Essentially Ashland: Drill, baby, drill

The drill was churning and turning while the sound of a super-hardened bit worried its way through what once were unchartered and durable layers of resistance. I could only admire the skill and experience being focused as the bit ground even further through the layered formation.

Welcome to a visit with my dentist, who admitted to being a perfectionist, in search of the holey grail of dental flawlessness or a courteous smile, whichever first emerged.

One of the precursors to claustrophobia, for me, is to be inclined in a water-boarding position and fear that an errant swallow might ingest a stray tube, utensils, glues, cotton rolls or X-ray strips, ending an otherwise enjoyable experience of being alive. This is no place for a Big Gulp.

Upon being seated I was immediately injected with enough pain killer to euthanize an elephant, though I normally appreciate this chemical shield against pain, which lurks for a way to mumble indecencies to my brain through any and all channels, though always in high definition.

It is hard to describe the joy of having nine hands inside my mouth, which was winched wide with a hydraulic jack and a come-along. Staring wide-eyed through the window I watched finches fleece a bird feeder and prayed that none of my feathered friends would get inside the building, for my mouth looked like the perfect place to build a nest and set up an avian day-care center. I furtively looked about, hoping to find my doppelganger to fill in for my filling. Alas, I was alone in this adventure and to the best of my ability, pretended to play dead, for any attention to the thought of gagging would approximate the condition.

Within an hour I was released and sallied forth into the parking lot, where I meandered about until comprehending that it was time to go home. One side of my face was somewhat swollen and I spoke like frog on a log for some hours. My left lower lip was inflated like the Hindenburg just before its infamous flaming landing at Lakehurst, N.J. in 1937, which reminded me that nitrous oxide is currently verboten. No more flights into fantasy or distraction from never-ending verses of "Drill Ye Terriers Drill."

I was soon home and in my kitchen, where I prepared a sandwich and a cup of hot soup that I keep near simmering for the benefit of its aroma. I tasted the soup and soon discovered that burning my lip is easy to do when it is numb and on vacation. Next was the grilled cheese sandwich, or croc monsieur, which is literally translated from French to mean Mr. Crocodile. I soon found out that biting half-way through my lip was a fait-accompli or, as we commonly say, a "done deal."

After finishing my crocodile-lip lunch I thought to where this all might have led, while reading that Ashland's venture into ambulance service will increase soon by 40 percent to $899.73, an amount well below a simple sum of $900. You know that the finance department is driving the rig when numbers are not rounded off to make it appear that their figures are right on the money. If projections are accurate, why drop a 40 percent bunker buster on the voters all at once? It would appear that the cookie jar needs some monitoring or we will be micro-taxed into a flock of wandering sheepeople, standing in line for soup while attempting to postpone decent medical care as jobs are cut and creditors circle overhead. Now we are being asked to carry $900, preferably in cash, should a real paramedic appear on the scene. Can a number cruncher perform CPR?

Do not bet your life on it. was last seen wearing a studded lip ring while paging through a dusty copy of Henry Gray's "Anatomy of the Human Body," first published in 1918. Feel free to cut Lance a slice of advice, suture it closed and hit send. Attachments of nitrous oxide will be opened immediately.

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