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July 3, 2008

The events of July 2, 2008

I'm at the dentist for what feels like the bazillionth time in the span of a month. The dentist comes in and sighs his customary "Oh, [Nugget]." He has another dentist come in to use a different anesthetic technique since I had so much trouble with what he'd given me the last time. As Dentist 2 shoots it in my jaw, my heart starts racing. A few minutes later, and the poison has yet to deaden me. Dentist 1 sighs again and shoots me with another needleful, and it feels like the needle is tearing tissue. Finally I can feel the telltale signs of Novocain, but my lip doesn't go numb. The numbed area includes my left cheek and eye, though. Dentist 1 decides this is good enough.

As he begins his work, tears start streaming out of my left eye. He asks if he's hurting me. I tell him I'm just having a lot of trouble closing my eye. He and his assistant emit sounds of surprise and concern. "That's why I don't use Dentist 1's technique," he sighs. "It seems he's paralyzed your facial nerve. But don't worry; it will go away. And if it doesn't, you just call me right up!" This is not comforting.

Because I'm not numbed in the right place, the drilling he's doing hurts. A lot. Tears start to stream out of my right eye as well, and Dentist has to keep pausing to daub my eyes with my paper bib. He does a hasty job on the filling, and when taking out a spring-loading instrument from my mouth, it pops into my afflicted eye. "Oh, my God. I want to go home just as much as she does," he says. "I wouldn't be surprised if you never come back to the dentist." I try to keep the blubbering to a minimum, but can't contain myself when seeing my gentleman caller in the waiting room. He, who has never had a cavity, takes one look at my face and resolves to start flossing five times a day.

I'm boxing up my earthly possessions in advance of the big move Out West. The GC tapes 'em up and drives away with 'em so his mom can ship 'em with her mega-discount from UPS. After he's left I realize I have approximately three outfits to last me until the boxes and I meet again. Five if you count my prom dresses.

Ma Nuggs and I head to Barnes and Noble to test drive my brand-new MacBook and brand-new iPod Touch (free with rebate!). Bro Nuggs helps me discover the wonders of video chat. Aside: Ma has been destitute since last Friday because all four of her chitlins were scattered to the exotic locales of Japan, Missoula, Tucson and Shokoppee. The prospect of being with yours truly whilst video chatting with her firstborn was a joyous one indeed.

Ma isn't used to this fancy technology. She talks WAY more loudly than is necessary, so all 20 patrons of B and N's cafe discovered that my mom won't be able to stay at my aunt's house in Seattle "BECAUSE THEY ONLY HAVE ONE TOILET IN SERVICE!" Bro further exacerbates the situation by slowly leaning toward the camera so that his eyeball, nose or mouth take up the entire screen. Ma guffaws till the cows come home. I cower.

While out with some (now former) co-workers, we decide to move from an Irish pub to a sports bar near the paper. As I'm driving along downtown's main drag, I hear a woman shouting. Then I see a man with blood all over his face putting a woman in a stranglehold. A second woman is shouting, "He cut me! He cut me!" Another man, who I don't think is involved in the situation, shouts at the first man to let the woman go. I come to the conclusion that the first man has a knife and is about to slit the woman's throat. Since I am now merely a Samaritan (temporarily on leave from ink-stained-wretchhood), I call 911 and tell them what I saw.

I get to the bar and ask my co-workers if they'd seen what I had. They hadn't, and the city hall reporter decided it was breaking news and rushes out to cover it. Our higher ed reporter follows suit, removing her heels to run the few blocks barefoot. When they return they say one of the women had been performing sex acts on the man, expecting a $20 payment for her services. When he reneged a scuffle ensued, and he started biting her.

Back at the bar, we sing and dance to classics like "Like a Prayer," "Toxic" and "Hit Me Baby One More Time." During the latter we discover City Hall Reporter is a human version of those nylon blow-up men frequently seen at car dealerships.

I'm extra careful to drive exactly the speed limit on the way home in Ma's dented minivan. Nevertheless, a state trooper turns his lights on and pulls me over once I've gotten off the highway. This is my first pullover experience, and yet I'm eerily calm. I fish my drivers license out of my purse and sit very still in the car's blinding search light.

He approaches and asks for my license. "What seems to be the trouble, sir?" I ask as innocently as possible. He tells me the light above my back license plate has gone out. Seriously? They stop people for that?


  1. Anony comment master must have had an impact - the posts are getting more exciting . . .

  2. Dear Nina:

    I would like to take this opportunity to COMMENT on your recent, heart wrenching adventures in Duluth. Bloody good show! Now you know why I resist going to our dentist, thinking that recent upgrades in vibrating toothbrushes make it all so impractical. Why pay someone for a service we can easily perform at home? Of course, I'm counting on you and the sibs to feed me my oatmeal whilst in residence at THE PINES II.