Tuesday, March 17, 2009

by the skin of our teeth

So it turns out we almost died on Saturday. Which would’ve sucked.

Being the organized, healthy woman that my wife is, she decided to schedule two much-needed teeth cleanings for Saturday morning at 9:30. One for herself, one for her fangle-mouthed husband.

The only problem, of course, is that we’ve never been to a dentist in New York. And we didn’t have any recommendations to go on. So Crissy threw a dart at a phone book. Then she pulled out the dart, got online, and found us a dentist.

The first thing I noticed as we walked up the stairs to the receptionist’s desk was the color of the paint on the walls. It was the most horrific, pale, mirthless pink I’ve ever seen in my life. It wasn’t a pink you’d find in any natural state. It was like, the "pink” dress of a burned doll left behind in the rubble of WWII. Or, the “pink” dentures dangling halfway out of a 90-year old woman’s mouth in an insane asylum. It was nightmarish.

We reluctantly checked in at the desk, where they gave us some paperwork to fill out. We grabbed our clipboards and pens, and turned to the waiting area. What we saw made our eyes bulge and our sphincters loosen.

It was like a movie set out of a mangled, twisted Terry Gilliam film.

It was like a Mexican donkey show on acid.

It was like if the fast food joint in the Where’s the Beef commercial franchised dental offices.

Everything was huge, depressing, and surreal. I felt like I was experiencing life through a fisheye lens. I could have sworn I heard carnival music.

Fist of all, the place was packed. You could’ve easily mistaken the waiting room for jury selection. Parents slumped in misery, kids thundered through the room in their underpants, goats and chickens roamed freely.

Crissy and I turned to each other, and thought, “Well, I guess this is just how they do it in New York.” So I headed up to ask the front desk how long it would take. The woman told me she had no idea. “Maybe an hour?” I offered. “Sure, an hour.”

While I was away at the desk, Crissy overheard a thirty-something grandma reprimanding her 7-something grandson for loose gang talk:

"Michael said you were out of line last night. Talking about bloods and crips. You know what happens to little boys who join gangs? They end up in jail. Or dead. Clean your fingernails."

Every second we spent in that waiting in that room felt like an eternity. I was starting to get stir crazy. Now I know what death row inmates feel like. Or Mengele patients. I started taking pictures to document the last moments of my life. Please note the "dentist" blocking his face in shame. (I'm not kidding, click on it now)

Then suddenly, mercifully, the woman called us up to the front desk. “There was a mix up with your insurance. You’re going to have to call your insurance company, tell them you want Dr. Cohen to work on your teeth, and reschedule your appointment.”

We ran screaming.

When we got outside, it occurred to us that we should be a little annoyed. We woke up early on a Saturday. Waited patiently in that hellhole. What gives?

But let me tell you something. I hate the dentist. Who doesn’t? That was no dentist. It was a torture lair. So just for the hell of it, we decided to come home and check out some reviews of the place.

The following are just some of the titles of the reviews, cut and pasted for your reading pleasure. I didn’t make a single one of these up.

Oh, and P.S. Thank you Jesus…we owe you one.

Would never go back 1 Star Rating – Unsatisfactory
I Hate That Place!!!!! 1 Star Rating – Unsatisfactory
THE PLACE TO GO...... CRAZY!!!! 1 Star Rating – Unsatisfactory
Absolutely horrible customer service 1 Star Rating – Unsatisfactory
AWFUL 1 Star Rating – Unsatisfactory
TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE, DO NOT GO HERE!!!! 1 Star Rating – Unsatisfactory
THE WORST SERVICE EVER 1 Star Rating - Unsatisfactory
Unprofessional, Disrespectful, Abusive 1 Star Rating – Unsatisfactory
Would never return 1 Star Rating – Unsatisfactory
I NEED TO CHANGE MY DENTIST... 1 Star Rating - Unsatisfactory
Feeling lousy 1 Star Rating – Unsatisfactory
Awful Management 1 Star Rating – Unsatisfactory
Dental Factory. 1 Star Rating – Unsatisfactory
Not yo momma's dental office 1 Star Rating – Unsatisfactory
BEWARE!!! 1 Star Rating – Unsatisfactory
Nothing to do with Dentistry!!!!!! 1 Star Rating – Unsatisfactory
Crooks, unprofessional, liars 1 Star Rating – Unsatisfactory
STAY AWAY 1 Star Rating – Unsatisfactory


Baby Bird said...

I'd rather get a colonic at the grocery store than ever get my teeth manhandled at a place that has DENTAL DENTAL DENTAL written along the wall! Is that so when people come out of their methadone haze they know where they are?

lizziebelle said...

that is my worst fucking nightmare.

cheeky's mom said...

OMG, so i have an appt on the 30th for my cleaning, i love my dentist more than ever now.

NYC Reader said...

Try Lina Frost at 80 Wall Street. Nice clean, small, hi-tech office. Woman dentist.