Relax. This shouldn’t hurt at all. Could you just … that’s right. Nice and wide. OK, I’m just gonna pop this in to keep your jaw still while I get to work. Try not to move, because if I slip—well, I’ll leave that to your imagination. Let’s just say the last nervous person who was sitting where you are can now do an unusual whistling trick.

OK, let’s have a look at those crowns! Uh-oh. That’s not good. Looks like it’s time for you to meet Mr. Tiggles! That’s this little guy here. I mean I call him Mr. Tiggles; the tool is actually called a “pincerfleisch” or a “scrapehook,” but I guess I feel Mr. Tiggles is just a little bit of a nicer name.

Do you mind if I call you Roy while I work here? Not that you look like a Roy. In fact, I can’t think why … hold on!—it’s that little furrow between your eyebrows. Spit of my uncle Roy. Good ol’ Roy. I mean, afterward. He was fine then. Gentle as a lamb. Not that that brought my puppy back, of course.

Have you ever seen 24? Beep beep beep beep—bam ba dam! I love that show. Don’t worry, I’m not going to spoil it for you. Although I could. I know every episode. Even stuff they haven’t shown on TV yet. You see, I’ve got a radio receiver in my jaw that allows me to pick up … hold on a sec. (Calls through open door.) OK, Susie. I’ll see you in the morning. Yep. I’ll lock up.

Back to you, my patient friend. Wow, do you know what? It actually looks a little 24 in here, right, with all these instruments lined up here and you in that chair, all scared-looking. Hold on, let me do the voice: Where is the bomb, you terrorist bastard? Ha-ha. Oops, sorry! I guess I actually jabbed you there. Let me just mop up a little. That’s better.

You know, something strange happened there. I wonder if I should actually tell you about this or … you’re nodding. You want to hear? OK, well don’t look so worried—it’s nothing about the dental work, it’s just you had this really comical, fearful look on your face, like: Waaaah!, and it just made me, I don’t know, I just got a sudden thrill at the power. It was like: Hello! I’m a pacifist and I don’t want to be feeling what I was just feeling there!

I’m kidding. I’m just kidding.

But I’m not really a dentist.