Delirium In The Dentist’s Chair

At one o’clock sharp, I was stretched out in a recliner, wearing one of those white paper bibs around my neck and gazing around the examining room of Cami Elyse Ferris, D.D.S., whose business card reads: “Practice Limited to Endodontics.” She had been recommended by my regular dentist for today’s root canal.

(Old picture of her. She has short hair now.)

She assured me that everything would be fine, then pulled on the latex gloves and got down to business.
“Feel free to give me extra Novocaine,” I said as she approached me with a syringe the size of a baseball bat. “Actually, do you have any Primobolin?”
“Excuse me?”
I zoned out as the chemicals went in. While Dr. Ferris drilled for oil or whatever she was doing in my mouth, I listened to the Lite FM that dentists always inflict on patients and I let my mind drift. I was so relaxed I took a nap.
Then, out of nowhere, pain. 
“We’ve got a problem,” said Dr. Ferris, patting my shoulder after I literally levitated from the chair. “Most people have roots that go straight down.” She showed me a diagram.
“Yours don’t.” She shook her head in awe and wonder. “You’ve got a root that’s shaped like the letter ‘C.'”
She shook her head again, marveling at me. “I’ve only seen this phenomenon in Asian women.”
Great. So my mother had an affair and I wasn’t 100% Jewish American Princess after all?
“Don’t panic,” said my endodontist. “We’ll just have to work a little harder.”
The rest of the procedure was pure torture, but I distracted myself by thinking about the Yankees.
Before I’d left the house earlier, I’d read that Bernie Williams was working out with the team in preparation for the WBC. He hadn’t made Puerto Rico’s roster yet, but he was hopeful, even though he had reached the big 4-0.
I pictured Bernie from his golden days with the Yanks, hitting walk-off homers and sprinting in center field.
I also thought about how the Yankees didn’t offer him a contract at the end of ’06 and how he’d been focusing on his music ever since.
Today he was telling everyone that he still wanted to play, which made me think of 43-year-old Tom Glavine signing with the Braves and 43-year-old Tim Wakefield staying with the Red Sox and 46-year-old Jamie Moyer re-upping with the Phillies and the almost-40-year-old Ken Griffey Junior going back to the Mariners.
Has anyone else noticed that teams are signing 40somethings and 20somethings but not rushing to tie up 30somethings? That the market is more sluggish for those who are neither unripe rookies nor grizzled veterans but who fall squarely in between? Is there a dwindling middle class in baseball?
“We’re done,” said Dr. Ferris after I’d been in that chair for nearly three hours. “You were a real trooper.” She removed the rubber thingie that had been wedged between my teeth preventing me from talking.
“I think Bernie has a chance for a comeback!” were my first words as a free woman.
“Bernie who?” she said, then instructed the nurse to bring me some pain meds.
“Bernie Williams,” I said. “He was a Yankee. He could be a Yankee again. Well, he’ll always be a Yankee, because it’s the only organization he’s ever played for and once you put on the pinstripes you -“
“Take these,” said Dr. Ferris, handing me six capsules and a cup of water. “You’ll feel like yourself in a day or so.”
“I feel like myself now.” Clearly, she thought I was delirious.
Maybe I was, but it was a sweet delirium. As I staggered outside, my head buzzed with the memory of this.


  1. raysrenegade

    Nothing better than music on the jazz guitar by that man. I chatted with him about 4 years ago along the left field line at the Trop about his music career. Bernie remarked that baseball was his day job, but music was his late night mistress.

    It was then I knew I liked the guy. I am so sorry about the tooth. If it makes you feel any better Evan Longoria missed the Rays Fan fest because of a wisdom tooth and has been in pain for days. Hope all gets better real soon, and the doctor got you some killer medication.

    Thank goodness you did not hurt a finger. We got to have our daily dose of She-fan you know.

    Rays Renegade

  2. mlbmark

    Don’t forget Big Unit signing with the Giants. If only they had drafted him, I could say he went back to his “roots” and bring your post full-circle. Alas I offer only condolences having went through root canal in the last year. Hope you feel OK!


  3. junojen

    Hi, Jane –
    Bernie Williams has always been one of my favorite Yankees. Is it possible for a Red Sox fan to have a “favorite” Yankee?. I guess so. I would add Lou Gehrig to that list as well. Anyway, Bernie is pure class and always gets the clutch hits. I hope he returns to play again.
    And don’t forget 49 year old Oil Can Boyd. Julia broke that story for us last week.
    I guess 40 isn’t fatal. (I’m still here…)
    Glad your root canal is done. Curved root, huh? LOL!


  4. Jane Heller

    How cool that you talked to Bernie about his music, Renegade. I’d love to hear him play in person. And who knew I’d have “tooth issues” in common with Evan Longoria!

    I did forget the Unit, Mark. Maybe I was still delirious. Or maybe I just blocked him out, since his stay with the Yankees wasn’t too thrilling.

    Sure, it possible, Jen. I’ve had favorite Red Sox (Yaz, Lonborg). I didn’t include Oil Can because I don’t think he’ll make it back to the bigs, as great a pitcher as he was, but I could be wrong. And no, 40 isn’t fatal!!!!! You’re still a mere child compared to this Baby Boomer.

    LOL, Brian. I bet you’re right.

    I was totally waiting for you to say that, Jeff! You should see her now. She’s way prettier with the short hair. But, alas, she’s married with little kids.


    Well, you survived. 3 HOURS — ye godz, it sounds like “Marathon Man” — or at least Jack Nicholson in “Little Shop…” — I’ve had every dental exercise known to man and God (and then some), but that’s a l-o-o-n-g time in the air chair. Thanx for surviving, & sharing about Bernie — and don’t dare eat candy on that side until, oh, maybe May!!

  6. Jane Heller

    Yes, you scarecrow. I told the Wizard I’d miss you most of all.

    I survived, Dave! And the thought of eating candy on that side? Shudder. Won’t happen. Not even a Pepperidge Farm Double Chunk Chocolate Chip cookie, my fave.

  7. rrrt

    Sorry to hear about your tooth, Jane. I hope you are feeling better today! Coincidentally, I was at the dentist yesterday too, but thankfully, just the semi-annual cleaning. Though in my deep, dark past I had four impacted wisdom teeth all removed at once, with only novocaine. So I can imagine what your mouth might feel like today! (I didn’t know teeth could have roots shaped like a ‘C’ – interesting!)
    Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

  8. Jane Heller

    Thanks, Sue. Coincidence is right that you were sitting in your dentist’s chair at the same time I was sitting in mine. As for the “C” shaped root, I guess I’m just an oddity. But we knew that.

  9. flairforthedramatic

    I’ve noticed that middle class too.. and I really don’t get it but w/e.
    Seems you had a very interesting time in that chair. Hope it wasn’t too painful.
    Though I wouldn’t necessarily want him back on the Yanks, especially with the overload of outfielders and the DH spot already taken.. it would be nice to see Bernie back in the bigs.
    – V [ ]

  10. Jane Heller

    Sadly, V, Bernie’s not up to it in CF anymore, and we have enough DHs. So I guess he’ll be playing music, not baseball. I still get a kick out of seeing him though.

    Thanks, Bern!

  11. AJRoxMyWhiteSox

    Hope your tooth is feeling better. I hate the sound of dental tools, so I always close my eyes, head off to a place without dental tools, and think about something else…which usually ends up being baseball, even when it’s not baseball season. I’ve actually had a dentist ask me why I’m closing my eyes. Surely I can’t be the only person who does that!

  12. latinyankeerebel


    I’m very happy to see that you’re back with us! DL my butt! LOL… I knew you would be back with us in no time… I still haven’t finished the book… I should be done tonight.. so far, so great!

    oooh Bernie’s cd is awesome. I downloaded it from iTunes after many Yankee fans suggested it to me during the DHL fan fest last year in New York.

    hope you’re feeling better and, most importantly, in no pain.


  13. latinyankeerebel

    Jen, I have ahate doctors… so I thank the Lord everyday for sending us the cd players & iPods…. uff! I just play my music and dose off… funny thing is, my dentist would hear the music too because I would put it so loud so that I don’t hear the sounds of those thingees…

  14. Jane Heller

    You’re not the only person to close your eyes, Jen. I did the same thing. And the noise of those drills and other tools is gross. I thought about bringing my iPod, but she had all these cords and wires around and I figured my earbuds would get knocked out.

    Lillie, I need to download Bernie’s CD for sure. It’s been on my To Do list for awhile.

    Mazel Tov to you, Orangebird! I’m a Jewess who celebrates Christmas and Easter. Go figure.

  15. Jane Heller

    I just might have to post about the guy, Julia. He sounds like the Dominican version of a Dr. Feelgood. All I can tell you is that when I was on the road in 2007, A-Rod always had a couple of guys around him, even when he was swimming in the hotel pools. I thought they were “bodyguards.” If only I’d known about all this back then, I could have been a better detective.

  16. levelboss

    did you read, Jane? just when you thought the Yankees couldn’t be in the spotlight any more..

    now “2 Yankees have assets frozen in Stanford fallout”

    “Damon ‘can’t pay bills right now,’ while Nady’s credit cards aren’t working”

    it’s like a soap-opera this team!

  17. Elizabeth D

    I hope that you feel better after your root canal. I haven’t had any serious dental procedures, but I went through braces for a year and a half. By the way, I’ve been getting the best reactions form people when I take your book out to read when I’m sick of class.
    Example #1: Life Skills. I have taken out the book and I proceed to read it when my friend Katya exclaims,
    *gasp* ELIZABETH, you’re reading a book about the YANKEES?!?!

    And then today, during English (I was wearing my Red Sox sweatshirt), my friend Nick says,
    Put that book away… How are you reading that book when you’re wearing that sweatshirt?

    After I finish this research paper, I plan on finishing it. I love it so far.

  18. Jane Heller

    Just posted about that, levelboss. And I used your link. Thanks. Why can’t we have a nice, quiet spring training????

    I love that you’re causing a stir with the book, Elizabeth. Must be fun to get people’s reactions. Glad you’re almost finished with your research paper. Good luck with it!

  19. girlybaseballchick

    hey we have the same picture of Bernie on our blog the one with his guitar. But what we have to say about him is COMPLETELY different haha!!!! And I should be getting your book in the mail this week! Yahooooo…

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