Yesterday morning I went to my dentist to get a root canal done on my right lower premolar (molar wannabe?).
I went to see John, my local dentists, and his wife Donna. John and Donna love to Winnebago out at the coast on nice weekends and they do Wii exercises every morning.
I know this not from their dentistry, but from having pizza with them down at our local beer-brewery-pizzeria in town. I shared a table with John and Donna, and we even swapped pizza slices...
While we chatted, I noticed that John and Donna both had really nice teeth...
When I got to John's dentistry, he told me he was looking over my X-ray and wanted another dentist to do the root canal.
"Really?" I asked. "So it won't be done today?"
"Oh no," said John. "I've talked to Steven already. We'd just swap patients this morning. He'd do the root canal and I'd do a couple of fillings. That is, if it's alright with you?"
I shrugged. A dentist upgrade? Sure, Why not?
I walked two doors down and told "Steven" that I had accepted the trade, and he then asked a woman and her son if they didn't mind going two doors down and having John do some work on them?
I recognized them as people I had "come across" many times in town but I didn't know who they were. We introduced ourselves and they trotted out and I got my root canal done by a better "root canalists". Steven asked me lots of friendly questions about who I was, what I did, and what part of our small community had I "affected" with my buildin' of stuff?
"You worked on Don and Sue's place? Oh wow. I love their house..."
It made me more relaxed.
Meanwhile, back at John and Donna's... Steven's patients got fillings done by a very capable "filler". Things worked out beautifully for all, and it didn't hurt me or my wallet too significantly...
"Life in a small town", I thought, as I left the dental parking lot...
I then headed over to go see "Doc".
Doc is our local Selma vet. He doesn't have a fancy building or super shiny equipment. His assistant is an older woman who has been with him since she was a younger woman. Between the two they do a nice little business taking care of the cats and dogs of rural folks who have a lot of love for their animals but don't have a lot of cash.
Doc looks just like David Crosby. So much so that if you say "You look like..." he'll interrupt and say "David Crosby..."
You'll say "Oh. You've heard that before?" He'll smile and point to his face.
"Isn't it obvious?"
You'll observe that it was, indeed, and change the subject. That happens all the time.
Doc loves to play horseshoes, smoke pot, and get drunk. I know this because I've been over to his house a few times with a mutual friend to play horseshoes on horseshoe night. Doc gets glassy-eyed, goofy, and sloppy-speeched. He starts seeing double and then staggers off to bed. I know this because he says "I'm seeing dooble..." right before he staggers off, and darn near a minute sooner than he says "Night yule..." while he grabs out for his front doorknob.
Horseshoe night is followed by two days of "We are closed" hanging in the window down at his vet building. Doc likes to sleep off his hang-overs and clear his head before going back to animal Doc-king and reproductive fixin'.
Doc is the best damn horse-shoe thrower I have ever seen.
Drunk AND stoned.
I didn't know you could toss seven ringers in a row. With glassy eyes and a slur.
When we played, since I was the "newbie", I got to have Doc on my team.
And we always won.
After my root canal by Steve, I left the dentistry at 10:30. I was supposed to be at Doc's to pick up Badu at 10. I told Doc's assistant that I may be late, because of a root canal pending.
"No problem", she said. "We'll keep a good eye on her until you get here."
She had Badu tucked up under her desk on a blanket with a small bowl of water and one hand scratching her head when I got there.
"How was the dentist?" sha asked.
"I camf feel my wip..." I told her.
After I got Badu home and fed and comfy, I headed out to go pick up a single box of flooring from Al, the local flooring guy. Al had a small carpet and linoleum business outside of town in a house alongside the highway. He took out all of the interior walls of the house and kept a disorderly showroom there. He made his living getting his son-in-law to install cheap carpets in local houses and mobile homes. He was surprised when I told him I wanted something rather pricey, as it was not the norm for Al.
So when I did order, I ordered "tight" meaning I didn't want a bunch of left-over boxes worth a lot but not useful to me. I ended up being half a box short which was fine, since I could just ask Al to order another one.
When I got there, Al was sitting at his desk shuffling a deck of cards. He was about to play another hand of Solitaire but I noticed a cribbage board sitting there so I asked "You the cribbage player?"
"Best one here," he said, winking.
"Until I showed up." I said.
He put the card deck out.
"Low card deals first..."
Man I just love small towns...