Nothing But The Tooth

I don’t know if you believe in the local slang for jinx, known as “bachi.” Bachi is the definition of my life. Weeks ago I had written about cracking a tooth and my experience at the dentist. He did a great job fixing me up, but what I didn’t share was my self-imposed bill payment plan.

My dentist is worth every penny that is billed. However, a substantial amount was not covered. The remaining bill came at a time when our daughter’s parochial school payment was due, so I had to decide what had priority. My wife worked in the medical field and said to make payments spread out over a short period of time.

This past week I opened our electrical bill and it was the equivalent of a Lamborghini car payment. The dental payment would have to wait. Later, as I sat in the living room, our dog, Buddy, came flying in, jumping up on me, slamming my lower jaw up into my upper teeth. A third of my front tooth broke off. I looked like Stu from The Hangover.

I had to make an emergency appointment with my dentist, but not having paid off my bill I was worried that I might get stonewalled until that was cleared up. So the next day at work I walked around looking like a human jack-o’-lantern. Desperate, I finally broke down and called my dentist’s office. No one picked up the call, so I got paranoid that they had caller ID and knew it was me. I left a message and said it was an emergency and asked them to call me back. Several hours passed and still no call back. I cursed myself for not paying the bill, thinking this was a bachi of major proportions. I went home that evening and told my wife that I couldn’t get in because I didn’t pay our bill.

She said, “You silly, don’t you know what day it is? It’s Wednesday, the day most dentists take the day off.” Sure enough, early Thursday morning, I got a return call and they were going to slot me in to repair my tooth. There wasn’t a single mention about my unpaid bill. That evening, I showed off my new smile. My wife seemed worried about something else saying, “That’s nice honey, by the way, you paid my Macy’s bill, right?”