“I saw you ride up on your bike.”
It wasn’t so much the words uttered by the receptionist at the endodentist as the tone that rubbed me the wrong way.
There was a sneer to my ear. It sounded a bit like that cute-but-bratty girl I sat next to in ninth-grade science, accusing me of sneaking a peak at her exam. (I swear, I didn’t look; if I were going to cheat, it would have been off the egghead on my other side. Generally, it’s better to cheat off the dude with the pocket protector.) Anyway, there was something about the receptionist’s tone that grated.
I’ll admit I wasn’t in the best frame of mind.
At the ripe young age of (hrumph, mumble, mumble), I was slated for my first — and, hopefully, last — root canal therapy, and I wasn’t looking forward to it. In the overall scheme of surgeries and procedures, a root canal is nothing, but it still loomed as the most invasive procedure yet on my relatively (knock on wood) undefiled person.
So maybe I was a little out of sorts, and we already had gotten off on the wrong foot when she explained the office’s prepay policy during my previous visit. After the bike comment, she went on to ask me not only to pay for my procedure before the bill even was submitted to insurance, but, what the heck, why not go ahead and pay now before even putting behind to chair?
In my mind, that is kind of like paying for a meal before even ordering, but whatevs.
Anyway, at first I thought she just didn’t care much for cyclists.
But then I started to wonder if maybe I was about to be put through the wringer and would emerge in such abject agony there would be no way I possibly could keep myself upright on a bike.
I thought back to last time there was any work of consequence in my piehole. As a teen, I had to have four teeth removed to accommodate orthodontia.
Back then, I was treated to nitrous oxide — laughing gas — and it was a hoot. After the procedure, I was told I should head to a room across the hall to let the gas pass. As I was being led away, I assured my escort I was fine and didn’t need any help, thankyouverymuch … and promptly walked nose-first into the wall. Ouch.
I didn’t expect any gas this time, but I was afraid I’d be so delirious with pain — the whole deal was preceded by a toothache that drove me out of my mind, and that was before it was exacerbated by a bout of the stomach flu that made me absolutely miserable — I started to second-guess my decision to ride there.
As it turned out, the root canal was cake, and I rode home without so much as a wobble.
The last time I tried to combine dental work with a ride, I had a routine filling and, since the day was young and the weather beautiful, I decided to go for a nice, long ride in the country.
With my chops still numb, I pedaled out in the country. I made it to Baldwin and stopped for a snack and drink, looked down and was surprised to see my jersey was soaked. Same for my neck and chin. Unbeknownst to me, I had been drooling for miles.
I learned my lesson.
So after my root canal, instead of going for a long ride, I decided to take a nap instead.