MMMBop and Root Canals, or, Why The Universe is Hilarious

So this morning I went to the dentist and, you guessed it, had a root canal.

Not just any root canal, a surprise root canal.  Not that the dentist snuck up on me or anything (“surprise!” *drillllllll*).  More like, “Hey, so I hear you have a pain in your anterior premolar and probably need a filling?  *checks ex-ray*  oh, jk.  YOU NEED A ROOT CANAL!”

I have bad teeth.  Like, let me just come out and say it.  Really f*ing bad teeth.  My birth mom did too.  Brush all you want, floss until you drop, but those teeth are going to rot no matter what.  Someday I’m going to need dentures, and that makes me sad, but I think I’m going to get pointed metal shark teeth ones, so I figure it all evens out.

[I have a bright future ahead of me.]

On the other hand, I’ve always had good luck with dentists.  I think they think they have to beat their bad reps (suicide-prone torture artists, all), so traditionally, they’ve been very nice and as soothing as possible with me.  Good bedside manner and a few shots of novicaine, and I’m good to go.  My heart rate doesn’t even rise anymore.

When I got my wisdom teeth out last October, it was–dare I say it–almost a pleasurable experience.  That gas they give you is good shit. I remember babbling on and on about how much I loved the farm, and then they were doing something to my face but it felt a million miles away, so I got a little bored and played Fur Elise on my thighs for what felt like 2 minutes but was probably an hour, and then I tried to sing Act I of Les Mis in my head, with very limited success.  Throughout, I felt a sincere love for the entirety of mankind.

I know, I’m a total mad-raving-looney, but I think going to the dentist actually soothes me.  There’s just something lovely about knowing there’s a problem that you can’t fix, but ta-da here is someone who can, and you just have to shut up and trust that they know what they’re doing.  They fix you up, take care of you, problem solved.

So, anyway, today I went in and was told I had to have a root canal and I was like “eep root canals have a bad rep” and she was all like “I’m-a numb ya” and I was like “okay”.  But I think she was a little weirded out by my cheerful acceptance in the face of it all, so she kept explaining, in a slow, intense voice exactly what she was going to do.   “Root canal… Root canal… Root canal…” she kept saying, but by this point I had become distracted, because the smooth rock seeping out of the overhead speaker had changed from some forgotten 90s ballad to those opening notes that instantly perk up the ears of all girls who were in the fifth grade in 1997.

Yes, ladies… MmmBop.

I swear, the more intense and caring this dentist sounded, the louder they MmmBopped.  And the louder they MmmBopped, the more it sounded like she was trying to tell me I had pancreatic cancer.  The juxtaposition of root canals and mmmboping was just too much for my twisted sense of humor to bear.  I was about to lose my shit when, about a minute into the song, she was kind enough to step out of the room for a minute.

Just imagine you’re the dental assistant, a nice, portly woman in her 50s, used to soothing the fears of CEOs and researchers and Navy freaking Seals who are just pissing themselves over their impending root canals.  And you turn around to see a nice young woman in glasses and a fuzzy pink sweater with a knit hat on her frizzy head, just laughing her ass off (albeit silently), just minutes before you and the dentist are to go spelunking in her infected nerve.

“Are you alright?!” She asks emphatically, reaching out to hold my forearm and probably thinking I was–in fact–crying.  I tried to explain myself, but failed of course.  “It’s just… you know… she was so serious, and I have to have a root canal, and my tooth hurts, but they’re playing, you know, like, fate is playing MmmBop.”

“What’s an MmmBop?” was pretty much all she had to say on the matter.

Okay, am I wrong?  Is that not the funniest thing you have ever heard?  You’ve got people telling you your life may be drawing to a painful end, and the universe decides to play MMMBOP!?


~ by Rachael on January 25, 2011.

One Response to “MMMBop and Root Canals, or, Why The Universe is Hilarious”

  1. Had a friend once who got her front teeth knocked out at softball practice. When she went to the dentist to have the damage assessed/taken care of, the song “Wide Open Spaces” was playing. True story.

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