Sue Grafton y D de “dentista”

Sue Grafton me suena a injerto y a juicio, pero bueno, es una escritora norteamericana de novelas policiales cuyo título incluye siempre una inicial y la palabra correspondiente a esa letra. En su obra O is for Outlaw tiene un par de páginas en las que muestra muy bien la mala opinión del público sobre nuestro ejercicio profesional, aun en un país donde se supone que hay los mayores adelantos.

Se trata de una conversación entre la detective estrella y un hombre al que conduce a su cita con el dentista. El que quiera, puede leer el texto en inglés a continuación. Quien prefiera no hacerlo, puede imaginar una charla frecuente sobre temor al torno, al ruido de raspado, transpiración fría, excusas, “me saco todo”, es una estafa, curro a la O S, etc. Subrayo la frase que dice que ahora las restauraciones tienen plazo de vencimiento, como los cartones de leche y que es una obsolescencia planificada. Y que lo único bueno de ese dentista es que tiene revistas nuevas en la sala de recepción.

"Great. This is great. I really appreciate this," Henry said, his tone completely false. I glanced over at him, making note of the tension that had tightened his face. "What are you having done?" "A crown 'ack 'ere," he said, talking with his finger stuck at the back of his mouth. "At least it's not a root canal." "I'd have to kill myself first. I was hoping you'd be gone so I could cancel the appointment." "No such luck," I said. Henry and I share an apprehension about dentists that borders on the comical. While we're both dutiful about checkups, we agonize over any work that actually has to be done. Both of us are subject to dry mouth, squirmy stomachs, clammy hands, and lots of whining. I reached over and felt his fingers, which were icy and faintly damp. don't see why he has to do this. The filling's fine, really not a problem. It doesn't even hurt. It's a little sensitive to heat, and I've had to give up anything with ice --" "The filling's old?" "Well, 1942—but there's nothing wrong with it." "Talk about make-work." "My point exactly. In those days, dentists knew how to fill a tooth. Now a filling has a limited shelf life, like a carton of milk. It's planned obsolescence. You're lucky if it lasts you long enough to pay the bill." He stuck his finger in his mouth again, turning his face in my direc­tion. "See this? Only fifteen years old and the guy's al­ready talking about replacing it." "You're kidding! What a scam!" "Remember when they put fluoride in the city water and everybody thought it was a Communist plot? Den­tists spread that rumor." "Of course they did," I said, chiming in on cue. "They saw the handwriting on the wall. No more cavities, no more business." We went through the same duet every time either one of us had to have something done. "Now they've cooked up that surgery where they cut half your gums away. If they can't talk you into that, they claim you need braces." "What a crock, I said I don't know why I can't have my teeth pulled and get it over with  ,    he said], his mood becoming morose. I made  the usual skeptical response. "I wouldn't go that far, Henry. You have beautiful teeth." "I'd rather  keep 'em in a glass. I can't stand the drilling the noise drives me crazy. And the scraping when they scale? I nearly rip the arms off the chair. Sounds like a shovel on a sidewalk, a pickax on concrete—" "All right! Cut it out. You're making my hands sweat." By the time I pulled into the parking lot, we'd worked ourselves into such a state of indignation, I was surprised he was willing to keep the appointment. I sat in the dentist's waiting room after Henry's name was called. Except for the receptionist, I had the place to myself, which I thought was faintly worrisome. How come the dentist only had one patient? I pictured Medicaid fraud: phan­tom clients, double-billing, charges for work that would never be done. Just a typical day in the life of Dr. Denti­frice, federal con artist and cheater with a large sadistic streak. I did give the guy points for having recent issues of all the best magazines. From the other room, over the burbling of the fish tank, which is meant to mask the shrieks, I could hear the sounds of a high-speed drill piercing through tooth enamel straight to the pulsing nerve below. My fingers began to stick to the pages of People magazine, leaving a series of moist, round prints. Once in a while, I caught Henry's muffled protest, a sound suggestive of flinching and lots of blood gushing out. Just the thought of his suffering made me hyperventilate. I finally got so light-headed I had to step outside, where I sat on the mini-porch with my head be­tween my knees.   Henry eventually emerged, looking stricken and re­lieved, feeling at his numbed lip to see if he was drooling on himself.”

 

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