Just bitchin'

The Abuse of Imagination


So…a lesson for those of us who subsist on popcorn and wine, and happen to enjoy crunching down on the un-popped kernels, defying common sense and dental advice in one fell swoop.

The dud kernel is an implacable adversary. It will show no mercy. In the end, it will win, cracking through tooth enamel like a diamond-bladed buzz saw.

You will seek succor from a dentist…not a profession normally associated with succor.

You may be told you need a root canal to soothe the screaming nerve endings that popcorn has coaxed into chronic rebellion. All the myths and cautionary tales you’ve ever heard about root canals will surface. Visions will loom of sadistic tormentors in white coats, of dental chairs in dungeons alongside racks and other instruments of torture.

Fear will paralyze you.

You will keep your root canal appointment only because you don’t see a way out that will resolve the pain issue. You will assume the position in The Chair. You will give off emanations of terror that affect the professional slated to work on your tooth, damping his upper lip with perspiration.

Forty-five minutes later, you’ll realize there’s been no pain; only noise and slight pressure. You’ll sit up and be flooded with relief that the tooth is no longer the focal point of your awareness.

You’ll realize the absurdity of fear. You’ll recall a friend saying ‘Worry is the misuse of imagination.’

And you’ll know that, if worry is misuse, then fear is abuse.

You’ll go home wiser, more philosophic. And ready to get back on the popcorn horse.