It’s when you pay for all your sins of –

polishing off tubs of ice cream,

slurping bowls of laksa,

popping cans of Pringles,

demolishing chilli crab,

getting kimchi stuck in your teeth,

wiping out the entire sushi belt,

and all the other guilty pleasures in life.  

A trip to the dentist.

Not only is it physically tiring – you have to keep your mouth open for what, a whole 30mins?

It is more importantly, mentally taxing MENTAL TORTURE.

I think there’s never another time where I feel more vulnerable (besides public speaking). I mean, I sit there ever so helplessly, and then the dentist tells me to relax (like hell I can) and proceeds to loom over me (so much for relaxing). Not only that, my mouth is wide open and my pupils dilate as I witness all the weird and foreign-looking weapons of mass destruction tools hovering over my exposed oral cavity.

To be fair, the foreign-looking instruments are less painful than they look, but once in a while a raw nerve is touched (literally) and I flinch and claw at the sides of the cushion of the chair and mentally run through the list of my entire vocabulary of vulgar words, being rendered incapable of speech due to the amount of drool/water/strange liquid/mostlystilldrool pooling in the back of my throat and making me feel like a retard wince a tiny bit.

In any case, to make the entire session slightly more enjoyable, I try to pretend that the dentist is only putting nothing else but sugar, spice and everything nice (which means more visits to the dentists in the future of course but who cares, anything to get through this thing NOW). But usually all my efforts at hallucination/disillusion crumble and go to waste when the dentist produces THE DRILL and starts on what feels like lift upgrading and renovations in my mouth.

And then, just when I feel my world could not get any darker, the scary spotlight is turned off, my seat is elevated and the dentist pats me on the back and say “well done”. I really want to say “and same to you” but my mouth is still cramped and aching so instead I just grin to myself like a little boy who’s gotten a sticker on his worksheet.

And then, I continue grinning to myself as I leave the chamber of torture, until I see the receptionist grinning even more widely than me – and I wonder why.

And then, just when I thought the ordeal was over, the best has yet to come.

Nothing is worse than the drill except the bill.

All the pain I’ve endured previously (imagined or otherwise) is nothing compared to the time just before I leave the clinic.