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Friday, February 26, 2010

Dentist Glenn From Minnesota

My friend Glenn. A retired dentist, a widower, a very good golfer, quick to tell a joke. Glenn is a reader of this blog and at a party last night he begged me, I mean begged me like a dog whining for a piece of a pork chop, to write a blog about him. What am I gonna do? When your dog is begging for a piece of that pork chop (America’s other white meat), what do you do? I will tell you what you do. You cut a piece off that pork chop, you give the little creature a bite under the table and then you pat the mongrel’s head. So Glenn, here is your little bite of pork chop. Now quit your whining and Man Up. Furthermore, in exchange for a mention of you in this blog, a blog centered on golf and life with the Lovely Sharon, I expect you to quit making fun of my golf swing, my golf game and my general and total lack of talent in anything golf related. That, my dear friend, is the quid pro quo for me writing this essay about you.

Glenn is a retired dentist. He is not a retired spy. He is not a retired heart surgeon, explorer, race car driver or inventor. Let’s face it, Glenn spent 35 years with his hands in other people’s mouths. I have been racking my brain to figure how to make this entry exciting or even just interesting. It’s tough. Have you ever read a biography of a dentist? If I am at the book store, do I buy the biography of Mother Teresa or the biography of that fabulous dentist from Minnesota? If I only have $30 which one do I buy? Let me think about that for a while. Right. Has a dentist every written his memoirs? If so, what would be the opening page?

        I remember the day well. I removed my face shield, looked at Frank solemnly and said ‘Frank in order to promote better oral health, you need to floss more often. 

      Frank, responded ‘mmnm mmnm mmnm mmnm’ (remember my fingers were in Frank’s mouth so I couldn’t quite understand what he was saying).  

      When I removed my fingers from Frank’s mouth he looked at me with tears in his eyes, said, ‘Thanks Doc’.

     Obviously a job well done, but there was no time to revel in my glories from a first class teeth cleaning, I had work to do. I immediately bolted to the dental chair in the adjacent cubicle, to take care of an ailing Mrs. Johnson. We worked on her sore molar until I was sweating like a stevedore moving freight on a ship.  

    Finished with Mrs. Johnson, I wiped my brow, tired yet satisfied and announced to my staff, “Its 2:30 and I think we are done for today. I am going golfing”.

I love the dentist joke that I have told a million times. Each time I tell this wonderful joke, I laugh like a hyenna and the Lovely Sharon rolls her eyes thinking ‘not again’. In fact the Lovely Sharon rolls her eyes almost any time I say anything. You know the joke, Glenn’s wife wrote a book entitled “My husband is a dentist and my life with him is filling.” I told the joke last night. I was the only one who laughed.

See what I mean? There is not much excitement in the literary possibilities of the life of a dentist.

Ok, so I thought maybe I could write something about Minnesota, Glenn’s beloved home state. Then I recalled a conversation I had with a fellow named Gary one night in 1980 in Kona, Hawaii. After a hard day of legal work (please no snide remarks, we lawyers do work hard), Gary and I were sitting on a lanai drinking wine, watching dusk arrive in Kona and the sun set on the Pacific.  It was a beautiful mystic night with vivid colors, a musical background of waves crashing and sea birds singing. To this day I can close my eyes and still feel what I felt that night. I can remember our conversation as though it was yesterday. After a couple bottles of wine, Gary, a native from Minnesota who had moved to the island, gone native and was sort of like Spicoli in the film “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (kinda like “ohhh dude did you see that wave?”) said two things to me:

1. We should start a venture to mine the moon. We could mine ore on the moon and catapult it through space to Earth in zero gravity, have it refined and then sell it. We could make a fortune.

2. If God had intended humans to live in Minnesota, man would have been born with fur.

After these two amazingly intelligent and insightful statements, I bid adieu to Gary and turned in for the night.

So I am struggling with the Minnesota connection for an interesting essay about Glenn. I have not been to the land of 10,000 lakes but I hear it is beautiful. I like Garrison Keilor’s “Prairie Home Companion” radio show. One of my law partner’s is from Minnesota, however since he was not born with fur he moved to Utah. I know that former baseball great and Idaho native Harmon Killebrew played based for the Minnesota Twins. Oh yeah, I just remembered; the phrase “You Betcha” was invented in Minnesota. This invention rivals the invention of penicillin in terms of usefulness to mankind. This two word phrase, “You Betcha”, is a wonderful, multi-purpose two word response applicable in almost any situation. Consider the following uses of You Betcha that I found at Urban

You Betcha - A Minnesotan phrase that can be translated into the following... 

1- "Yes"
2- "I agree"
3- "You sound like you know more than I do"
4- "You're wrong, but I'll make you feel better about it"
5- "If not more"
6- "Damn Wisconsin Packer Cheeseheads"
7- "You're annoying"
8- "And would you like fries with that?" You Betcha
9- "This weather could be worst." You Betcha
10- "...therefore those chemicals cannot be mixed." You Betcha
11- "Our neighbor is one of them gay guys, I think, don't cha know." You Betcha
12- "We got at least three feet of snow." You Betcha
13- "Eloo der, I'm frum Wiscaaansin." You Betcha
14- "Oh my god, I was like, no way, and he was like, way." You Betcha

So Glenn has the You Betcha thing going for him, that’s one thing. Wait, that might be the only thing he has going for him. So with that said I will conclude this essay about my friend Glenn. He has now been immortalized in this blog. He will forever hereafter be known as “Dentist Glenn from Minnesota”. He will now be searchable through Google just like searching for Sarah Palin or searching for the phrase “how to avoid the plague” or the classic search question, “how to get sheep blood out of living room curtains”.

Who knows, Dentist Glenn from Minnesota may become a continuing character on this site like the Lovely Sharon, the Neighbor’s Dog, my Son Alex, or my rants against “Dick” (at least I think his name is Dick) Cheney. Let me think about that.

To my friend, my compadre, to Dentist Glenn from Minnesota, I end with, I love you buddy and I am glad you are my friend.

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