Almost true representation of events.
(With apologies to my friends who are dentists, who I am sure are kind to small animals and little children. Occasionally.)
The top 3 things that humans fear most:
1. Public speaking
3. A visit to the dentist
I have not seen a dentist in 20 years. I am not particularly fond of them, they don't get Christmas cards from me.
My teeth are, surprisingly, in perfectly good condition, thank you very much, apart from this unbearably horrible toothache that I get when I eat. And when I don't eat. In fact, it hurts all the time.
[The chances of Heng Khuen seeing a dentist is found in the equation
P = Pt x ft > Fd
where P is the probablility of Heng Khuen visiting a dentist, Pt is the pain from the toothache, multiplied by ft which is the frequency of the toothache and Fd is the F@^&ing dentist, er I mean, Fear of dentist.)
I finally dragged myself to the dentist and he tells me that I have multiple cavities, which are holes in my teeth. He says that I have enough holes in my teeth for him to play a whole round of golf.
I am not laughing.
I also have this set of impacted teeth, which means my mouth was too small (contrary to popular opinion) to fit in all my teeth, so two of my molars were squeezed in to sit under my tongue, which I often show to little kids to scare them into obedience.
But my dentist says that my impacted teeth have to come out, or else more cavities will form when food gets stuck there. I think of the piece of apple that I had last night now stuck between my teeth. It now has a face. And a beard. And a pickaxe. And it is furiously chipping away at the rock of my teeth, laughing gleefully like a maniac, as it digs harder and harder to find the nerve that will give me Unbearable Pain which is its Revenge for me eating it.
I walk into the dentist's room. There is a chair in the dentist's room. It is not like an electric chair. It is an Ergonomic Reclining Chair with soft cushion padding, which fits your body snugly so that you can lie in it comfortably. It is like a La-Z-Boy couch which you lie on to watch the game on your big screen TV.
Except that it is not a La-Z-Boy. And there is no soccer match in front of you.
They slap on a pair of sunglasses and then suddenly a light descends upon you from above. The light stand is angled like a curious dinosaur bending it's head down to get a closer look at you. Except that it has the Sun for its face.
It is like you are in an interrogation. A comfortable chair, and a not-so-comfortable interrogation.
There is a tray. There is a tray with many instruments which look like they belong to a villain in a Bond movie. There are instruments with hooked pointy little ends which look like they could cause a lot of pain. And then there are the clamps. Which could fit on your little finger, squeezing it tighter and tighter. There is a needle, which looks like it could have truth serum in it. There is a pair of pliers. For ripping out teeth. And fingernails.
Suddenly your breath stops as your eyes land on the most horriblest instrument of all. The drill. The tiny little sharp rotating drill which sounds like a hundred little tiny fingernails scratching on the blackboards of your mind.
The dentist comes in, and he is all smiles. You expect a Villain Monologue during which time you will shoot out the lights with your gun, kick him in the balls and then make your escape.
You have to keep your mouth open the whole time while he does unkind things to you. Not unlike another profession that I know of. (With apologies to my friends who are in that other profession, who I am sure, too, are kind to small animals and little children.)
He reaches for the drill. The dentist tests it first. It gives a satisfying buzzing whirr in his gloved hand, vibrating the air around it. And then he reaches it into you. Hundreds of tiny fingernails scratch slowly but eagerly along the blackboards. The high pitch whirring resonates in your head, threatening to detonate it from inside.
Your body arches upwards. Your face scrunches in pain. Your fists grab the comfortable La-Z-Boy beneath you and threaten to rip it to pieces. You want to scream but there is no sound.
He has to inject you with an anaesthetic, he says. It will feel like a pinch. Or a mosquito bite, he promises. But it is not like a pinch. It is like a mosquito bite except that the mosquito is from a place called Hell, and it has eaten a mouthful of red-hot cili padi and volcanic magma before stinging you.
Your mouth gradually goes numb as if Muhammad Ali threw a few punches at you, but only managed to hit the left side of your face.
The dentist reaches for the pliers. You feel the steel rubbing on your tongue and clunking against your teeth as he clumsily rips your tooth (fingernails/eyes/nipples) out. The tooth is curved like a scimitar and red from the stab wound into your gums. Your mouth pools with blood. You taste it on your tongue.
He gives you a cotton swab to chew on. He smiles and expects a thank-you nod for his hard work torturing you today.
He leads you out of his room and you think that you are finally safe. Thank God that is over.
The worse is yet to come. Your half-numb mouth hangs open at the amount that you have to hand over for the forty five minutes of torture that you had just walked out of. A thread of saliva steals out from your open mouth like an art thief's rope at the Louvre, and it dangles over the three digit number on the bill before you.
Like a masochist, you swallow your blood-stained saliva and dig deep into your wallet to pay for the pleasure of the pain today.
The receptionist flashes you a perfect smile and takes your cash. You pray that somewhere in the back of her mouth, the tiniest little piece of a Mars Bar is patiently chipping away at the those pearly white teeth.