If only I took as much care when dressing as I do when preparing my mouth for the dentist.
As with every dental checkup, before leaving the house this morning, I brushed my teeth, flossed and gargled thoroughly. I knew I was about to pay for the same services, yet the thought of a hygienist pulling anything but ordinary plaque from my molars skeeves me to no end.
As a rule I dread dental exams, but not because my teeth are lousy. They’re in fine shape overall, though I do possess a receding gum line which creates problems. What I hate most is the high-powered water spraying doohickey used by the hygienist to clear tartar. When the water jet hits the bottom edges of my choppers, it spears me with pain. Each time I suffer that procedure, I think of the ’70s movie, Marathon Man. There’s a scene where the sadistic Nazi dentist tries to torture information from Dustin Hoffman’s character by drilling his teeth and repeatedly asking: “Is it safe?” In my view, it’s never safe at the dentist’s office!
Fortunately, my mouth emerged relatively unscathed from today’s dental session. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for my ego.
When the hygienist at last raised my chair upright, I looked down for the first time … and found I’d neglected to zip my fly. I couldn’t have picked a worse day for the lapse either. My entire rotation of underwear is in the hamper, so I’d resorted to a backup pair: specifically, white boxers covered with red lipstick-like imprints of a woman’s lips. As I gazed downward, I easily spotted at least one set of kissers peeking through the gap in my shorts.
I felt mortified, at first. But I realized the hygienist hadn’t said a word about my zipper or my underwear. As unlikely as it seemed, maybe she hadn’t noticed anything amiss? I breathed a sigh of relief when she left the room to summon the dentist and I got the chance to zip up. I figured I was home free. Paraphrasing the old adage about the tree falling in the woods, I thought: “If a zipper unzips in the forest and nobody sees it, does it still embarrass anyone?”
A couple of minutes later, my dentist – a noted sailing enthusiast – walked in. His first words were: “Greetings, Richard. I see you’ve finally battened down the hatch. But what’s with the lips over your Johnson?”