Perspective helps with toothaches

Published 6:00 am Saturday, February 23, 2019

Read this: You’ll never whine about a toothache again.

For the first time ever, I have a lingering toothache. No, I’m not complaining, and I’ll tell you why in a moment. When the dentist filled the left jaw tooth last week, he said, “It’s awfully close to that nerve,” but we bypassed a root canal for the time being. Now, a week later, this tooth can get to hurting so badly it sends pain through my jaw and almost up to my brain. Seriously.

Still, I can’t afford to whine, for two reasons.

One, my grandfather had a tooth pulled once, they say, and he refused the Novocain, he just told the dentist in his loud, raspy voice, “Naw, just pull it, Doc.”

That’s obviously a little extreme. But what Preacher Miller did pales in comparison to this other story. Just read on, and I guarantee you will resist the urge ever to whine about a toothache again.

I was not surprised completely when I heard the story about my old friend Roger, the legendary “Doocy” we’ve written about for decades.

Several years ago, he added to his collection of missing teeth at lunchtime on the job.  Georgia Steve Williams wrote me this story about ten years ago, so I know it’s true.

Georgia Steve employed ol’ Doocy for a good many years after he took over for his dad, Red. They were working over in Columbus, when one morning Doocy was complaining of a tooth ache.

Steve said Doocy complained about that tooth all day and begged him and every other worker to pull it, but nobody would. When Georgia Steve drove Doocy to Wendy’s to get lunch, they got to the parking lot and Doocy started wailing again about that tooth. Steve knew he was going to hear it all through lunch, so he finally grabbed a pair of pliers from the tool box and told Doocy to open his mouth. Steve said he went “elbow deep” into Doocy’s mouth to get that tooth out.

Doocy carried on so bad for a minute that Georgia Steve didn’t know whether Doocy was going to live or die. So, he grabbed an old bottle of rubbing alcohol behind the seat of his truck and handed it to Doocy. He took a swig out of it and swashed it around in his mouth. After a minute he spit it out, and hollered: “Boss-man, that burns!”

After a minute the pain started wearing off, and Doocy looked at Steve all tender-eyed, as he does when he appreciates somebody, and said,

“Thanks, boss-man.We better go on in now. I’ll let ya buy my lunch.”