If Al Pacino Was My Dentist


(I’m a big Al Pacino fan.  I love the moment that occurs in almost all of his movies where, after being on edge for so long, he finally loses it and explodes – whether it’s “Dog Day Afternoon” or “Scent of a Woman” or “Scarface.”   Nobody explodes like Al Pacino.

For some reason, frequently after watching a Pacino movie on television, I fall asleep and have the same recurring dream where Pacino is my dentist.  It goes something like this ….)

Pacino:  So how have you been?  Any problems with your teeth?

Me:        I’m fine.  No problems with my teeth.

Pacino:  Okay, we’re just going to do a cleaning today and a quick check-up.   Open wide.   That’s good.  (Starts poking around, stops, hits a nerve on the uppers, middle right side.)  Does that hurt?

Me:   (water in my eyes)  Just a little.

Pacino:  There’s some decay in that tooth.  (Pulls his hands out of my mouth and sits back) Have you been flossing?

Me:         Flossing?   Um, yeah, every day.

Pacino: (slowly and softly)  Every day.

Me:        Yep, that’s right.

Pacino:  (slowly and evenly, building)  You’ve been flossing ever day.   Every day.  Yet when I look in your mouth, I’m up to my ELBOWS IN PLAQUE.  AND I’M SUPPOSED TO BELIEVE THAT YOU’VE BEEN FLOSSING EVERY DAY?

Me:         Did I say every day?  I may miss a day or two now and then.

Pacino:  (Calmly) Tell me, Dave, how long have I known you?

Me:        I’m not sure …

Pacino:  How long have I been your dentist?

Me:        Well, let me see now, it’s probably been five or six years.

Pacino   (pulling out my file):  Why don’t you try SEVENTEEN YEARS!   SEVENTEEN YEARS I’VE BEEN YOUR DENTIST.  AND FOR SEVENTEEN YEARS, I’VE BEEN ASKING IF YOU’VE BEEN FLOSSING, AND I ALWAYS GET THE SAME ANSWER.

Me:        I might have overstated the frequency a bit.

Pacino:  WHO DO YOU THINK YOU’RE TALKING TO?   WHY DO YOU THINK YOU CAN LIE TO ME?

(The hygienist enters)

Hygienist:  Doctor, the x-ray machine seems to be out of order.

Pacino:   THE X-RAY MACHINE?  THE X-RAY MACHINE IS OUT OF ORDER?   ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  THIS WHOLE OFFICE IS OUT OF ORDER!

Me:        Maybe I should come back some other  ….

Pacino:   YOU AIN’T GOING NOWHERE.  I’M JUST GETTING WOUND UP!  Now, when was the last time you flossed?

Me:  (nervous)  The last time?

Pacino:  (wielding a drill) Just answer the question.

Me:   (sweat on my brow)  Oh, I guess, a week or two ago.

Pacino (revving up the drill):  SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND!

Me:   Ok, not a week or two.   I confess!  I’ve never flossed!   I don’t even know how to hold the stuff! (Suddenly a defense mechanism kicks in and in the dream, I turn into Jack Nicholson)

Pacino:   Okay, that’s better.  Now let’s take a look at that bad tooth.  Open wide.

Me (Nicholson):  Sorry, Al, no can do. All work and no play makes Al a dull boy.

Pacino:  I said, open wide.  I need to LOOK AT THAT TOOTH !

Me (Nicholson):  THE TOOTH?  THE TOOTH?  YOU CAN”T HANDLE THE TOOTH!

(At this point I wake up with an overwhelming urge to rinse)

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