Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The No-Guns Dentist

Back in 2007, when I was about to go through submandibular excision number two (which would be followed by 30 doses of radiation treatment) my dental oncologist at MD Anderson told me that my teeth looked to be in particularly good condition, but I had to make a choice: either I promised to have professional cleanings twice a year, or she was going to remove all my teeth rather than just my wisdom teeth.  Easy choice, yes Ma'am, I'll see a dental hygienist every six months.

And so, yesterday found me walking into a regularly scheduled dental exam.  But, coming into the Dentist's office, I noticed a new sign on the glass entry door:

No Handguns Allowed
Concealed Or Otherwise

And, the same clear stick-on sign adorned the interior glass door.

About a year or two ago, while I was waiting to be called into my cleaning, I enjoyed a brief chat with a pair of WWII vets in the waiting room.  They had been waiting when I came in, and didn't say so, but seemed to be getting a bit impatient at their wait time.  And when I was called back before them, I tried to get the staff to accommodate those old guys before me.  I made a bit of a scene, and I'm sure the wait room heard most of it.

As the Vets' dental cases were far different from mine, our schedules had nothing in common, but I left the Dentist's staff with an admonition to never let a Veteran wait more than 10 minutes.  I don't know if that little poopy-pants show of mine ever helped any Veterans with their wait times, but the point is this: the Dentist's staff never lets me sit in the waiting room (regardless of how early or late I arrive) more than 5 minutes.  I don't think they want me chatting up the other customers.

Fast-forward back to yesterday...
I bet I didn't have more than 90 seconds to stew over the new "No Guns Allowed" sign, with at least a dozen other patients already waiting, before being shown back to the examination room.  The hygienist, not my regular one (and what's up with that, Jennifer, if you're still reading my blog?) proceeded to situate me in the lounger and quiz me over Facebook challenges and some other nonsense.  I told her that I didn't play any Facebook games, and this day would be my last visit. Ever.

She asked me why, and told her that I refuse to spend my money (I'm a cash-paying-for-healthcare customer) at a Citizens' Disarmament Zone.  And I assured her I understood it wasn't her idea, so she could just trot out the mutton-head in charge of such foolishness, and I'd tell him the same thing.

She claimed that she didn't like the sign, and doesn't agree with it, but told a story of a recent felon who came in with his partially-concealed handgun and menaced (my word, not hers) the other patients in their waiting room.  We talked about similar schoolyard victim zones and horses and cowboy church using hushed tones.  Actually, her tones were hushed, and mine were more like: arrgh-mmm dubba-warrga-wargga dummumm cahpah.  Teeth-cleaning humor!

Near the end of the cleaning, the Dentist came in and did his I'm looking over your file as an attempt to piggyback an examination that you don't need and didn't want onto your scheduled cleaning, even though you've warned my staff over and over not to just assume that an examination was part of the deal.  The hygienist said to the Dentist that I had some concerns.

I told him I didn't have any concerns, but that I did have standards.  And one of those standards was not getting shot as an innocent disarmed bystander, when some sociopath recognizes the Dentist's little sign as a "Free Human Targets Here" advertisement.  And another of those standards was not spending my money in a place that would put up such signs.  The Dentist gave me the winky-nudgy "Well, that doesn't mean there aren't any guns here" line, and I told him that I was even more offended that he thought I should trust him, if and when an armed bad guy, that he invited to the party, comes in and starts shooting!  Thanks, but no.

He tried telling me about the felon that came in armed, but his story didn't exactly parallel the hygienist's (hmm, wonder if it was all fabricated), and I made it clear that it matters not a whit the circumstances, that if he wanted to run a business that rounds up victims for crazed killers, he'd be better off taking his little sign to "Bloombergville...or better yet, Chicago!"

So then, he thought it'd make me feel better to say that the police, after nabbing the aforementioned felon down the road a piece, gave him the signs and recommended their placement on his doors.

ASIDE: Oh, and all the while, he's monkeying around with his scratching and picking instruments...Curses, foiled again by the piggyback services!

Anyways, he tells me about the deputies and their recommendation, and my language got real colorful.  And, I reminded him that the average national response time for a 911 call is something like 23 minutes, but the response time of a .357 Magnum is more like 1350 feet per second.  I expressed dismay that my local Land of Livermush cops had such hairbrained notions, and told him that next time they give him such advice to tell them to go piss up a rope.

He promised to take the signs down by lunchtime, and wouldn't put them up again.

Dear Dentist, if you're reading this, I apologize for calling you a moron.

If you promised to remove the signs because you really wanted to, and all you needed was one person with the balls to suggest it, then good for you.  And, I'm happy to oblige.

But, if you offered to remove it just to quell the strife and will replace it when the winds shifts back to some deputy's bad advice, then I'm more sorry for you being a moron, than me calling you one.

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