Daily Speculations
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True Stories by Steve Keely
Hobo Memoirs

Thanksgiving Tooth

The Michigan cold hit me solidly, and thought I had sinusitis. But it turned out to be an infected #2 molar (upper rear right) that split like a little volcano. It became interesting in that it was Thanksgiving and I couldn’t find a dentist. Finally, I happened upon a rural house next to a RR track w/ a decaying sign blowing in the wind ‘General Dentistry’. This resembled the Adams Family house w/ branching oaks, and was abandoned, but I called the number on the sign. ‘Come over’, answered a steady voice, & in minutes he showed in an undersized green smock and piercing blue eyes. I trusted him immediately and implicitly. He lifted me off the chair three times with the pliers, then said, ‘I cant do this any more’. The wife on suction turned white, and the pet dog whined. He billed me nominally, and passed an antibiotic prescription that was filled while munching gauze. The puzzle began to fit together the next day when somehow the tooth was better. I think he ‘pithed’ the molar nerve (from around & outside the tooth) w/ a needle on the third lift - a poor man’s root canal that I once did in vet school - and failed to mention it as it’s probably unethical except on that special Thanksgiving day. If so, it was heroic, saved me a grand, and the following day I played four hours of paddleball.

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