Monday, September 5, 2011

The One About the Tooth

It's about to get real personal up in here.

First things first; I wasn't shot. So that is not the reason why I have been a little late in writing. To tell you the truth; my communication skills have decreased a solid 92% since I moved to New York. I blame the subway. No really. You know how some things bring out the best in people i.e. chocolate, avocados, puppies, DuckTales theme song, etc... and then you have things that bring out the worst in people i.e. the subway, stepping on nails, the subway, wet socks, the subway, etc..

Things I also attribute to my new decrease in communication:

1. My phone charger is on the other coast in someone else's possession and wont give it back... (you know who you are...) and I'm too stubborn to buy a new one #taurus
2. My phone has no 'silent' anymore, so I have to turn my phone completely off when I need it silenced. UPDATE: turns out someone saw me power off my phone and said, "why don't you just put it in airplane mode when you need it to be on silent?" Well that would just make too much sense..
3. Dear Apple, come out with the iPhone 5 already; I can't make it much longer..

Um, little interjection - (I have ADD, deal with it) - I'm at the laundry mat and there are these girls that are having a myspace photo shoot right behind me using the full length floor mirrors. I'm the only one back here and this desolate corner of the laundry mat has become extremely uncomfortable. I literally feel like I'm watching the photo shoot for some scary planned parenthood campaign #yikes

Where were we?

Oh, yeah - missing teeth.

Let me take you on a journey, so almost three years ago on Christmas day I was over at my sister-in-law's parent's house visiting and while I was there they offered some toffee of some sort (the kind that gets stuck to your teeth before you even put it in your mouth somehow and is only available once a year during the holidays) and when I started to chew on it, I felt the crown on one of my bottom molars come ripping off.

I pulled out the half chewed gloppy mess of caramel toffee and sure enough, there was my tooth.

Cue: panic and anxiety

I am fine with blood and things of that nature, but for some reason I am NOT cool with dental anything. So I stood there feeling light headed as I was holding my tooth thinking; great let me just hop on over to the dentist and get this taken care of on Christmas day, oh wait..

Cue: more panic, more anxiety

My now exposed tooth was incredibly sensitive and by this point I was freaking out a little (and by a little I mean a lot.) My parents saw the whole thing go down, and my mom tried to offer some advice;

Mom: We can just superglue it in and you can get it taken care of when the dentist is open again.
Me: Um, no thanks. We are not putting super glue in my mouth none the less on an exposed sensitive tooth. 
Mom: People used to do it all the time. 
Me: People used to drink and smoke when they were pregnant, was that a good idea?

Banter continued until I breathed in again and the air shot a shock down my tooth. 

So there I was asking my sister-in-law for superglue who in return went and asked her parents if they had any superglue at their house.

Sister in law: Do you guys have any super glue?
Sister-in-law's parents: Why do you need super glue?
Sister in law: Hawk's tooth fell out
Sister-in-law's parents: He's going to superglue it back in?!
Sister in law: Yeah, I think so.
Sister-in-law's parents: I don't think thats a good idea...

Yeah, thanks - let's go ahead and make this a family affair. Anyone else that we would like to get in on this; poll the neighbors? phone a friend? draw a diagram for group discussion? For the love.. just someone get me the damn superglue!

So a few minutes later after some rummaging, the mom found some superglue and gave it to me - I immediately set up camp in front of the bathroom mirror - paper towels, crown, superglue.. It was go time.  

[Fast forward to the following monday after the 'incident' in my dentist's office]

Dentist: Well what can we do for ya?
Me: Um, well my crown came out on Christmas and I, well I, you see it was like..

I beat around the bush for at least a solid minute before I blurted out in panic/shame:

Me: I superglued my tooth back in, can you ever fix it?!

The dentist tried pulling out the tooth, got a few tools and tried again; each time more aggressive tugging and still no results.

Dentist: Hmm, looks like you did a PRETTY good job in there.
Me: um, thanks? 
Dentist: No really, excellent job. It is not coming off. It's not even budging. Ever think about going into dentistry?

really? now is NOT the time for dentist jokes..

Me: So what do I do?
Dentist: Just leave it in until it falls off again and then come in and we'll put it on the right way

He reassured me that the 'superglue was safe' and blah blah blah 'used to use it in the military' blah blah blah 'for surgeries' blah blah 'organs' blah blah blah 'you'll be fine'...

[Fast forward three years and on the opposite side of the country]

Every weekend I'd go to the beach, and going to the beach in New York is quite a bit different that what I'm used to. You have to take the subway to Penn Station and then take an hour long train to Long Beach and then you would have to pay to just get into the beach. I know right? 

Each week there would always be a group that would go down it was a big group of friends of friends of friends of friends so there were always like 20+ people that you didn't know until after spending a day at the beach together.

I had just put on 5 spf sunscreen and plopped down on my towel when my friend Kristen offered me one of her swedish fish. 

Swedish Fish. Saturday. Friends. Sun. Beach. #bliss

That was until mid chew the half masticated jolly red fish viciously attacked said molar/crown and ripped it out... again.

You have got to be kidding me. Here I am.. on the beach.. an hour away from Manhattan... and about 7 or 8 states between me and my dentist. 


But if we've learned anything from Ellen (#hereandnow #dvd #gobuyit) it is that pain takes a backseat to your pride and/or ego. always. So in a big group of people that I didn't know well enough to freak out to that my crown had just fallen out.. I had a silent anxiety attack as I casually and sneakily pulled out the fish that now consisted of Sugar, Red 40, and my crown. 

I dare any one of you to stealthily fiddle around with a half chewed swedish fish, with sandy hands, all while trying to get your tooth back in the way came and is supposed to go without anyone noticing. Yeah, about as easy as it sounds. 

At the train station on the way back I bought a pack of four little super glue packets... just in case. 

Dilemma; dih-(lem)-uh. noun: "When one looses their tooth in a gummy fish accident and is faced with the decision to wait two days with a loose crown until one can go to the dentist and get it fixed, or superglue it in again and hope for the best."

[Fast forward to the dentist office that Google search found for me in the Rockefeller tower]

New Dentist: Hi, so what can we do for you today?
Me: Um, well my crown came out at the beach this weekend because of a swedish fish.
New Dentist: What's a Swedish Fish
Me: Are you human? What rock have you been living under?   It's a candy.
Under-qualified Dentists Assistant: [chimes in] I love those!
Me: Yeah, I did too. 
New Dentist: So my [under-qualified] assistant said that it has come out before?
Me: Yes, once... but I super glued it back in. 
New Dentist: Wait, are you serious?
Me: Do people usually kid around about that?
New Dentist: Well no, I have heard of people doing that but have never actually seen it in real life before. Really? You really super glued it in? And how long ago was that?
Me: Yup, true story. Three years ago.
New Dentist: Wow.
Me: uh-huh.

The rest of the office visit gets a little hazy; what I do remember is how nervous I was that the [under-qualified] assistant kept doing the exact opposite of what the dentist asked her to do, and she made me hold the x-ray machine gun up to my face in place so it wouldn't fall down. Is that normal? That can't be normal. Please tell me that you have never had to hold an x-ray gun barehanded up to your face as she runs and hides behind a wall and hits the button from a safe distance!? Ugh, homegirl was buggin. 

[Fast forward to now] 

I have all my teeth. Huzzah. No more living in constant fear of chewing gum, See's candy, or anything of the like. 

Morals of Post:
  • Speaking of 'I should be a dentist'... I should. Lets talk about this for a minute a.) I have nimble hands b.) in a dimly lit bathroom I was able to successfully semi-permanently attach my own crown c.) one time I extracted someone's molar in the mountains of Peru #truestory (but that's a post for another day) and d.) I'm sure the whole phobia of all things dental would get better over time, right?
  • Not only did the [under-qualified] assistant make me hold my own x-ray gun aimed at my face, but she kept calling my crown the 'cover thingy' and she doubled as the receptionist/magazine reader #worrisome
  • Swedish Fish... still worth it.


  1. Cuss yeah you should be a dentist.

  2. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaaa. This is why I must see you soon. I know there are stories to be heard, yet!

  3. I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well.Thanks for sharing this information.And I’ll love to read your next post too.

  4. Hawk, this makes me miss you terribly. Please lose a tooth and somehow (magically) end-up in Minneapolis.

  5. love the post hawk. you make me laugh. thanks for sharing.

  6. Oh boy, I love this.

    ps: you might want to stay away from Milk Duds, too.

  7. I really wish "demande devis travaux" was a real person. If he was, that would be the funniest comment ever. Alas, he is not.

  8. Hawken - that is HILARIOUS!! And the part that kills me the most is that the same thing happened to me the night before it happened to you, Christmas eve 3 years ago! Except it took off half my front tooth, and since I didn't try to to superglue it back on (thankfully, after reading your experience!), I just looked like a white trash moron with most of my front tooth missing for like four days until the dentist's office opened. We should have had a Christmas missing-tooth party. Anyway, if I ever find a recipe for Christmas toffee that ISN'T dentally fatal, I will make sure to send it to you. :)

  9. Three things:
    1) your posts are like suneshine on a sunny day, which is to say the best part of a good thing.
    2) I think you would make a great dentist. However I think you would make a better bomb disarmer or crochet-er or model train builder: ie professions of which you do not have phobias of but require the use of nimble hands.
    3) I ate swedish fish nearly every day in new york yet we never ate swedish fish together :(
    3.5) as I said before your posts are like sunshine, and therefore should be frequent and appear magically on cold dreary unexpected days and on weekends.

  10. Your superglue lasted 3 years! That is by far the most impressive thing I've heard this year. What may be hard for most dentists is cake for a Swedish Fish.

  11. So...I just read - out loud- this entire post to my parents and husband. You should know that everyone was rolling in laughter especially my dad. My dad said to tell you that "We enjoyed it and laughed."
    P.s. Where the heck are you.

  12. Am I reading this for the second time? Yes.
    Am I making a second comment? Yes.
    Did you do away with my first comment? It sure looks that way.
    Is that your passive-aggressive way of telling me we are over?...because if I go, you know the fish go with me.
    Now are you sure you want to take that chance?

  13. Overview:
    you're hilarious
    I laugh out loud
    You should write a book
    Screw being a dentist, become a best seller
    And maybe a dentist.
    When I come to NYC, can I come visit you?



  14. Everything about this post is solid gold - especially the part about the sandy beach. I can't believe it, but I can because it's you. I too remember a terrible experience at a dentist's office in New York when I lived there when I was like 8 (upstate). I was so shy and nervous at that age that when they made me swish with fluoride I was so scared I would swallow it that I held my breath the whole time as well and thought I was going to die. And it seemed to be better to just swallow it and be poisoned rather than die, but then the minute was up and I spat it out and realized I was holding my breath and the relief was so great that I forgave them for making me go through that. Oh 8 yr old Christine . . .

  15. Hilarious with Capitol H! Remember we are laughing with you not at you!
    #1 what's worse semi gone tooth? Or tooth stuck on tongue? Maybe there's a Guinness record entry waiting to happen? I'm thinking Not! I'll have to tell you about my former run in with grandmas dentures. Anyways keep on truckin!


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