The readers rock
Just when I'm about ready to get good and discouraged, something always happens to cheer me up.
I've had kind of a tough week so far. To start with, I had a rotten tooth pulled out of my head Monday.
That's a pleasant experience. Now I know how a Chevy feels when a mechanic is working on it. For what seemed like a long time, I had this dentist and his assistant pulling my lips back with blue-gloved hands. He's yanking on the tooth with pliers, you know, and it won't come loose so he says something and the assistant hands him what looks kind of like a surgical screwdriver, only sharper. I'm sure he noticed my eyes getting a little wider.
On the ceiling above his masked face is a poster of a tropical island and I start focusing on it.
"You're on the beach, Danny. The hot sand is between your toes."
There was a bony snapping sound that I could feel vibrating through my skull. The tooth itself and the surrounding tissue were completely numb, so I couldn't feel anything other than the sensation that my lower lip was blowing up like a balloon. This bone-crunching sound was just like cat's claws on a school blackboard.
Then he pulled the bloody tooth out and told me I couldn't keep it for the Tooth Fairy because it was unsanitary. He promised to write me a note for her. I really did ask, especially since the Tooth Fairy pays out a dollar these days for the kids rather than the quarter I got when I was little. Inflation, man.
This was just solid evidence that I'm getting older and starting to fall apart. Good time to get depressed.
Fast-forward a few days and a big brown package addressed to Mr. Dan Dunkle is delivered to my desk. A Mr. John Smith of Thomaston is listed on the return address.
So, I did what any newspaper reporter would do — held it to my ear to see if it was ticking. It wasn't, but it could still contain powders or chemicals I reasoned, so just to be safe, I opened it at Steve Betts' desk, while he was still trying to get out of the cubicle.
Turns out, I needn't have worried. It was a box of Hostess Twinkies with a brief note taped to it. "Your columns rock!!!" the note said.
Thanks, John! I needed that.
The gift confirms that he has been reading the columns because it demonstrates a total understanding of my character. The two ways to my heart are to feed me or compliment my writing. Flattery will get you everywhere with me.
I had recently written a column about the possible bankruptcy of the Hostess company. In it, I discussed my journalistic concerns about what desert mutants in the post-apocalyptic future are supposed to eat if there are no Twinkies.
And what better way to celebrate the death of my tooth than with a sugary treat? I'm sure my dentist will approve.
So to John, I raise this Twinkie to you. You rock!
By the way, my next column is going to be about gold, in case you're planning a follow-up gift.