Saying good-bye to Perry O’Dontle

At my semi-annual dental checkup last week, I put my hygenist to the test.� She and her kind have been harping about flossing for decades.� I heed the brow-beating each time, too.� Authority figures in flowery smocks make me termble.� I heed them for about a week; then my memory fades and my flossing goes down the tube.�

A year or so ago, she showed me a short video (comfortable seating) about Perry O’Dontle disease, and it was terrifying.� Perry was connected to a list of certified killers – heart disease, diabetes, athlete’s foot and others (who can remember them all).� He reminded me of Perry O’Parsons, the�crooning alter ego of Perry Smith (cold blooded killer of the Clutter family of Holcolm, Kansas in 1959 – see In Cold Blood below). The andedote to Perry?� Floss.�

So simple.

I vowed to floss.� I was determined.� I quit within a week.

This fall, however, I began to have some real hot and cold sensitivity.��A glass of water made me wince.� A spoonful of soup sent me through the ceiling.� I asked my daughter Maia to google “tooth sensitivity” one day, and 15 seconds later, she uttered, “It just talks about Perry O’Dontle…”� That’s all I heard.

I went downstairs and began flossing.

In truth, I’ve kept it up for 3 months, which brings me to my little hygenist test.� The temperature sensitivity had gone away, and I was pretty sure flossing was helping, but I wanted to see if she noticed, so I didn’t brag about flossing like one might expect when I sat down in the chair.� Sure enough, she passed.� After about�two minutes of poking around in my mouth with sharp and hissing instruments, she asked, “Have you been flossing?”

She’s pretty sharp, that one.� She gave me a gold star.� I have a new respect for both her and floss.�

Now my wife, who doesn’t floss, claims that the hygenist also congratulated her on her flossing.� She claims she just played along.� I may have to take her gold star since it wasn’t earned each night with a slipping and popping piece of string.� I also worry about her relationship with Perry O’Dontle.

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