TEETH WITH AN HILARIOUS SPECIAL COMMENT FOLLOWUP — Marilyn Armstrong

Because maybe you’re wondering, Garry had two extractions today. It was supposed to be one, but it turned out to be two and the $200 turned into slightly more than $500. CareCredit, we’re back!

We went to our dentist’s office and the specialist who had come in for the extraction didn’t feel comfortable doing it.

So they called another oral surgery and we drove 50 miles to the edge of Boston metro-west. It turned out the tooth adjacent to the tooth that was rotten was brown and falling apart. Even with a filling, it would maybe — with good luck — last a year and then fall apart.

A falling apart tooth is not a tidy event like an extraction. It crumbles or shatters and can take months for all the shards to finally work their way out of the gum. Not fun.

So I said “You should pull it. It’s dying anyway, so let’s get it done before it becomes even more complicated.” Garry agreed. You can’t see it anyway. It’s on the side, so his lovely smile will not be ruined.

Even with a triple whammy shot of Novocain, it still hurt. The abscess was sitting on a nerve and no amount of local anesthetic was going to entirely numb it. He was trying to be very Marine Corp about it, but this was one of these “mind-over-matter doesn’t always work” events.

We’re back home. Our faithless GPS sent us home by “the short route” which takes twice as long as the “longer” way and sends you through every one-lane town. It was nice to see the trees changing. It would have been nicer had it not been raining.

Tomorrow, it’s me and the Pacemaker specialist for much of the day.

Meanwhile, while we were trekking the slow roads of Massachusetts, Owen was removing trash from the house — including that big box that had my writing in it. I guess I’m not going to find that script fo “Fall of Sauron Day.” Oh well. At least the basement is empty. We’ve got two dehumidifiers running, trying to get the dampness out. It has been a wet year.

Garry should be okay now. He’s on the equivalent of baby food for the next few days. And ice packs. He can have cold drinks, but nothing hot. No citrus — lemonade, OJ, or grapefruit juice is too acidic — but other stuff is okay.

Maybe it won’t rain all day tomorrow and maybe we won’t be at the doctor’s office all day so I can get a few pictures. It is ironic that Garry, the most dedicated tooth cleaner anywhere, is the one with problems. Not to worry. My turn will come again.


AND A FOLLOWUP COMMENTARY TO PUT IT ALL INTO PERSPECTIVE:


John Corcoran, Jr.
to Garry, me

Garry and Marilyn,

Total empathy. Been there, done that. My most memorable dental experience is so seared into my brain I remember it like it was yesterday. In fact, it was about 50 years ago. I was a wee pup — well a USAF second lieutenant.

One of the benefits of being in the service is if you get a horrific toothache, the military would cheerfully provide you with a dentist to extract it, or if one wasn’t handy, a civil engineer.

I had what is known as an “impacted wisdom tooth with a side of abscess.” My “dentist” received his training at the Ghengis Khan University of Dentistry and Yard Work.

He loaded me up with a few Novocain shots, then grabbed his ball-peen hammer and a set of clamp-nose pliers and immediately set to work. As soon as he began, I commented: “Aiiiiyeeeee.”

Since many metal implements, his fat mitts, and at least one of his feet were in my mouth at the time, he interpreted my screams to mean “Please continue.” My follow up shouts of pain and agony eventually got him to stop. He then brought out a new tray full of Novocain-filled syringes and unloaded them into my pie-hole.

“That should do yuh,” he said. It didn’t.

After a few seconds to let it soak in, he resumed pulling and I resumed shouting in agony. It didn’t help that the roots of my wisdom tooth went very deep. My orthopedist later estimated they ended up just below my femur.

Here’s the deal. I learned afterword, from another dentist, that they should first clear up the abscess with antibiotics — this may take a few days — and then yank the offending pearly. My uncivil engineer didn’t do that obviously, and it was the most excruciating pain I’ve ever felt. And I have gout.

The second dentist told me the abscess likely neutralized the Novocain (I’d had about ten shots) and I essentially had a tooth extracted without a working anesthetic. There was only one upside. Perhaps filled with guilt, my torturer wrote me a prescription for a big, big bottle of codeine-based pain-killers. I finished the last one Tuesday.

So, Garry, I hope you got the good stuff, and you’ll be all better soon. And Marilyn, thanks for a lovely piece.

Best,

Cork


AND THE ANSWER TO THE ANSWER:

Cork, shame on you. You got me (and) Marilyn laughing. Laughter isn’t the r/x here tonight. Not for me, at least.

I wore my USMC sweatshirt today so that made me very “special”. As the road gang worked on my mouth, one of them said: “He’s tough. He can take it.” I guess they were deaf and didn’t hear my screams. They didn’t see my legs flopping up and down.

I must confess they gave me 3 local shots to calm me down. I could feel them chipping at the dead tooth atop the abscessed tooth. It sounded like Dragline and the boys keeping the man with no eyes happy.

I kept waiting for Strother Martin to come in and tell me there was a failure to communicate. Of course, there was. I sounded like Boraxo’s Old Ranger from Death Valley days. One of the winsome aides kept stroking my arm as if that would make it all go away. She looked like Flora Robson so no luck there.

I must admit my GP (Sam Jaffe) gave me antibiotics last week to make things easier. Helped some, I admit, but not nearly enough. I tried to mentally escape but it was no go. I couldn’t conjure up a suitable fantasy.

I kept hearing them jack-hammering inside my mouth. I shudda taken off my cochlear implant and my hearing aid. I could HEAR everything they were saying, including “This is a tougher job than expected.”I guess I postponed the happy-hour for the dentist and his aides.

When the deed was finally done, dead tooth removed and abscess cleaned out, I remained hazy and woozy as in days of old when we conferenced at the local pub.

Sure enough, as I Walter Brennaned my way out of the room, one of the older aides smiled and said, “It was a pleasure. I grew up watching you on TV.”

That’s a wrap.

Vince Edwards

MOVIE NIGHT STARRING GARRY “THE LEGEND” ARMSTRONG – Marilyn Armstrong

Personally, I thought Garry should write this himself. It was his show. He was the star with the cool Hollywood stories. But he doesn’t like to write about his “events” (I don’t know why not because he does it often enough). But this time, he wanted me to write it so here I am. Writing.

Let us begin with Garry’s great story about how Katherine Hepburn invited him over to her place for tea (and it really WAS tea — and cookies) at her big house in Hartford, Connecticut. What makes it particularly special is that it wasn’t a “work gig.” It was a personal, private invitation. Wow.

Old-fashioned popcorn maker! Sadly, I can’t eat popcorn. But they also had pizza!

Garry was doing his first work as “talent” at Channel 18, an underfunded early cable station. First TV jobs are like that. You take what you can get and hope someone thinks you are special enough to move to a bigger station and suddenly, stardust falls and you gleam — for thirty or forty years. Then you get old and they ditch you for someone that looks like a cookie-cutter reporter from who knows where, but they all look and sound the same.

He was coming from ABC network where he had done enough glittering to know he didn’t want to be a producer. He wanted to be talent.  On the air. When he got the call from Hartford which, in the 1960s, wasn’t exactly a glamorous venue, he took it. He’d be in front of the camera.

As it turned out he was in front of it, behind it, writing for it, starring in it, working news … and best of all, he did a movie show. It wasn’t as if Channel 18 (an RKO station) could afford “real” stars, so Garry had cardboard cutouts of famous Hollywood characters. They sat (quietly) around his set (they were, after all, cardboard) and he talked to them. Some people thought they talked back, but there’s no accounting for taste.

The Legend! himself

This was back in the days of film that had to be “souped” before rolling it on camera and Garry, not much of a technical star, was lucky if he remembered to load film before shooting, take off the lens cap … and you know, focus. I have, I admit, had many similar unfortunately experiences with lens caps — even to this very day when suddenly, I look through my lens. It’s dark and I scream “OH NO! MY CAMERA IS BROKEN! WHAT DO I DO NOW?” … after which I realize I forgot to remove the lens cap.

I digress. This story involved a phone call that Garry thought had to be the other guys at the station yanking his chain when the guy on the speaker announced: “Garry, there’s a call for you from Katherine Hepburn.”

My movie companion

“Yeah, sure,” he said. But Garry took the call. It was Katherine Hepburn. Who liked watching local television stations. She liked Garry. She thought he had some talent and might go places in The Business. She invited him for afternoon tea at her local mansion (always a New Englander, birth till death). With voice squeaking and knees trembling, Garry agreed.

He straightened his tie, patted down his then luxuriant hair, and went to tea. With Katherine Hepburn who did most of the talking. This was just as well. Garry was a bit tongue-tied that day.

Jim LaClaire, our faithful cameraman

The long and short of it was she told him he had one sterling feature that could take him far. Garry is a very good listener. Not to me (I’m his wife, after all), but to other people. He doesn’t work from a prepared script. He listens and responds to what they say or imply.

She also had a few recommendations on improving his wardrobe. As he had always thought he was a rather sharp dresser, after that, he got much sharper. I believe “clothes horse” would be a good description.

Watching

So, this was one of the longer stories Garry told. Once Garry gets rolling on his favorite movie stories, he can be hard to slow down. It took me and several other strong women to get him to “Say Good Night, Gracie.” Folks needed lifts home and it was more than an hour past closing time.

Showtime!

Everyone enjoyed Rustler’s Rhapsody and if you can find it on Amazon (it comes and goes, but it’s usually just a few dollars for the DVD). I keep a small collection of them and give them to friends.

I’m not sure “Rustler’s Rhapsody” ever made it to the big movie theaters. I think it may have gone straight to DVD.

Getting the conversation going. Turned out to be no problem at all.

To fully enjoy it (and this was the right crowd for that!), you need to have had some relationship with the “B” westerns that came with the main feature at local movie houses. Garry and I did not live very far apart and went to the same movies and shops and libraries but of course, not the same schools. Until college when all bets were off.

There was a lot of laughter. I had to tell everyone that that incredibly handsome guy playing the good but really bad guy was actually Patrick Wayne who wasn’t a great actor, but he was incredibly, strikingly, awesomely handsome. If he had been a better actor — or maybe cared more about acting — he could have knocked the audience dead. And he was a really big guy. Not fat … but very tall, broad in the shoulders, and yes, he is still alive.

Patrick John Morrison (born July 15, 1939), was better known by his stage name Patrick Wayne. American actor, the second son of movie star John Wayne and his first wife, Josephine Alicia Saenz. He made over 40 films, including eleven with his father.

There was a lot of chatter after the movie, too and it was fun. Even though I’ve heard all of these stories before, I love them anyway and every once in a while, I show up as a companion to the Legend.

The audience!

We all promised to do more of this stuff. I had fun too, though by the end of the night, my back was trying to go back to the car without me. It has been a trying couple of months. I’m definitely better than I was, but this stuff takes its own sweet time to retreat.

Meanwhile, Garry did the entire performance with an abscessed tooth. THAT is impressive.

Fron Channel 18, the RKO station in Hartford, Garry got invited to Boston’s Channel 7 — also an RKO station. And the rest, as we like to say, is history.

THE SHINBONE STAR – REBLOG ON WHAT’S FUNNY AND WHAT’S NOT

IT’S NO JOKING MATTER WHEN TRUMP SPEAKS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE LAWN

by MACinelli
Donald Trump stands on the White House lawn and asks China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter

Donald Trump stands on the White House lawn and asks China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
Put a sock in it, Jim Jordan.

It wasn’t a joke — as you suggested — when Donald J. Trump while standing on the White House lawn, called on China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential rival in the 2020 presidential elections.

But just to be fair, let’s look at exactly what Trump said on live TV as he prepared to leave Washington late last week for another round of golf in Florida.

“China should start an investigation into the Bidens because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine.”

The request came just moments after he discussed upcoming trade talks with China and told the same gaggle of reporters, as cameras rolled, that “if they don’t do what we want, we have tremendous power.”

Trump has never been a Jerry Seinfeld. Nor has he ever had the chops of a Ray Romano or Billy Crystal. He might come close to Pee Wee Herman, but that’s another story.

Jordan, a Republican congressman from Ohio and staunch defender (read lemming) of Trump, ran out the “joke” defense over the weekend when asked Sunday by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” if Trump’s suggestion to China was appropriate.

“I’m just telling you what the statement is. You asked me about the statement,” Jordan responded. “I don’t think anyone in America really believes — except people may be in the press and some Democrats in Congress — really believe that the president of the United States thinks China is going to investigate.”

That wasn’t the question, Mr. Jordan. Answer the question: Do you think Trump calling on China to investigate a political rival is appropriate?

Jordan dodge the questioned again. “You really think he was serious about thinking that China is going to investigate the Biden family?”

Not the question, congressman. Answer the question: Do you think it was OK for Trump to violate the rule of law by calling on a foreign government — one that in this case is a sworn enemy of our country — to launch a probe of a political rival and his family?

Jordan’s response — after 10 minutes of ducking and dodging: “Well, I don’t think it’s going to happen. . . . I just don’t think that’s what the president was really saying.”

It’s not important what you think will or won’t happen, or what you think Trump “really” was saying.

Here’s what matters: Are you — an elected official of our government sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States — supporting Trump’s thumbing his nose at laws that form the foundation of our republic?

This is not a joking matter. This is not a time for Republicans or any other elected official to ignore the obvious — Trump believes he can get away with being lawless because that’s how he has operated all his life.

And you, Mr. Jordan, and your GOP brethren in and out of office are enabling this man-child, this wannabe dictator, to run roughshod over a democracy that is meant to protect all of us and provide a quality of life that for most of the 240 years of its existence has been the envy of the world.

For nearly three years now Trump and his minions have used the “joke” defense when his blathering results in showcasing his lifelong battle with foot-in-mouth disease. Remember the Russian request back in 2016? Trump said:

“I will tell you this: Russia if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

What a knee-slapper that one was, right? No collusion with Russia. Just joking. He even went further in a written response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s question about that ask. Trump’s explanation was that he “made the  . . .  statement ‘in jest and sarcastically, as was apparent to any objective observer.’ ”

No, it was made as part of a political smear effort against his Democratic opponent in the upcoming general election, Hillary Clinton.

Jokes from a president, any president, are allowed and often times can be quite funny in the proper forum, such as the annual White House Correspondent’s dinner. Let’s flashback to 2011 when then-President Barack Obama dropped a few funnies on then-citizen Trump, who at the time was questioning Obama’s citizenship. Said Obama from the lectern:

“Donald Trump is here tonight. Now I know that he’s taken some flak lately. But no one is happier — no one is prouder — to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald. And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter: Like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?”

That was funny stuff. The crowd cracked up. Everyone, that is, except Trump, who sat fuming at his table. But Obama wasn’t through cracking funny, as is the privilege afforded a sitting president at this event:

“All kidding aside, obviously we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example . . . no seriously, just recently, in an episode of ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ at the steakhouse, the men’s cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around, but you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership, and so ultimately you didn’t blame Lil Jon or Meat Loaf, you fired Gary Busey. And these are the kinds of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled. Say what you will about Mr. Trump, he certainly would bring some change to the White House. Let’s see what we’ve got up there.”

Laughter erupted across the dining hall, but unfortunately for our country, the jibes by Obama angered Trump so much that he not only decided to mount a presidential campaign but managed to secure Russian assistance to steal the Oval Office for a four-year term.

The difference between Obama’s jokes at a news media event and Trump’s calls on live television for investigations of political opponents is blatantly obvious. Obama delivered his punches at a time and place where humor was expected and is often entertaining. Trump’s attempt at “jokes,” as Jim Jordan would have us believe, were delivered on the White House lawn in front of television news cameras as part of his never-ending political campaign.

No joke, Mr. Jordan, you are supporting illegal activity by a president who considers himself above the law, a person who thinks that as president he can do anything he wants, to anyone he wants, at any time he wants, and he won’t suffer the consequences.