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Charlie Hatton
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#85. I've been placed under anesthesia exactly once. I had seven teeth removed.

Okay, so I should probably explain that, before you go around thinking that I'm some gap-toothed hick moron. (As opposed to a braces-straightened, fully-toothed city-slicker moron. Guilty!)

Anyway, speaking of the braces, they were the reason that I had so many teeth removed. I forget now how old I was, but I was probably in middle school or so. A few of my 'baby teeth' were still holding on for dear life, and the local dental braintrust determined that if the adult teeth came in, they'd never be able to straighten things out. (Apparently my cakehole is just too cramped; it's the first -- and last -- time someone suggested that my mouth was too small. Usually, I get just the opposite.)

So, they scheduled an appointment for an oral surgery. The plan was to *plink* three offending baby premolars out of their homes, and then dig waaaaay down into the holes to excavate the corresponding rooted teeth. Ditto for a fourth adult premolar whose baby partner had already given up the ghost. Seven teeth in all. One grisly surgery. Coming soon to a reality channel near you!

The day of the surgery came, and I was whisked off to the oral surgeon's office. A couple of nice, pretty assistants prepped me, setting me up with a rather painful IV and some dressing. That's when the laughing gas tech came in. This particular office administered anesthesia intravenously, presumably because the mask is just a tad too humane. But I already had a drip in my arm; no room at the inn. No matter. The guy found a vein in the back of my hand, and prepared me for nighty-night.

Him: Okay, you're going to feel a little prick.
Me: Doc, I'm not that kind of patient, okay?
Him: Son, I don't have to use your hand. I can inject this shit anywhere I want.
Me: Point taken, doc. I'll be good.
Him: Good choice. Now just a little prick... and the needle's in. You all right?
Me: As good as it gets for having a little prick in your hand, I guess.
Him: You promised to be good.
Me: Ah. Right you are. Sorry.
Him: Okay. Now I'm going to inject the anesthesia. I want you to count backwards from one hundred.
Me:: Sure thing. One hu... *snore*

Next thing I know, I'm propped up on a couch in a waiting room, with seven less teeth, an aching jaw, and a sore arm from the half-assed IV. My parents came to get me soon after; apparently in the meantime, I was chatting up the nurse. Well, as best a half-drugged fourteen-year-old boy with gauze packed in his mouth can, of course. Which is to say, that was about the best shot I ever had of picking up a random girl. But my parents took me away before I could get her number, and fed me milkshakes for a couple of weeks.

And then they slung braces on me and made me wear those for a couple of years. Bitches! Enduring one horror just to run screaming into another. When the hell did I sign up for that!?

Anyway, things have been okay mouthwise since then, I suppose. Even if I am the Twenty-Eight-Toothed Freak of Nature now. The docs showed me the ones they took out, too -- all spindly and rooty and gory. It was so cool. They were like a foot long. I swear the roots must've been lodged in my forehead before they yanked 'em out. I might even still have 'em, somewhere.

A couple of years later, they told me that my wisdom teeth would probably cause similar problems. I thought about another surgery, but I called in to the office, and found that my nurse friend had moved on. And I had few enough teeth as it was, so I politely declined. The wisdom teeth have grown in now, and I haven't had any problems, so I think I'm in the clear. Which is almost too bad -- now that I'm older, and I've got a few years of drinking under my belt, I want to try going under anesthesia again. I bet I could count all the way down to twenty now. At least.

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