First, my confession: I have been going to a swanky, ultra-posh dentist lately. It's one of those day spa atmosphere dental offices with the zen music, paraffin wax hand treatments, flat screen televisions in all the rooms, complimentary smoothies. I normally do not condone these crazy indulgences, however, I am having my 19 year old veneers replaced and my regular dentist is no frills old school. Read: his office looks a lot like Mary Tyler Moore's apartment from the 1970s. Instead of opting for the Sony Walkman and stress ball he provides, I went for greener pastures. And by greener, I mean pastures which offer Valium.
While having my teeth Zoom whitened (one of many steps on the road to veneer-dom), the hygienist covered me in the ultra plush blanket they provide, adjusted my neck pillow and gave me the remote control for the television. Everyone at the practice speaks in a soothing voice, so that "this may be painful" sounds like some sort of affirmation. Om.
Since it was time for my daily soap opera, I immediately flipped to Days of Our Lives. I caught Ewa (pronounced Ava which threw me for a loop), my hygienist, glancing up with rather wide eyes several times as that particular episode contained not only a snarky cat fight which may or may not have included a slap and the 'b' word, but also two lusty love scenes. Quality, family friendly entertainment, right?
Like sands through the hourglass, Days concluded its episode, so it was time to tune in to something else to keep my mind off the fact that my teeth felt like they were being zapped by miniature lightening bolts. My selection was not exactly great considering the time of day, and I finally chose Family Feud as my mindless matter. This was the version hosted by Steve Harvey, although I will state for matter of public record that Richard Dawson's Feud was the finest of all time.
As luck would have it, the episode I wound up watching in that suburban dentist's office that day contained the raciest questions I think I have ever heard on the show--we're talking TVMA (mature audiences). I kid you not, Steve was asking these thought provoking questions:
If a friend was bitten by a snake, what part of his body would be worst to suck venom from?
Something grandpa would say is still sexy about grandma?
Name a reason someone would decide not to wear underwear?
Naturally, these required answers like "his wee wee" or "making love" and other blush worthy blurt outs about rear ends and under garments that caused Steve and the audience to howl with laughter. At one point, I do believe the phrase "no underwear means easy access" was tossed about. As you can imagine, not exactly the most cerebral content.
I tried not to be embarrassed while all this hooting, hollering and hubba hubba was ringing and dinging throughout the room, but it did cause me to wonder if my choice of fine programming might be drowning out the soothing music and otherwise zen-like spa experience they were trying to create in the other rooms. Was someone having their paraffin treatment interrupted by talk of grandma's sexiness? Probably.
Finally, Ewa stopped what she was doing and just stared at the screen for some time. She finally turned to me and said in a bewildered tone, "I must admit, I have never seen this program before. It is quite interesting, to say the least."
Yes, Ewa, to say the least. I'm sure it made her reconsider her decision of not having a television, now that she saw what she had been missing. There really is nothing quite like going into a trendy, buttoned-up establishment and totally dumbing it down.
I'm going back next week to have my veneers done. You bet your boots I will be sedated, but maybe I'll ask them to tune in to Maury or Jerry Springer, just for some ambiance.
Survey says: classy!