Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Best Foot Forward

"We do have a zeal for laughter in most situations, give or take a dentist."
-Joseph Heller

Two years ago Mater paid a much-avoided visit to her dentist. After an examination he was forced to perform some extensive surgery on her mouth, and warned her before he proceeded.
"You'll feel very dizzy after the surgery, and you won't be able to walk properly. You might feel like you're drunk," he said, trying to be helpful.
Mater indicated her comprehension with a nod and was immediately swallowed by the dark mouth of anesthetic.
When Mater opened her eyes, the architecture on her teeth had been completed and the deed was done. My cousin was waiting to drive her home and he observed Mater gather herself together for the journey.
The dentist had transferred his attention to the files of another patient and was oblivious to the grand picture of Mater sweeping her legs from the operating chair as she tried desperately to find her belongings and the solid floor beneath her feet, wherever her feet might be.
She did locate her handbag eventually, and made several uncoordinated efforts- and failed- to push her head through the handles, to wear it around her neck like an enormous necklace.
At length, she stood up, grinned- or imagined she did- and was most pleased to find that she could walk to the car without assistance.
She marched in exaggerated slowness as though she were climbing stairs and not shuffling along an even pavement. Each footstep saw Mater raise her leg high off the ground until the invisible step was conquered, then down again for the next bit forward until my cousin, no doubt relieved, identified the correct vehicle and she climbed into it.
All that bothered Mater during the journey home was that the handbag would not, despite repeated attempts, fit around her neck, and that she could neither feel her neck or her handbag.
She was otherwise untroubled. Best foot forward, indeed.


Pappy said...

Oh the pleasures of better living through chemistry. I have come out from under with a feeling of full control only to wonder the next day what the doctor told me. A mind is a terrible thing. Great story. Pappy

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Texican, A mind is a terrible thing- too true. At least Mater can laugh about it. I'm just sad that nobody had a camera ;)

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I read this laughing heartily. My husband did the exact same silly walk when he had his wisdom teeth removed. He walked like John Cleese from Monty Python all the way to the car, with me giggling alongside!

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Pamela, that's funny. John Cleese is a fine comedian. I could just picture your husband's walk!

Lanny said...

Ah, the quote from Joseph Heller is true indeed! Every five or so years I try to believe that I really can do the dentist thing and have a go at it, only to then duck their constant post cards to come back for futher treatment. Five years roll around and I find a new victim of my false belief.

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Lanny, I try to avoid dentists when I can, but once in a while it becomes something I can't avoid, and I'm always sorry I didn't go sooner!

Please look around, explore my writing, leave a crumb:
I welcome comments and thoughts.