Thursday, August 06, 2009

The final words of my dentist's assistant as I exited the chair with my new filling: "Only very soft foods or liquids the rest of the day!"

Thirty-seven minutes later I was in an Albertson's check-out line with my dinner: a half gallon of vanilla ice cream and a four pack of Samuel Adam's 9.2% Alc/Vol. Imperial Stout. (I'd been looking for a reason to try this new stout and, besides, I sure didn't want to damage that new replacement filling the dentist had labored over for an hour.)

It was a filling that nearly dropped me to my knees while chewing bubble gum in the wine aisle of Costco last December 22nd. Apparently the gum discovered a nerve. I haven't chewed bubble gum since. Coincidentally, my next dental appointment was the very following day, the 23rd.

I happened to mention my day before "religious bubble gum induced experience" to my hygienist. She in turn mentioned it to the dentist. He checked around, saw nothing suspicious and, with an asterisk said, "Sometimes, if a tooth cracks, it's difficult to see. Call me if it bothers you." The x-rays during my July visit were inconclusive. An old filling, if that's what it was, hadn't been bothering me other than a slight sensitivity to pressure once in awhile. I suggested to doc, "Maybe we should wait til next time; to let 'it' grow until we can see it." Doc didn't think that wise.

So this past Monday in the dentist's office, 45 minutes after my appointment time, I was finally called in to replace that suspected filling. The tooth, still not much of a problem, prompted me to suggest, "Since you're running so behind this morning, maybe I should just come back for this later, say, like next February!" (Again my suggestion was nixed.)

I should tell you I've been going to this dentist for many years. My faith in him is what keeps me coming back. When I chipped a front tooth years ago, I was sure it would mean a cap but my dentist rebuilt it, sculpting it back to like new condition.

My dentist and I have been through the "irrational exuberance" years of the stock market's internet/technolgy bubble when we would exchange our latest stock purchase tips. Back then doc would fill more stock trades on his back office laptop between patients than fillings in their mouths.

Then the bubble burst, the market went south. Eventually we had no "tips" to exchange. We eschewed any mention of the subject. But Monday was different. I guess each of us was curious as to the other's opinion of where things economic stand right now and where we're headed.

You have to understand, financially doc and I are opposites. He buys properties in Dallas, the New Mexico mountains, etc. while I, in turn, am on the other end of the economic spectrum, i.e., I help him pay for those things with visits every six months. I also helped with his flight lessons in the 90's, as well his trips to places like "Cabo."

Yet, we are polar opposites on many things, which is never more evident than when he knowingly says something antithetical to my opinions for which I have no response with my mouth full of mirrors, picks, drill bits and suction tubes. He knows this. He enjoys it. And I guess I do too. It keeps me coming back.

And so Monday, while waiting for the Novocaine to kick in, we talked about our concerns for the economy and where it may be taking us. In a way, on this, we have never been closer. But being more doom and gloomy than he, I asked where he keeps the gold he recommends buying. He named places like safe deposit boxes and brokerage houses. That didn't mollify my suspicions of such places should the very economic foundation the nation has built the walls of its playing card empire upon crumble.

"With Wall Street already stripping the treasury bare in broad daylight with bailouts and bonuses, do you really think the closed down bank is going to let you inside to your safe deposit box, most likely already looted? Or that bankrupt brokerage houses will transmit the proceeds from your *GLD* sell order to your locked down bank over electronic wires lying lifeless in the streets as they're all abandoning ship with our loot for some unknown island paradise?" I asked.

That's just the cynic in me. At least we agreed one place you should NOT keep your gold and silver. At home. In the house. Starving people may get suspicious you are not as hungry and emaciated looking as they. And Doc added one other place you shouldn't keep your gold. In glistening crowns in your mouth. There are already people losing their heads just over the border in Juarez for far less than their gold crowns.

One thing we did agree on, however, before I left. I would help him a bit this month with the payment on his Dallas properties.

No comments: