Ask Palinode #5: evil teeth

I'm beginning to see that, although the number of questions that can be put to me are infinite, the actual number I'm getting is really, really finite. On top of that, the subjects are finite as well. Cenobyte, who recently entertained us with her question regarding love, also has a question regarding dental work. The question goes a little something like this:

Hi Palinode,

A friend of a friend asked this's not *me* of course, it's a friend of a friend. Er. What does a person have to do to get one damned tooth pulled?

cenobyte (on behalf of a friend's friend)

Before we go on to the helpful answer/advice section, I have to ask: are you absolutely sure that the tooth in question is damned? Many dentists will refuse to fill or pull teeth condemned to the lake of fire, either through ignorance or for a lack of sufficient coverage. Make sure that your dentist is broad-minded, and check your health plan for hellbound limbs, members and other parts. Most plans limit coverage to the naughty bits, but Freudian insurers correctly identify teeth as potent sexual symbols in dreams, and therefore dirty and condemned to hell.

Warning: some Christian dentists will perform an exorcism on the tooth prior to extraction, an expense that is never covered, plus there is loss of work to factor in as the exorcism typically takes several days and involves being tied to a chair while people in hooded robes scream at you.

Once you've verified that the tooth in question is indeed Satan's property (check the deed of ownership to the tooth - a copy can be had via a Freedom of Information request. If you are a US citizen, your request may be interdicted by the Department of Homeland Security, and then you may be indicted on suspicion of Interfering with Dental Infrastructure), you're ready to do what a person has to do to get it pulled.

First, in order for a person to do anything in our modern society, a person needs a name and a body. This person is a man named Randy Spicoli and he drives a secondhand Porsche 911. Everybody is surprised by the mileage it gets in the city. The fuel efficiency of his car gives Randy a certain sense of pride, and over the years he has developed a skill in steering any conversation towards the subject of his Porsche's "really great, really okay" mileage. He tends to dress in loose sports jackets with T-shirts, as if in imitation of Miami Vice, and in fact he has been dressing in this fashion since 1986. His hair is dark brown with subtle blond highlights, carefully swept back from his forehead. It's starting to thin at the crown. He quit smoking a few months ago and misses it less than he thought he would.

Nobody likes him.

He does not care.

Now armed with a name, a body and a personal history, Randy can get a damned tooth pulled. This, in fact, is Randy's business, one lucrative enough to afford him his secondhand Porsche - although it was a lot cheaper than anyone suspects (this is another source of pride). He is a Freudian dental insurer. Although Freudian dental insurance was never Randy's childhood dream, he ended up getting into it at about the same time that he developed his taste for pastel T-shirts under sports jackets. "I saw a niche and just went for it," Randy says, clearly pleased by the attention. "No one wants a damned tooth, and I'm the man to see when you need it out of your mouth". He appears relaxed and confident, leaning lightly on the hood of his car.

When asked if he sees any conflict between the principles of psychoanalysis and a theology that posits an afterworld of endless pain where a big red demon sits on a throne for all eternity, Randy offers up a self-deprecating grin.

"Get thee behind me, molar!" Randy laughs. "But seriously," he continues, "those teeth are bad. They deserve their punishment".

All het up and bit to distraction over an unaswered question? Want that question told up good? Ask Palinode! Email askpalinode @ gmail . com.