Wednesday, June 19, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 15

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on December 3rd, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 39 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 15, Issue 39

Loose molars equals loose morals

Rob's son loses his wisdom teeth and his inhibitions


I’ve always been afraid of the dentist, just like I’ve always been afraid of great white sharks, tarantulas, and Oprah Winfrey. However, unlike sharks, spiders, and Oprah, who in reality have never harmed me physically (just emotionally), the dentist has actually caused me specific bodily pain.

When I was about 14 years old, I needed to have my wisdom teeth pulled. My Northern California hippie parents were either too paranoid I wouldn’t wake up or just too cheap to pay for general anesthesia. So instead, I received 32 local shots into my mouth, three of which went directly into the roof of my mouth. It was excruciatingly painful. Even today I can’t sit in a dentist’s chair without feeling again all of the anxiety I endured when I was 14.

Fast-forward a few decades, and my son needed to have his wisdom teeth pulled. Due to my own experiences, I wanted to ensure he didn’t suffer. I told the oral surgeon to give him the works: “I am willing to pay for pre-medication to relax him before we arrive at the doctor’s office, topical cream for the IV puncture, nitrous gas to get him to chill before you put the IV in, the best cocktail on the market to put him out, then name brand pain killers for when he wakes up. I want my son to feel so good about this procedure that he will actually be disappointed he doesn’t have more molars to be removed just so he can experience this for a second time.” The doctor looked at me as if I was insane. I didn’t care. I didn’t want my son to suffer like I did.

The day of the surgery, my son and I drove across town and met with the nurse. She wasn’t going to institute my full crazy request for absolute pain reduction, but she assured me my son would be fine and then she kicked me out of the room—no crazy overprotective dads allowed.

After an hour, the nurse came out and called my name. I quickly headed back to see how my son was doing. I saw him in the dentist’s chair, awake but out of it, with swollen cheeks and gauze stuffed into his mouth. He was certainly still under the effects of the anesthesia.

The first thing I noticed about my under-the-influence-son was that he rejected authority at every turn. No matter what the nurse asked him to do, he would rebel and do the opposite. If she told him to keep the gauze in his mouth, he would spit it out, tossing bloody gauze all over the dentist’s office. When she asked him to sit in the wheelchair, he slurred, “I’m good, I can walk!” The whole thing was sort of funny, but after about 30 seconds it became more problematic. My son on pain medication was sort of a jerk—a jerk who couldn’t stand authority.

After about 10 frustrating minutes, the nurse coaxed him into a wheelchair, put gauze back into his mouth, and wheeled him to the car. As she and I attempted to get his groggy, yet anarchistic self into the front seat, I could see the nurse was losing patience with him. She just wanted to get his nihilistic teenage butt in my car and wash her hands of him. It was time for her lunch break, and my rebellious and intoxicated son was the last thing in her way. She stuffed an envelope in my hand filled with care instructions, prescriptions for pain medication, and more gauze. “Good luck!”

It was just my son and me on the drive back across town. I was negotiating traffic with one hand and using the other hand to attempt to keep my son from spitting out his gauze. With the gauze in his mouth, I couldn’t understand a word he was saying, but I could tell whatever he was trying to convey, he was using a fair amount of foul language to do it. “Something, something the f-ing gauze!” Apparently he really hated the gauze.

“Son, you need to keep that in your mouth to stop the bleeding.”

Something, something how f-ing long?”

“The nurse said six hours.”

A rage ensued from the right front seat. I don’t know what was said specifically, as it was unintelligible, but I could discern it was a rant filled with many expletives. He started to repeat two specific sentences over and over: “I’m thirsty!” “F-ing gauze!”

It seemed like I hit every red light in town. With every red light, I was rewarded with more obscenities from my drug-induced teenage son.

Similar to the nurse, I was starting to lose my patience. I just wanted to get home and pass him off to my wife, whom I love. She could be the one to take care of him and listen to his offensive tirades.

At the house, my wife asked how our son was doing. I told her, “He had his molars removed, and somehow all of his morals taken out as well.”

She looked confused by my explanation, but then my son started babbling and cursing at her. “Oh, wow,” she said. “He certainly doesn’t come out of anesthesia very well.”

“He came out just fine; he just came out angry and with a foul mouth.”

One of us needed to stay home to take care of our son, Kat Williams, and the other needed to get a prescription for Vicodin filled. I quickly volunteered to go to the pharmacy. I needed a moment away from my adult/child son. When I got back, things hadn’t gotten anymore G-rated. We explained to our son that he could only take his Vicodin after four hours, to which he responded with bile and anger, “What, you think I don’t know how to tell time?! You think I’m not capable of f-ing telling time?!”

My response to this was to take one of his Vicoden pills myself. It was going to be a long recovery.


Rob’s son is currently on a steady diet of liquid foods and profanity. If you enjoy Rob’s storytelling, check out his novel Cadet Blues available on

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Should the proposed aquifer exemption in Cat Canyon be approved?

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