A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

24 March 2011

Esmerelda and the Area Known as 51 (Part 1)

It was just about dusk as Esmerelda sat behind the counter filing her nails at the only gas station in Goldfield, Nevada.

She had sat behind that counter every day, or near about every day, since her daddy got taken ill with a raging fever that ended up taking his breath away. Momma prayed hard that day and asked Esmerelda, "Sing with your angel voice, child, sing so the angels can hear and come straight to your daddy to 'take him home'."

Esmerelda obliged.

She was just a girl of about seven...but her voice could make grown men weep - and when the town, once a boom town for gold, started to get deserted, grown men wept for other reasons. Esmerelda didn't really understand where "home" was. She just knew when people got bit real bad by snakes or had the consumption, they always went "home" and then no one ever saw them again. They parceled you up real good, too. Put you in a big wooden box to send you there. She figured a special postman with a big wagon and two horses came to take you back "home" and your family would walk as far as they could and then came back again...crying.

But no one came back once they went home. And for a very long time Esmerelda was afraid to ever go home, but as she never lived anywhere else, she figured she was already there. Then, as all things go, time passed and she understood about "home" and then was worried her momma would go there one day. Sometimes she'd find herself doing chores 'round the house and her sweet voice would pour out like liquid sunshine and kiss the ears of everyone within earshot. Then she'd clam up and run outside as far and as fast as she could. She didn't want those angels to find her momma.

But now she was filing her nails and Curtis was in the garage of the gas station shouting obscenities each time he'd smash a finger. Curtis worked at the little grocery store and service station that was smack on the edge of town. Smack on the edge of town to nowhere really. Wasn't anything much before or after the town and certainly wasn't much there. The only thing within miles was Las Vegas and the only time people came through Goldfield anymore was because they heard it once had gold...but that was a considerable time ago, but that never stopped the passers-by who lost everything but gas money out of Vegas. Goldfield was a tank of gas away...and if they got lucky and found the stray nugget, it was a tank of gas back. And the only place to get that gas was at Esmerelda's daddy's store, "Old Bob Perkins' Place" it was called by the locals and that's what it will always be called if Esmerelda and her momma had anything to do with it.

It didn't cost much to run and Curtis got paid only when he fixed something, which wasn't very often, but then again, Curtis was never going to amount to much anyway...but that never stopped him from trying to hit on Esmerelda.

He had it all worked out in his simple head. He'd marry Esmerelda when the time was right and that time would be any day now seeing as she was starting to fill out her dresses too much and started wearing her momma's. Then he and Esmerelda would move in with his momma as she had the biggest house for miles around. Curtis never knew why she did, he only knew they didn't want for anything...but he never much wanted for anything anyway...anything but Esmerelda, that is. And that "wanting" wasn't exactly like wanting a new tire or wanting a new pair of shoes -- it was more like wanting some dinner...only sometimes this hunger seemed a lot deeper. Curtis, again, never really knew why.

But Esmerelda's hunger and desire didn't lie with Curtis...she wanted to go to Hollywood...or at least Vegas. She liked the distinct smell of ozone once when daddy took the family on a trip up there shortly before he died. Once in a while, on a warm still night, Esmerelda swore she could still catch a whiff of it if the breeze was blowing just right and if she turned her head just so.

Esmerelda knew she didn't have much time, either. The desert sun can blanch the bones of a dead thing white in a couple days...and the supple, taut skin of a young girl of 15 turns into something hard and leathery like the cowboys and Mexicans wore in those "shoot 'em up" movies she wanted to star in. Star in them right up there on the silver screen with Gary Cooper or John Wayne. Even though Esmerelda only went to a movie once, she knew that's what she wanted to do...she also knew, aside from "going home", that was her only ticket out of Goldfield.

And the best way to get there was on a tank of gas after someone found a big enough nugget.

So, each day she came to work dressed in her momma's best clothes, her hair styled as closely as she could get it to resemble the latest "starlet of the month" on the magazine cover and smelling of something called "L'amore de Parisienne". It cost a whole fifty cents...the finest her daddy's store carried. And there she would wait, filing her nails, anticipating that one day, and one day soon, a big Hollywood director would need a fill-up on his way scouting around for a new place to shoot a film...discover her in all her momma's Sunday finest...and sweep her away to the place where dreams can be made real...or at least as close to the reality she always dreamt about.

Each day, she'd walk home more disappointed than the last...and the days she spent waiting turned into weeks, then months, and finally years. Curtis had filled out enough to become interesting to her...and as he was the only boy close her age for miles, his dream was beginning to look like it would be her dream as well.

(End of Part 1)

13 March 2011

A Totally Cheesy Story

I've been challenged to write a couple blogs. One being about an incident in my youth involving a mall, a rugby player and fake English accents...and another where I take two totally unrelated words/ideas and then link them up together in a slightly amusing story...rather what I tried to do when I did my "Potato Farmers" blog located here: http://mariannsimms.blogspot.com/2009/08/potato-farmers-new-vampires.html

And while I am always up to a challenge...especially when it comes to writing...I couldn't help but post up a photo before I eat all the evidence.

Normally I am not a big Cheetos fan, but my son was running off at the mouth the other day about how gross Cheetos were...yadda yadda yadda...and before I knew it I was at the store determined to buy a bag, open it up, smash a few on my chest and literally lie back...in wait...for my son to finally stop his game long enough in his room to come out and see me. This, I figured, would really get him annoyed, and honestly, what joy does a woman of my age (with a 23-year-old son who stays locked away behind a door sitting on his butt playing video games all day) really have anymore?

Yeah, exactly...

...so there I was in the Cheetos aisle.

I wasn't too fond of the crunchy ones as they don't have that nice air-puffed, melt-in-your mouth feel to them. The white cheddar (I'm assuming...I didn't stare at the bag long enough) Cheetos just didn't seem right...plus the tell-tale orange-y powder that gets on everything would lose its impact if it were a pale yellow...and the word "NATURAL" on any bag of Cheetos...well, didn't seem...natural to me.

Then I spied them...the puffy kind, but with a twist. Literally, a twist:

So, I grabbed my bag, along with one-hundred fifteen dollars worth of other stuff you typically buy when you shop hungry, and I left the store...with visions of pissing off my son dancing in my head. Yeah, I was smiling from ear to ear.

I came home and tasked him with putting away the groceries. I mean, he sits all day and eats my food, the least he can do is put it away while I go and turn on my computer to check my mail and begin to sit on my butt the rest of the day.

And just as I envisioned it, I heard it: "Why'd you get these? Oh, these are blah blah blah..."

My purpose fulfilled, I decided to uncork my brand new bottle of Grey Goose vodka (yes, it has a cork) and make myself a yummy Martini. I hadn't had one for a few weeks and this type of elation called for a celebration. Okay, emptying the cat litter-box would have been just cause to make a Martini...but you know, for purposes of this story, it was all about the Cheetos.

So, I poured my liquid luxury into my sleek Waterford "Connoisseur Gold" Martini glass and topped it off with a nice lemon twist. My olives were banished inside the refrigerator because I didn't hear them "pop" sufficiently. (One day I will do my anal food blog, I swear. Hmmm...that didn't sound quite right.)

Then I proceeded to check my mail some more and go on Facebook (something I hadn't really done other than to promote my blog...which never worked on Facebook before but that still didn't stop me from trying). and this time actually try to come up with a witty "status" line. Undoubtedly going on Facebook when it's not 3:00 a.m. has its perks -- as people are actually ON it. I commented - and, lo and behold, people answered back. I was amused for a while until the Martini was gone.

I, being the sort who believes all beverages look better in a fancy glass (packaging is almost everything after all), decided to pop open (and I listened and it made the "thwuck" noise) one of my daughter's Gatorades - the "Cool Blue" flavour. Personally, I would think the lemon-lime or the red kind is tastier than the blue, but she likes the blue, so that's the kind we get.

The "Cool Blue" hue looks startlingly like the shade of blue that Hpnotiq (the alcoholic beverage) stuff comes in...and whenever I pour it into my Martini glass I always think of it. That's really the only time I do think of it as I'm not particularly fond of Hpnotiq...altho I had to try it once as it was a very pretty blue colour and the bottle was kinda cool looking. Yeah...again, the packaging is often times much better than the contents.

I stared at my mock alcoholic drink and saw the lifeless lemon twist at the bottom beginning to suck up the colouring like those limp, lifeless celery stalks in those 5th grade "Science Projects" with the glasses of food dye. It was turning an unhealthy shade of "blellow". It was pretty obnoxious. I sat and looked at it some more. "The only thing" I thought, "which would look more gross...would be if something orange was up against the blue."

Then I had a "Eureeka!" moment: The spiral shape of the Cheetos twisty things might actually be able to be perched upon my Martini glass like a makeshift bar garnishment.

These are the things 3:00 a.m. in my world are made of.

Yes, I know...you are all jealous you don't lead the type of life I do...the type of life you can only dream about. Yes, those dreams are usually called "nightmares"...but they are still dreams nonetheless.

So, I present to you...without further ado...with staging...without the Hpnotiq bottle (but shown separately)...my idea of the most unappealing drink known to mankind:

(Behold..."The Cheesy Martini")

Now, who's up for a refill?

11 March 2011

A Clash of the Titans Is Brewing Like Oolong Tea

Damn, there are some ugly people in this world.

Too harsh? Well, let me start again...

...sing with me...

"Radio killed the video star..."

Too obscure? Well, for those of you without one of those minds that stores up all trivia regardless of how, well, trivial...here's an explanation:

If you are old like me...and I'm, um...not only old enough to remember the days MTV played music, but the day they debuted. And the first song - sorry, correction...the first music video MTV ever played?

"Video Killed the Radio Star" by "The Buggles": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiJ9AnNz47Y

Yeah...but what's that got to do with the price of tea in China or ugly people, Mariann??

Well, let me tell you.

I was on Facebook today. Yeah, I know...I hate the place...but I was just curious as to what inane stupid comments were "Thumbed Up" today by people who I "friended" but haven't a clue who they are. I tell ya...I can single-handedly kill a thread just by posting on it. "Oh, look, Mariann posted...say no more...say no more."

While that is kinda an awesome superhuman power to behold, it certainly doesn't bode well when I'm trying to get people to comment after something I say. Consequently, people never post after I post something up as my "status". Apparently I must not mention "my cat", "Vampires", or "I'm running out for a Big Gulp and a bag of chips -- brb" much, if ever; so I don't get those comments I so desperately crave.

But, perhaps NOW I'll get them?

One of the "friends" I have, posted some stuff I would have easily otherwise overlooked...but this one caught my eye as it had the words, "brb, I have to go back on the air..." and then a phone number and then a link. It was the phone number which initially caught my eye, as I was thinking, "Who the heck is stupid enough to actually post their phone number for all the collective nimrods at Facebook to see?" But then I read the other stuff, and, untrue to my nature, I clicked a Facebook link.

Now, I ordinarily would never click a link I found on Facebook. First off I am very wary of links in general. Secondly, it's Facebook. I don't know 98% of the people I "friended"...I only "friended" them hoping they'd read my blog and comment afterwards.

Okay, the cat's outta the bag. Hmmmm...now there's a "Facebook status" line I'll have to use in the future as it does mention "cat"...hmmmm...maybe I'll get a comment!

But, while I'm digressing and I'm rather sick of using the word "digress" (or all forms of it) as an obvious segue to the next thought I just can't tie together with the first, it'll have to do.

I clicked that link and I saw.

I saw what I can only describe as the new vast wasteland laid bare before me. Picture if you will -- the wide screen version of "Lawrence of Arabia" - how the desert is encompassing the entire screen. Why there's literally sand from here to there and Peter O'Toole is just a tiny speck among them.

Yes, Peter O'Toole in his youth and at his incredibly insanely gorgeousness period. Even Noel Coward supposedly said on seeing the film's premiere, "If he'd [O'Toole] been any prettier, they'd have had to call it 'Florence of Arabia'."

But, just as the sands of time dwarfed O'Toole's cinematic majestic beauty...perhaps this new venue will dwarf another?

This "vast wasteland" I'm speaking of is http://www.blogtalkradio.com . Yes, you too, in the privacy of your own home, equipped with only a telephone and a desire to talk to and listen to a bunch of people who have even less of a life than previously thought (Hey, they managed to find YOU, didn't they?)--can be the host of your very own talk show, live, streaming across the Internet airwaves for anyone to hear and participate in. Did I mention this was in real live time? Real social interaction right there...laid bare for all to hear.

No more going over to YouTube to catch the latest imported glut of Japanese and Chinese "cute kitties", American-exploited "laughing babies bouncing around tearing up things", "restaged videos by people with less talent than a stale apple danish", and you will...NEVER...have to watch another celebrity eat a cheeseburger off the floor...ever! You may, if you're lucky, be able to totally miss the train wreck, no not in Lawrence of Arabia one -- the one which is called "Charlie Sheen's Winning Career Moves".

Plus, you don't have to be beautiful. No need to rely on a tush to rival Kim Kardashian's. No need to hold back the hourglass's sands of time. You can host it when you are super old. You can even host it in your underwear. Even yesterday's underwear. No one will notice like they would if you were on YouTube.

You don't need to have your hair coiffed and your nose hairs trimmed. No need to invest in a camera and the learn the latest film editing techniques. No need to be pretty good at anything viral at all...in fact you don't need to be pretty at all. Therein lies the beauty.

You can be butt ugly and as old as Joan Rivers' first face. No one will ever see you...you will be on the radio. You don't even have to have a nice voice.

I listened.

Trust me.

All you need are people who are willing to dial your number to call you up and talk. Where they come from is beyond me and anyone's guess...but they are probably bored and find you...or you can always seek them out on Facebook like my one "friend" was doing.

And forget all that stuff your parents told you about "being seen not heard". It's time to be heard and not seen! It's time for YouTube to be trumped by the new MeTube...it's time for everything old...to be new again.

So, break out your Little Orphan Annie decoder rings, people...and go places only "The Shadow" knows. It's time to harken back to those "Lake Wobegon" days.

See...isn't it getting nicer already?

It's high time for the MTV generation (and their spawn) to get their comeuppance...then grab yourself a comfy hair and sit right on back and watch...I mean "listen"...for radio to kill the video star.

But be prepared...it'll probably take a little while...and it's definitely going to get quite ugly.

08 March 2011

WTF is going on with Charlie Sheen???

No, seriously.

Okay, let me rephrase that or at least clarify it a bit:

I believe I might be maybe one of about 127 people on the planet who don't know.

I've heard his name mentioned lately with words like "whack", "porn", "insane", "fired", "twins", "cocaine" and "prostitutes". But other than that I couldn't tell you what's going on with him and I'll tell you why...

"I don't CARE!"

(There...there's a catchphrase for ya, ole Charlie!)

No, seriously, again...I don't.

Therefore I won't Google him nor watch any Entertainment Tonight episodes showcasing his antics nor YouTube him. If it wasn't for the fact my local news tonight read (and I use that word loosely) a statement provided by him or his camp or his publicity agent or his new reality show's (and yeah, you know there's bound to be one) producer...or whomever it was who released it - I wouldn't have known anything more than I know now, which isn't much as the statement wasn't at all lucid.

So, with what I've garnered so far about Mr. Sheen (and I use that form of address loosely as well) is that he was born into a celebrity family, probably has talent, probably has a lot of cash, and probably has a lot of people telling him what to do next...all of which he pays copious amounts of money to - to say exactly what he wants to hear.

I also know he was on a show I've never seen which is probably very funny, "Two and a Half Men". Yep, I've never watched it, but that's okay as I've never seen (prepare yourselves now) an episode of "The Simpsons". Yeah, I know...but in my defense I really, really, really love "Futurama".

He also was married to Denise Richards (or something like that) and I confess I don't know what she's at all famous for...other than for marrying Charlie Sheen and then subsequently divorcing him after what probably was a tumultuous marriage filled with even more "cocaine" and "prostitutes" - but she probably was arrested several times herself and is probably on the Internet somewhere (possibly in a police booking photo) without make-up on and probably still looks better than I do in those photos than when I am wearing make-up.

Charlie, in my opinion (which doesn't mean much and I know it), makes Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and the 1980s-2000s Robert Downey, Jr., look like rank amateurs in comparison. I don't know if that statement is at all true...I am just surmising this conclusion based solely on all the press lately which has been wasted on this Sheen guy.

He, also in my opinion (see above), is either: 1) A very disturbed man who needs psychiatric help desperately, or 2) trying to outdo Joaquin Phoenix in the now remotely legendary "Joaquin Phoenix/Casey Affleck Debacle" by staging even more outlandish outrageousness to capitalize upon.

Either way...I see his career eventually on par with Mel Gibson's, who, I'm sorry to say, had one and is now kinda stagnating around like the primordial life forms festering in my pool at this very moment. (Blatant setup to showcase one of my prior blogs - oh, go and click on it: Ah, the Sweet Smell of Spring...On Venus!

And, also...as it again doesn't remotely mean anything to me in the grand scheme of things...but, I was told by a friend today, that he was making $1.2 million per episode on his "Two and a Half Men" show...so I'm figuring he's going to be making a heluva lot more on his next ludicrous lucrative deal...which I'm sure is in the works - also at this very moment.

Lastly...whatever happened to his brother, Emilio Estevez? Now, THAT I'd be interested in finding out about.

Okay, NOT seriously...but I had to end this blog somehow.

01 March 2011

I Got Fired the Other Day (Part 2)

I, being a creature of the investigatory sort...watch things, listen to things, hone in on things, and interrupt full-fledged conversations between two complete strangers whom nature, in her infinite beauty and wisdom, decided to sit me next to in various places (mainly doctor's offices). I take this as an invitation to chime right in, as 1) most people like talking about their ills, and, 2) most people like people taking an interest in said ills.

In all this time I've noticed that everyone, no matter how quiet, has a tale to tell. Everyone who is in a doctor's office has that little story they relate to perfect strangers who bother to show the slightest attention - everyone enjoys comparing their stories of total injustice and weighing them against your stories of total injustice.

That's just how people are...at least 99 percent of the ones I've run across in my relentless search to get well in this state. All states and their inhabitants are predictably the same...yes, "people are alike all over". (More bonus pointage if you can zone in on what that reference is from).

Common sense would dictate if you can't get an appointment with a specialist in a couple weeks, that's a good thing. One thing you don't want is a specialist who is not highly sought after.

Common sense also dictates when you get a referral from your doctor to see a specialist and you are in pain and worried about your condition rapidly deteriorating into something which would have been treatable had it "only been caught a couple months before"...and that appointment isn't until six or seven months from now...you tend to question the entire system.

Case in point, my daughter shakes. Her extremities shake...she looks like an early-onset Parkinson's patient...but I'm not a doctor and WebMD is scary ("two clicks and you're dead" I always say). When the neurology office, which has a valid referral that is only good for one year, tells you they will call you back and never does...you kinda wonder -- "Did the doctor get the memo? Did the receptionist take down the memo? Does the receptionist know what a memo is?" When you call back and they give you the same spiel "Well, the next opening he has is in six months" you wonder -- Is this what they tell you instead of sending you the "downsizing" letter? Is this just a nicer way to "fire" you? It's not like they won't SET YOU UP with an appointment...the appointment is just too far out into the future for you to wait with your issue that they know you will begrudingly go elsewhere. Case closed and no nastygrams therefore you can't say they weren't willing to work with you.

Now, I am not stupid, I know doctors are busy. But take a good long look around you - most of these offices, especially if they just relocated...are nothing short of mini-palaces. They have 15 people working for them and they start diversifying into lucrative big-money fields which don't need big-name, highly-skilled doctors to do the procedures. Things like: Botox while you wait for your eyes to get dilated, laser resurfacing of your skin as you wait to have that nasty mole looked at. Teeth brightened to nearly the magnitude of the star, Sirius. Free eyelid surgery with every lasik procedure. The list -- and the signs...go on and on.

And another thing that goes on and on...yet another "firing" of me the other day.

I have no cavities. I've never had any, and as such, I don't have any fillings. I am not versed at all in the ways of anything dental. I don't go to dentists very often...it doesn't seem to have had any negative ramifications; unlike the other doctors I go to where they keep finding things wrong with me. If they'd only stop looking, I'd be OKAY!

But, I do have this one molar that is dropping down from its perch in my upper jaw. It wouldn't be dropping if not for the fact someone removed two of my teeth from the bottom jaw in an effort for my crowded front teeth to "naturally" rearrange themselves to where they should normally be without the intervention of braces.

It didn't work. So much for that doctor...but he's probably long dead, so it's a moot point to bad-mouth him now. (Yeah, I know...the puns and word-plays in these two blogs are nearly unbearable...I challenge anyone to find them all.)

So, when I woke up with a hurting inner gum next to my dropping tooth and it being slightly red...I was a tad concerned. When I had to go to Birmingham for an all-day thyroid uptake scan and it was now a shade off from crimson and became extremely painful and throbbing...I was worried even more. I called my dentist (who I've been seeing about this tooth lately...who also referred me to an endodontist about it and a root canal) to try to get the appointment I made just a few hours ago upped a bit earlier in the morning. If there's an indicator as to how much pain I'm in...it would be my willingness to go to a doctor's appointment during my "sleep hours" of 8:00-2:00 p.m.-ish. They upped it to 10:45...again reminding me that they did indeed have one I could have gone to today if I "hadn't only gone up to Birmingham instead". Even with me telling her that I was having a thyroid scan in Birmingham...I sensed a bit of miffed-ness on her part. More than a bit...especially when I called back the third time.

Yes, I called to ask if the redness progressing to "beet red" and the area "looking like a rug burn" according to my son (I couldn't see it very clearly in the bathroom mirrors) was a bad thing? Something perhaps very bad? As I never had so much as a toothache, I didn't know what that felt like to compare anything else to.

Again she acted very annoyed that I "chose to go to Birmingham instead of the dentist" as if there was any real free-will of mine involved. I ignored her and asked if these things sometimes progress rapidly to something very bad or do they take a while. She, did not know...and I don't fault her at all for that...she's not the dentist. She mentioned something about "going to the emergency room" if I thought it was bad enough and asked if I wanted the dentist to give me a call back. I, of course, did...but told her I wouldn't be available to receive calls for about an hour and a half as they were going to take me back for the scan any minute. She said it was not a problem and he would indeed call me.

Well, he didn't. He also didn't the time before (about three months ago) - but I got better. I was hoping I'd get better again. I didn't.

On the way home it felt like someone took a cheese grater and ran it back and forth a few times over my inner gum. It felt torn up and bloody - like a rare steak after a good meat pounding by a gladiator's mace club. It really wasn't normal feeling...and I was actually scared to look at it again.

Even with a call to my very, very smart friend, who assured me that while it sounded like an abscess, it wouldn't invade my brain overnite -- I opted to call the dentist after hours. I'd feel much better with an expert opinion - plus, maybe what had been going on inside my mouth was already Emergency Room material.

It was around 7:30ish. Not too late I wouldn't think. His wife took the call. His wife was wonderful...such a lovely person. I apologized profusely for calling and begged her not to notify him directly and it could wait until he got home later. But since I had left a message on the other number she assured me he would probably call regardless.

He did. He was pretty certain I'd be just fine until the next day...but if it got much worse to go to the Emergency Room.

Whew! I was much more relieved.

As his wife suggested on the phone the night before, I showed up as soon as they opened. I was extremely pleased they took me in after a very short wait. I must say that the staff there is usually extremely friendly and nice...and this time was no exception.

Except, the dentist wasn't very nice to me. Truth be told he had been quite curt and abrupt with my daughter and myself in the past...but this time he was more so. I did not understand at what point I'd need a root canal as I never had one - and, as he did send me to the endodontist a few months back...I thought perhaps one was imminent. I also asked about just having the tooth removed and if this was an option. This did not go over very well, and he got even more annoyed with me for asking what I would think were logical questions. I'm not a dentist, but I would figure you wouldn't wait until it was past the point of no-return to get a root canal. I also didn't know the protocol for getting one done...so I asked. He again seemed very annoyed, as if talking to a small child with only a rudimentary grasp of the language...and that language being Finnish. He finally conveyed to me two things which were involved in order to get a root canal: tooth damage or unbearable pain. Apparently I didn't have tooth damage...which again made me wonder why I was sent off to the endodontist...and apparently, as I wasn't writhing around in pain in a fetal position grasping my mouth begging for painkillers or death...I didn't fall into the "pain" category, either.

I came out more perplexed and befuddled than when I went in - but at least it wasn't a deadly brain abscess...and we both didn't know why it decided to go into hyperhurt the day before...but it was MUCH, much better by the time he saw it. So much better that, if I hadn't had the appointment, I wouldn't have made one.

Anyway, I was happy I was seen so promptly and I thanked everyone involved and even booked a cleaning for my daughter and myself. But I still couldn't shake the rudeness I was shown by him.

Did I get him mad as I called him after hours? But, his office assured me he would call back...it's not my fault he didn't.

I was in pain and I didn't want it to fester into something I should have taken care of...but today it was much better. Did he think I was just blowing it all out of proportion?

Do people ever ask questions at the dentist? Maybe they don't. Maybe I shouldn't be asking questions either? Hmmmm...

...maybe I should get a new dentist?

I told a few people I was thinking of going to a different dentist as he was very mean this time...and I meant it. I would just have to ask around to see who other people liked.

But I shrugged the whole thing off and the pain was getting better...and then the following day...the very following day, I received a letter in the mail (yes, the actual postal mail). This is what it said:

"I am writing to inform you that we will no longer be able to treat you in our office. We have cancelled any appointments you have scheduled in the future.

We will see you on an emergency basis until March 15, 2011. This should allow sufficient time for you to find another dentist. We will send copies of your records to the dentist of your choice."

Exactly what you see there is what I received. I, of course, removed the heading and the signature.

I honestly don't get it.

Could someone possibly tell me what I did remotely wrong?

And I certainly want to read what that cover letter inside that folder says when he sends a copy of it to my next dentist...and, if need be, I want the opportunity to challenge it.

I feel like that poor little boy in class who drops his pencil off his desk one too many times and then the teacher keeps a stern eye on him as he surely is destined to get a call home to be recommended for ADHD medicine if he does it...just...ONE...MORE...TIME!

I've already been judged by a jury of one. I've been locked up in the pillory and the whole town is making the pilgrimage over just to point and throw old tomatoes and animal feces in my face.

I liken this to being accused of being a witch...or branded a heretic...and this Scarlet Letter of mine... my doctor's file...will accompany me from town to town. Everyone "knows" me before I meet them. I am now some medical pariah.

Oh, think that's a bit too extreme? When was the last time YOU snuck a peek into your file when the doctor left the room? Do you know what's been written about you? You should.

When was the last time you tried to get a doctor's appointment which you thought took an inordinate amount of time?

When was the last time you felt your doctor rushed a bit too much?

When was the last time you felt passed over or been told that it was "all in your head"?

When was the last time you had tests run and they came back normal? Normal? Normal for what?? What exactly WERE they looking for that they thought you had?

When was the last time you left with unanswered questions?

Isn't it about time you don't leave until you feel you were given the respect they expect to get from you?

Isn't it about time, when we do leave, that we hand the next person in the waiting room a scorecard showing how good you thought your doctor and the staff was?

I bet we'd all start being more civil to each other if we both knew it was going to go both ways.

(Okay...thanks for letting me vent. I know this was long. And to anyone who wants to know which doctors in this town I hold in extreme high esteem...feel free to ask. There are quite a few here who I simply love and I will pass their names on without hesitation. The others...eh...I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and not name names.

Lastly, it's just a shame that some people can really intimidate you, especially the people you need to go through in order to get that doctor's appointment. I've listened to more people than I can remember who've told me they'd report the receptionist or other office workers but they are afraid they'd find out about it and never be able to book another appointment.)