Foto by tgw, "Camera's Take on a Lamp," New York City 2011
A The Daily Growler Political Intrusion (WARNING): TODAY!!! (Wednesday, the 12th): Congress is voting on 3 free trade deals--absolutely the worst free trade deals in this wild-spree of free-trade agreements started by the Clintons and now perpetuated by Hillbilly Hillary Clinton, our most unqualified Secretary of State ever (remember she has her own army in the Green Zone in Iraq (the world's largest embassy, in case you've forgotten; all embassies under Hillary's command)). And awful agreements are going to fly through this Fascist Congress since it's doubtful that this Reaganistic Congress and this Reaganistic President (Obama the Far Rightwinger) will stop them--UNLESS We the People pick up our phones or take them out of our purses and pockets and dial 1-800-718-1008 and yell at 'em and tell 'em We the People don't want these free trade deals that will (the one with Korea alone will cost us 180,000 jobs), lose We the People hundreds of thousands of jobs (in the green energy, automobile, computer, television industries, along with major tax revenue losses in the case of the deal with Panama). These are three fair trade agreements: 1) with Korea! This is the big one that will really cost our economy, especially in the area of industry losses, job losses, and tax-revenue losses. 2) with Panama: this one is evil because Panama is one of the world's biggest tax havens--so by opening up free trade with Panama will mean our major corporations will flock down there to open up headquarters and distribution centers and We the People will lose more and more of our tax revenues with our loyal corporations going offshore. And 3) the free-trade deal with Colombia! Come on, free trade in what, cocaine? assassinations? (more Unionists are assassinated in Colombia every year (51 last year; already 22 this year) than anywhere else on earth, including Communist China, who, in case you've forgotten, own our asses lock, stock, and barrel).
These free-trade deals are simply Globalization deals that favor our Global Corporations, those who have their bootheels on our necks! Those true inhumane materialistic bastards who care nothing about who starves to death, whose bombed to death, who perishes in disasters; these are the same predator bastards who have robbed We the People blind of all our possessions, including our land, our houses, our cars, our savings, our pensions, OUR JOBS, our health, our RIGHTS--go read the Bill of Rights and see just how many Rights have been denied us by our last three presidents, starting with Slick Willie Clinton, the Arkie hillbilly who with his slick $75,000-a-year lawyer wife, rose from being a $30,000-dollar-a-year Governor of the Backward State of Arkansas (home of the big Iran-Contra cocaine-for-guns airbase at Mena, Arkansas, during the Reagan Administration when Willie was Governor of Arkansas) to now reigning as our wealthiest-ever ex-president...today worth, and listen to this, say it outloud three or four times: 200 million bucks. Do you believe that? This son of a bitch is a Global Corporate Puppet now--these Global Corporations have made this man rich because of the big favors he did for them when he was President and deregulated the banks and mortgage houses and bond houses and the insurance companies and privatized our health industry (after the Big Dog's National Healthcare plan was so badly handled by his wife, what's her name?, they finally gave up on it and capitulated to the privatized health industry (the pay-or-die healthcare industry (of which cancer alone is a multibillion-dollar industry--you think they want to find a cure for it?))--and one reason Slick Willie got elected in the first place was because of the debt and wrecked economy left behind by Pappy Bush, who ironically is now Slick Willie's best pal (and don't forget, they were partners in that billion-dollar Southeast-Asia-tsunami-fund scheme many years ago now--time having erased it in our minds and news). And Slick Willie deregulated like a madman after being advised to deregulate and create NAFTA and GATT and GAP by the likes of true nutjob Larry Summers (who proposed dumping our nuclear waste in Africa--which We the People did--check out why there is piracy off the Somalian coast) and Robert Rubin (Goldman-Sachs) and Little Timmy Geithner (a Wall Street handpuppet)--and now, adding insult to injury, Obama's new jobs creator expert, and this isn't a joke, is none other but the former Republican CEO of General Electric!!!--the offshore kings of Global Corporations; the world's largest nuclear power plant constructors--guess who constructed Fukashima? guess who's in India right now instructing them on how to build a nuclear way of existence?--and We the People have to kiss India's smelly ass because they have nuclear weapons and hate the Pakis who though We the People support these Pakis with billions of dollars of aid and military weapons every year, we don't trust them as far as an Indian soldier can throw one of them--yet, Pakistan is the only Islamic country with nuclear weapons, so until through some undercover invasion and occupation skulduggery on our part takes over their nuclear arsenal, we've got to handle their asses with care, though recently one of President Obama's leftover Bush Administration generals or admirals in Afghanistan has been shooting his mouth off about how the Pakis are responsible for backing the recent bombings in Kabul that have taken a lot of US and NATO and UN lives--Kabul, a place where most of the citizens stay out of the way of US and NATO troops and contractor big shots and the many advisors while secretly wishing like hell these invading bastards would all get blown to smithereens so the Afghans can have their country back. (PS: We assume Pakistan is the only Islamic country to have nuclear weapons, though we wouldn't be surprised to find out we've sold a handful of nukes to our pals, the Royal Family of Saudi-Arabia--hey, where women can now drive cars--that is or so his Royal HighAss has said in a brief period of human kindness on his part--though some hidebound believing husbands may certainly stone their wives to death should they catch their wives driving cars.)
My Time of Fear and Loathing
I just chipped off a front tooth eating a Greek salad. One of the pitted Greek olives in the salad did it. Great little Greek olives. I felt a pop in my mouth, yes, but it was several minutes afterwards that suddenly, out of nowhere, the way calamities and accidents and crises happen, with my tongue I felt something different along the row of my upper front teeth. Something was different...very different. Then, yipes, in terms of being able to apply my tongue to a major crevice...and then feeling the front of the tooth missing...MISSING! I ran to the bathroom and yawned before my crystal-clearly-reflecting mirror and OH MY CHASTISING GOD! I looked so creepy! I chipped off half a tooth and it was the tooth that flashes when I talk. I'm cursing. Shit. God-damn. Jesus X. Christ (one of my favorite expletives). Now I thought, it's going to soon start erupting with that demonic pain teeth punish us with when we chip them and expose a NERVE PERHAPS. But, so far, so good. Only embarrassment now about opening my mouth--like how am I going to hide this infraction to the golden rule of perfect teeth?--I mean, I now look like a hayseed from the Ozarks...or, worse, like one of the alkies over at the Men's Shelter on the Lower East Side.
Now I'm writing cathartically. To keep from going back into my bathroom and scaring myself to the point I'm loathing myself. Of course, my next problem is--it's not that I hate dentists themselves--don't get me wrong--one of my best friends years ago in New Orleans was a dentist. It's just that I've had some traumatic moments with dentists. Even my dentist friend in New Orleans. Like I was in his chair that overlooked upper Canal Street, it was a Boulevard by then, and it was while the bastards who ruled New Orleans at the time were digging up the Canal Street street car line--it ran from Lower Canal and the riverfront all the way uptown to the Fair Grounds and the Fair Grounds Race Track. They were replacing these beautiful old trolleys with trolley buses! General Motors, those bastards, caused this to happen--starting in the 1940s, they started convincing cities that buses and automobiles were the transportation of the future--GMC buses and General Motors automobiles, of course--and all over the country cities started pulling up the trolley tracks and junking the trolley cars--L.A. did it...and when I was a kid in Dallas, Dallas did it...every city did it...New York City did it...in favor of trolley buses (they were electric powered same as the old rail trolleys and using the same overhead juice wires the old trolleys used) and eventually just plain ole buses. Yep, so while outside on Canal Street these guys were ripping up the street car tracks, my dentist friend was digging in my gums saying he'd broken off the tooth he was extracting and he was having to dig the roots out and the fragments left behind by the tooth breaking, saying this particular tooth had three roots rather than the normal two and was quite a dentistry task to clean out what should have been by then a dry socket. Though my jaw and mouth and all were heavily sedated, numb, I still could imagine I felt this guy digging down in that hole with that little pick device, then his lugging hard, I could feel his tension as he lugged away, at the roots left down in there...I get jittery writing about it. I was very young then and virile so I bore pain the macho way--"Does that hurt, Mr. Wolfe?" "Naw, Doc, are you kidding? I don't feel a damn thing...." And it's all I could do to hold back the tears and twinges.
Then here in New York City, Manhattan dentists got so expensive, so when I lost a filling one night while feasting on Chateaubriand at a Midtown French restaurant, my friend who was treating me to the feast clued me in to his dentist in Middle Village, Queens, saying, hey, the guy was cheap and he was a nice man and a gentleman and a painless-type dentist, repeating that he was cheap. And that did it and out to Middle Village, Queens, I trucked. His office was in a little one-story Main Street building. The waiting room was clean and cheery and the nurse was friendly and motherly and she took me in and I met yet another dentist, and, yes, he was the nicest guy and a gentleman to boot, and all that my friend had said of him. And, in terms of refilling my tooth, he did a very good job. And, yes, he was cheap, too. And I left out of his office feeling back-to-normal enough I bought a canole from an Italian bakery--it's an Italian neighborhood--and gobbled it down on the way back to the subway and my painless trip back to Manhattan.
During that first session, this Middle Village dentist had mentioned a lot about how much his malpractice insurance was costing him. And it was some ungodly figure, like $80,000-a-year, I think, I kid you not, it was something gawking like that. And he did mention it over and over again, but, like I said, he did a good job, good enough that several months after that I had need again for his services and I traipsed out to Middle Village from my Manhattan abode to let him do his thing--this time it was an extraction.
He greeted me with a friendly handshake and acted as though he truly remembered me from six months back. After this friendly confab, he then sat me down in his chair, immediately excused himself, and left the room. I sat in that chair uncared for for what seemed like forever--I mean so long I was getting itchy and ready to jump out of the chair and go look for him--when, like a set off Jack-in-the-Box, he stuck his head in the door and said, "Oh, my god, I'm so sorry, I got distracted and forgot you were here." And he comes in and does his thing of examining the tooth with the little mirror on the end of the long stainless steel handle and prying around my teeth with that little tool with the steel prong on its end and then he was hemming and hawing then finally agreeing with himself out loud that, "Yes sir-ree, that tooth has to come out." Then he went naturally about prepping me for the pull, you know, propping my mouth open with that device and packing stuff in my cheeks and then sticking the suction thing in my mouth to suck my saliva and spit out, a procedure that got me to wondering how they cleaned and sterilized that thing after they'd used it--or, horrors, if they even ever did clean it after each patient. Then, quick as a wink, he again excused himself and left the room.
And he was gone this time a miserably-for-me long period of discomforting time. By now I was thinking he was acting very strange (you know like a "come to think of it" moment), and then it was made moreso strange when once again he Jack-in-the-Boxed his head into room and once again started apologizing, came in, and once again got professional; in fact, he immediately set to work extracting my tooth.
There was one slight thing that had passed totally by us both without either one of us thinking about it. What that was became evident as he started to pull my tooth. Remember, my teeth are hard to pull. At the first wrench he put on his pulling pliers, a bolt of fire shot up that tooth and burnt a hole in my middle brain--a burning pain so electric and so fiery my eyes teared up and I started crying...and then he jerked with the might of Hercules and the tooth starting coming loose and it felt like, literally, my whole brain was being drawn out with that tooth through that tiny hole. I never felt such pain in my life--I mean you talk about intense--think of feeling like your brain is being ripped out of your skull, bringing along with it your eyebrows and your eyes and your nasal passages, the whole front of your face. BUT...alas, when the tooth finally popped out, the pain vanished and I was enveloped in an instant peace--that same peace, if I may be so honest, I feel after I cum while having good sex.
The doc remembered what he did wrong before I did: "Did I give you Novacaine?...did I even deaden...oh my god, I'm so sorry." And then it hit me: "Holy shit, doc, I felt like you were scalping me there one time--Jesus X....." He'd not only forgotten to use the big needle loaded with the Novacaine but he'd forgotten to give me that little needle they shoot you with first to deaden the area where they're going to stick the big needle.
A few weeks later the friend of mine who'd clued me into this guy just happened to say, "Did I tell you that Doc So-and-So went stark-raving mad one afternoon in the office--he was screaming about his malpractice insurance premium that was due, how he couldn't pay it, and if he didn't have malpractice insurance he couldn't practice--and they had to straitjacket him and now he's in a rest home down in Florida."
The last time I visited a Manhattan dentist, one of the guys who worked for me clued me in to his dentist--he knew the guy from working with him in the NY Philharmonic choral organization. He guaranteed me this guy was a cool dude and absolutely was a great dentist. Besides he had a cool office in the Flatiron Building, which was in walking distance from my apartment. So I got an appointment with this dentist with a great voice, and, yes, he was everything my man had said about him--a really cool dude, with a cool Flatiron Building office, with a supercool nurse who looked like Halle Berry, and later his supercool daughter who also looked like Halle Berry and who was going to Columbia dropped by--and I was happy with the guy's work and his manner and enjoyed ogling his nurse and his daughter and blah, blah, blah, happy dentistry days are here again.
After he had finished, he told me he had only temporarily fixed my situation--this tooth had been killing me with pain is the reason I had needed him. He said for now he had put a temporary filling in the tooth to stop the pain, but that eventually he was going to have to extract it. After a free teeth cleaning by a rough-ass little Italian woman, the doc scheduled me for a day later in the month.
I eagerly went for my second appointment with this guy when the day arrived, but as I went by his partner's office door, I saw a wreath hanging on it. I asked the nurse what happened to the partner. He died, she told me. He died very sadly, she said. She continued saying it was especially bad for my dentist because he and his partner had been a couple for so long and things had been going so well for them.
So my dentist was Gay...that didn't bother me. What bothered me was when I got to my office the next day and confronted my worker with the news that this dude's partner had died and he said, "Yeah, I knew he died. And did they tell you how he died?" I said no. He said, "He died of AIDS...."
That's the last time I have been to a dentist. Not that I was afraid of getting AIDS from this Gay dentist. The whole situation seemed so damn tragic to me--and, to be quite honest, it turned me off that scene, not in a disgusting way, but in a "why didn't they admit it to me?" way--and yes in a heterosexual way, too, I'm sure.
Now here I am disfigured! Snaggle toothed. I look frightening. It's close to Halloween. I can hire myself out as a scary man, a scary geek, a toothless male hag. And now I'm feeling it constantly with my tongue and in my mind I'm anxiously nervous as to what if it starts to throbbing with hurt--and oh how I would dread that pain--the worst pain in the world--but I do have some White Lightnin' left from that pint my doorman brought me back from Mississippi--it's powerful stuff--swish it around over the tooth if it starts griping--deaden it enough I can get up the strength to go looking for another dentist--except this time I may go out looking for some welfare dentistry--like over at the NYU School of Dentistry...how brutal could a first-year dental student be? Yeah, sure.
for The Daily Growler