12/03/2021 Wisdom Teeth, Yah Right!   Leave a comment

I’m about to write a short story which is a multilevel PSA (Public Service Announcement). I’ll explain what that means in a few minutes but first I wanted to mention a video I watched on Facebook a few days ago. It was a home video taken by Taylor Swift’s mother a short while after she’d had her wisdom teeth removed. She was a bit loopy, confused, and hysterically funny. I laughed along with everyone else until I sat down and started thinking about when I had my wisdom teeth removed. I’ve written about it in the past and it’s still funny now, but it wasn’t funny then as you’ll see.

It’s March of 1974, Richard Nixon resigned the presidency, gas is $.55 a gallon, and I’m getting my damn wisdom teeth removed. I’m a 28-year-old police officer who was being driven to the dentist by his wife anticipating I wouldn’t be able to drive home. The dentist puts me in the chair, fills me with an anesthesia, and removes the wisdom teeth. I woke up a short time later in a side room and had no idea who or where I was. I’m force-fed a painkiller that in company with the residual anesthesia left me a damn zombie. I’m loaded into my car and driven a short distance to a local drugstore to pick up my painkiller prescription and ordered by my wife to stay in the car.

It’s March and it’s cold so I turn on the heater, close the windows, and relax. But only for a moment. Being the conscientious police officer I was, I remembered that I’d left my loaded pistol in the glove compartment. I removed the pistol, popped out the magazine, and placed it in my pocket. So far, so good. Out of habit I took the unloaded weapon and aimed it casually at the end of my foot and dry fired. Oops, I forgot about the round in the chamber and being a relatively good shot, I hit what I aimed at. The bullet punched a neat round hole through the toe of my shoe, removed a small crescent shaped chunk from the side of my big toe, on through the floor of the car, hitting the pavement and ricocheting into the passenger side tire.

I was hammered and stunned all at the same time. The car was filled with smoke, I couldn’t hear a thing and found myself laughing hysterically. In fact, the sound of the shot in the car deafened me for about 15 minutes. My wife arrived, opened the door, and four or five F-bombs later finally asked me if my foot was okay. Of course, her first priority was the tire, seeing as it was her car.

The moral of the story is simple. First never, ever, handle a gun while “stoned” with legal or illegal drugs. Secondly, never operate machinery, vehicles, or small pistols while taking painkillers, and thirdly, never trust a smiling dentist or a soon-to-be ex-wife. That’s my tale of woe and my admission to sheer stupidity. I’m hanging my head in shame even remembering it again. It sounds just as stupid now as it did then. What was I thinking? I obviously wasn’t.


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