Friday, January 12, 2018

How to describe a toothache

The only time in my life I ever had a severe toothache, the pain was so bad I wanted to die and was already planning my suicide. This was an unrelenting agony which was ruthlessly, relentlessly eating all the nerves in my face. Day and night it continued. I barely slept, and those rare times I did, awakening brought the pitiless, demonic force roaring back. My dentist was "away", with no date for coming back, so I had to have an emergency root canal (at a time when I barely knew what a root canal WAS), all done in one very long session with a dentist I didn't know. When you're in that kind of pain, your deliverer becomes a shining figure, and I think I fell in love as the novocaine took effect. During this very long session, I had to pee so badly I thought I was going to burst, but my mouth was so frozen and full of rubber dams and clamps and cold metal implements that I could only gesticulate wildly: FIRST LETTER! P???

I survived it, but I remember that only several belts of whiskey would even take the edge off it. I no longer indulge in whiskey, and I hated it even then. But it made me realize why dentists in the Westerns used to give cowboys a bottle for anaesthesia. The followup to this was almost as awful as the toothache, for I developed facial neuralgia from having my jaw cranked wide open for five hours. 

The following are just a few words I found to describe dental pain. Click on each word for a definition:

severe, bad, violent, terrible, acute, painful, dull,excruciating, dreadful, slight, chronic, awful, neuralgic,sudden, nagging, worst, maxillary, rheumatic, constant,mild, spontaneous, real, persistent, horrible, intense,simple, ordinary, agonizing, unbearable, unconscious,nervous, frightful, sharp, non, perpetual, mental,intermittent, prolonged, eternal, grievous, horrid, frequent,inflammatory, hunger, occasional, neuritic, mandibular,spiritual, comic, continuous, incessant, agonising, fearful,permanent, irish, beastly, intolerable, miserable, incipient,genuine, appalling, terrific, impromptu, menstrual,diplomatic, giant, royal, odontogenous, continual,continued, nasty, unprovoked, wretched, mysterious,called, unendurable, incurable, unremitting, inveterate

How W. C. Fields got away with this scene in his infamous short The Dentist is anyone's guess. In fact, the Hays office vetoed its release, but like a stag reel it still did the rounds and survives to this day. The myth is that Fields didn't do sexual comedy, but it's plain that he did. His morals weren't exactly pure. He had Carlotta Monti stashed away, for God's sake, and refused to marry her even after fifteen years of service, and when he died she was completely left out of his will. Didn't get a penny. It was sort of like she didn't exist. That's not funny, but it was common behaviour back then to pretend there was no mistress. I even saw her briefly a few nights ago in a Fields movie called Never Give a Sucker an Even Break. Was she paid for this cameo, a tiny taste of an acting career she longed for and never had? Well, what do you think?

"Why I Hate My Pillow" (Amazon review)

(Below is one of the best reviews I've ever seen, of any product, in any medium. I just had to dedicate a whole post to it. My Pillow ads are the most irritating things on the face of the planet, especially that inane little jingle that sounds like it should have been on the Jack Benny radio program in 1940. Even more surprising is the fact that nobody seems to like My Pillow. But this negative review was the best negative review I have ever seen, so I quote it here in its entirety.)

As Seen on TV My Pillow Maximum comfort and support (2)
by As Seen On TV

Price:$119.99+ Free shipping

Top rated

1.0 out of 5 stars Hated this pillow.
By Kindle Customer on December 15, 2017
Verified Purchase

REVIEW. Hated this pillow. Just like all loose filled pillows, I woke up with a large dent and my head on the actress.

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CONSUMER REPORT.  I was somewhat taken aback, especially in light of the fact that the ads for this thing run about fifty times a day on KVOS (the oldies TV station), to learn from my hero James White (the Freakin' Review guy) that My Pillow, the corporation, found itself in serious legal hot water last year. 

Though this seems standard with As Seen on TV products, they made all sorts of outlandish claims that this pillow could do everything but cure cancer. These fell under the heading of "unsubstantiated claims". They also perpetrated some minor fraud on the public by not making good on their two-for-one deals. I found an alarming number of one-star reviews on Amazon, mostly of the "this-is-a-terrible-pillow" variety, but this one was one of the most delicious things I've ever read. This might actually HELP a product's sales if it actually happened.