?

Me:  I motioned “no” with my head.  Since I had a hand, vacuum, and some sort of light in my mouth at the time. I followed up with a shrug which was my way of asking “why?”

Dentist:  You seem to have a lot of saliva today. The suction can’t keep up. I’m about to bring in the wet vac.

Me: Lost it!

Dentist & Assistant:  Lost it!

** The rest of this conversation took place through laughter, which just made it funnier, which led to yet more laughter.**

Dentist:  Can you swallow?

Me:  Not without drowning.

Dentist: Bite down on this. A small piece of cotton.

Me:  You might want to get something more absorbent. Just the thought of a roll of Bounty in my mouth cracked me up.

Dentist:  I hate to say this … rinse out.

Me:  Practically crying with laughter.

Dentist:  In my entire career I never had to change gloves in the middle of a procedure.

Me:  Laughing at his now serious manner. Well, I got 99 problems, but extra saliva isn’t one of them.

Everyone:  Uncontrollable laughter

Enjoy the ride! 

23 responses

  1. I was told that dentists were the saddest people on earth because they are always looking down in the mouth. Apparently not! Great post!!:)

    1. Thank you! My dentist has a great sense of humor…thank goodness with this mouth.

  2. Good for you for finding such humour in this this experience. Although my dentist is a great guy, it is my least favourite place to be!

    1. If I didn’t find the humor I would be in an institution..lol

  3. My dentist appointments aren’t funny but I had an oncologist that made me laugh every time I went in. He was such a fun guy in such a sad occupation but I was a success story. We were both just a little twisted and it made it more fun. I thought he’d be a hoot at a bar or a party as long as he didn’t take any of his bizarre tools with him.

    1. It can make or break the experience!

  4. The tears I shed at the dentist’s office are not laughter-based. But my gastroenterologist? She’s the bomb — and I had a belly laugh visit with her just recently: http://fiftyfourandahalf.com/2015/12/09/ill-take-that-as-a-compliment/

    1. I remember you writing about her! You need a sense of humor dealing with asses all day … literally. Lol!

  5. You’re so funny Top. Favorite line: now that I put his kids through college. I needed a laugh. Keep writing…PLEASE?

    1. I’m trying!! He said I can use the apartment in town, which confirms that I paid for it..lol

  6. Hilarious! Glad you survived.

  7. You know you had to be hungry!!!!! ITs the story or our lives these days! That is soo funny! But how did you laugh with out choking????????

  8. You’re too freakin funny! I can visualize it all! 😂

  9. Lisa, this is funny. Good joke Hugh. I had a substitute hygienist the other day and we had a similar experience with water/ saliva splattering out. The more we laughed, the worse it got. Thanks for sharing your experience. Keith

    1. Good to know I’m not alone…lol

  10. A good sense of humour can make even the most difficult adventures go easier. Laughing gas would also help. Maybe he had a leaky tank. 😉

    1. God help everyone if I was exposed to laughing gas …lol.

  11. I wish I could laugh at the dentist office. My sense of humor turns off when I’m nervous, which is the case for all medical situations. You’re lucky!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Sometimes I wish mine would turn off. When I’m nervous it goes wild.

  12. Hope he told you, if you didn’t know already that once you get past a certain age, saliva is GOLD. My hygienist was complementing my nice wet mouth the other day, which also brought on hooting, not a good idea with a sharp stick next to your gums. No really, she said, so many people your age (“your age??”) have dry mouths. It’s hard on your dental work. So there, Ms. Saliva. Drool on.

  13. I once asked my dentist if I was going to buy him a yugo or a bmw…. he told me it definitely would not be a yugo… after two years of procedures, I asked him what he was going to do with all the money I gave him… he was the only dentist I could laugh with and be comfortable with, unfortunately he said he couldn’t move east with me… Great post!

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