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Dental Logic

Ben Levine

Whoa. Tuesday morning already, and you're running out of time on that Logic test, but it's so hard to think with that horrible pain in the back of your mouth. You've been putting off seeing the dentist all week, but it's starting to get out of hand ... so here you are, strapped into the chair and listening to piped-in muzak.

``That didn't hurt all that bad, now, did it?" asks the dentist's aide, referring to the foot-long needle she's just jabbed you with. It did, actually, and still does, but at least the novocain should kick in soon. ``I've got news for you," she continues. ``The doctor is on vacation in Cancun for the month, so you'll be seeing his temporary replacement. He's a nice enough fellow, and he seems to know what he's doing." With that, she walks away, leaving you alone in the room.

Ominous. Seems? You steal a glance at the new diploma hanging crookedly on the wall:

Dr.Bjorn --- Crazed Norwegian Dentist

That's got to be a joke, you think ... but then he walks in, and all your worst nightmares come true.

``Hellu zeere-a, vhet seems tu be-a zee prublem tudey?"

Oh no! He talks like the Swedish Chef! What have you gotten yourself into? You try to scream for help, but the novocain has totally numbed your tongue, and the best you can manage is a low, gargling moan.

``Cet gut yuoor tungooe-a, ih? I'll joost hefe-a tu gooess vheech is zee unheppy tuut, zeen. Thees is my fefureete-a pert ooff dentel vurk!"

You can't run, you're strapped down to the chair. You'll just have to hope the good (albeit insane) doctor can deduce which tooth is unhappy and needs to be pulled out, or you're in for a long, denture-filled life.

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Selmer Bringsjord
Mon Dec 2 23:37:00 EST 1996