Tax day is no longer the exciting prospect that it once was in 1975 when I excitedly marched into H&R Block (in January no less) with my very first year’s pay stubs totaling well under five figures.  As I handed the guy my large envelope jammed with disorganized receipts, I was thrilled to be joining the ‘real’ world of income-earning adults.  Now, I put off the deed until the day before they’re due.

 It’s amazing what I’ll do just to avoid a little pain.  For the last four weeks I have endured a faulty crown on a tooth that STILL hurts a month after being drilled.  There is a gap between my gum and the new crown that aches when I breathe or eat.  The top of it juts out just like that rock the Titanic hit and is sharp enough to draw blood.  When the dentist said he, ” didn’t see anything wrong,” I made him take off his glasses AND his rubber gloves.  “Now stick your finger in there and FEEL IT!” I commanded.  (I’ll just let you imagine his response.)  After a dainty, three-second probe, he declared, “It just needs some smoothing around the edges,” and sent me on my merry way.    

 Five days later it still bothers me.  So what am I doing about it?  Suffering in silence—(except for telling you, of course).  I’m not only reluctant to tell him that it STILL isn’t right, I also don’t want to hear the shrill sound of his drill chiseling through my ear canal, sending shock waves through the dendrites of my central nervous system. You know, this is just plum stupid.  A quick, phone call  would probably put me out of my misery. 

You’d think I’d have wised-up over the last 35 years, but I’m dumber than I was when I first took the SAT’s and thought ‘grovel’ was something you dug with.  There’s a zillion things in life I CAN’T control:  world war, nuclear fallout, drivers who put on their left turn signals then veer right, and my own teenagers.  But what kind of idiot can’t control their own mouth?  (Don’t say it.)  

Just now, some salesman had the misfortune to enter our yard unannounced.  Our dog barked loud enough to scare our visitor backwards through a thorn bush AND set my teeth on edge.  No pussy-footing around with her.  If something’s wrong she lets you know it.  Frankly, I’d trade her instinct for my intellect in a heartbeat.




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