Mason County News
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010 • Posted September 15, 2010

An Appointment Kept…

I was several degrees shy of "going postal," but with temperature rising, teeth gritting and a "mail must go through" mentality, I skidded to a stop on the parking lot scant seconds before my noon dental appointment.

Who could have guessed that a mouse glue trap could cause such a messy scene? I’m sure they’ve affixed a "doofus" label on my file at the dental clinic, where a missed appointment would have assured a tearful plea to re-schedule—in 2010, if possible—and an excuse they’d never heard before.

When funny guy Dave Barry waxed humorous in his columns, he usually tried to prop up his credibility with claims of "not making this up." Well, neither am I….

* * * * *

Upon leaving home for the appointment, much was right with the world. Thirty minutes seemed like a generous time allotment for the short drive to Fort Worth.

However, my disposition changed quickly when a "floppity" noise grew louder. Afraid that a tire was about to blow, I made three stops for visual checks. Finding nothing amiss, I still continued mental finger-pointing toward the tires.

"My tires are nearly new," I muttered to myself. Frustration mounting, I toyed with the thought of dropping by Discount Tire Store, offering to toss the "faulty" tire through the plate glass window if they’d like to "freshen up" their long-running ad….

* * * * *

But wait! On the third stop, I spotted what I thought was a well-worn plastic trash bag lodged above the left rear tire in the wheel well. Surely I had found the source of the offending noise. Alas, my tires were doing what tires are supposed to do, and I was sad to have thought ill of them. Flushed with a sense of superiority for diagnosing the problem without professional help, I grabbed the "bag" with a vengeance, a death grip, if you will.

But it wasn’t a "bag;" it was a mouse glue trap, and I was stuck, big-time, in the muck of industrial-strength adhesive. In a flash, I felt like Lou Costello, a Keystone Kop or the dumbest of the Three Stooges.

What to do? There was no time to rid myself of the messy glue trap. So, I resumed my trip to the dental office, driving with one hand while hoisting my "glue trap hand" aloft. I knew that my wife would have my hide if any glue came in contact with the leather upholstery.….

* * * * *

And my tires didn’t help any. In four-part harmony, the quartet of rubbery road-meeters sang a musty old ditty, with special lyrics just for me, or so I imagined. The tune was "Shame, Shame on You." Again, I regretted presuming their guilt until proven innocent, afraid that their memory might be as long as their tread life.

Upon arrival, I hurried into the clinic, tearing away the glue trap en route. With both hands now "icky," I kicked the door to announce my arrival.

Ushered straight to a dental chair, I "blubbered out" the details of my misadventure, one hand still "fisted," glued completely shut. My dental hygienist nodded knowingly as she reached for a small spray bottle. "Usually we only have adhesive problems with stubborn dentures," she laughed. Seconds later, I was "free at last."…

* * * * *

When Dr. Marshall Brown approached my chair, I gave him the full dose of my harrowing half-hour of horror on the highway. He listened patiently before launching "one-upmanship" with vivid details of his travails just one day earlier.

Upon arrival at his clinic, he had waded through ankle-deep water. A plumbing seal had failed during the night, and the place was a mess. I was accustomed to seeing Dr. Brown moving from chair to chair in his orange "UT scrubs," but the thought of his sloshing about in wading boots painted a comedic picture.

One who chuckles at everything except Longhorn sports losses, my dentist has a wonderful sense of humor, and he’s quick. How quick? He paraphrased Julius Caesar’s quote to describe my predicament: "Veni, Vidi, Velcro," he enunciated with the enthusiasm of a freshman drama major. "You came, you saw, you stuck around."…

* * * * *

Back home, my wife filled in details.

The previous night as she swept the garage, a frog hopped in. She gave chase, eager to "swoosh" the uninvited guest back to the flower bed.

"In my eagerness to sweep out the frog, I guess I accidentally knocked the trap from the trash bin corner, uh, maybe it came to a stop under the rear car tire."…

* * * * *

Composures somewhat regained, we headed for a Waco speaking engagement.

En route, a sobering thought occurred about unusual billing I would face on my next dental bill, something about "getting Newbury unglued."

An afterthought that it would be from a guy who just dealt with a four-figure plumbing bill added a final chill….

* * * * *

Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Metroplex. Email for inquiries/comments: Phone: 817-447-3872. Website:

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