Archive for April 5th, 2010


I’m not really sure when this happened, I think it was mid to late ’90’s. It was the ass end of a european tour, there was maybe two weeks left and I had a bad toothache. I thought I could tough it out until I got home by eating aspirin like candy but when we got to Berlin it was brutal. We had a day off and a hotel in Munich the next day so I decided to go to a dentist. The hotel recommended a nearby dentist, my only criteria was that he spoke some english. The hotel staff must have misunderstood “some” english with “absolutely no” english, because once at the office the only way to describe my tooth problem was through mime and interpretive dance. After it was established that I had a bad tooth I was led into the examination room. Now every dentist I’ve been to at home keep all the shiny, pointy, sharp things well hidden until you’re sedated. In Germany it was different, rows and rows of pain inflicting tools were lined up, it would be too easy to make a “paging Dr. Mengele” joke here so I’ll go with the movie Marathon Man (“Is it safe?”) for a reference. When the dentist showed up I tried tell indicate which tooth was bad by pointing and wincing, it didn’t work so he employed a miniature tooth mallet and tapped on each tooth. Tap…tap…tap…Aaugh! and then the only word we both understood during my visit, “Kaput”. Yes, my tooth was kaput. As I was waiting for a novacaine shot I looked up and realized there was to be no navacaine as he was there with tooth pliers and he was ready for business. It all happened pretty quick, some wrestling, a sickly cracking noise and it was all over. He then put a styrofoam cube were the tooth was, collected 80 DM (I think it was about $50) and gave me a small vial of clove oil (another Marathon Man reference). I mumbled a protest of “Aren’t you going to stitch up where the tooth was?” which because of the styrofoam in my mouth sounded like “Armfoo gona stish uh air tu foof uz”. Of course It didn’t matter as he didn’t speak english or my new made up language, I was given a sad smile and sent on my way. I was rid of the horrible tooth pain but I was kind of dizzy and i went back to the hotel and fell asleep. I slept for a really long time and woke up the next morning. My bed looked like a murder scene, my pillow and the corner of the bed were covered in blood. I freaked out and ran to the bathroom, the right side of my face was matted with blood but I didn’t seem to be bleeding anymore. I took a shower and I looked as human as I get. My bed was a mess, I found an unattended housekeeping cart and stole sheets and pillow cases. Flipped over my mattress, packed the bloody stuff in my luggage and checked out quickly, swearing to never go to another german dentist again.