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Disclaimer: The Pretender belongs to TNT, NBC, and Craig and Steve. The magazine Highlights for Children is owned by itself. No profit is being made and no infringement is intended.

Author's Note:
Tiffany is, in fact, a real person. She really does bite her dentist. This comes from the fact that Jarod eats so much sugar and he's never gone to the dentist yet. Oh, and if Highlights for Children has already been discovered by Jarod, you’ll just have to bear with me, m’kay?

Summary: Jarod encounters something that most Americans experience every six months: the dentist!

A New, Unpleasant Experience
by: chopsticks
p g


Jarod strolled into the dentist's office and took stock of his surroundings. All around him were magazines on racks for the patients to read. Straight ahead was the front desk where a secretary chipped away at her computer. He walked up to it and leaned on the green countertop.

"May I help you?" the secretary offered politely, looking up from her computer.

"Yes, I have an appointment with Dr. Hendricks."

"Okay, your name, please."

"Jarod Hibbs."

"Alright," the secretary responded, entering a series of commands into her computer. "Since you're a first-time patient, you'll need to fill out this form. Here's a pen and a clipboard. Your appointment is for four o'clock. Have a seat in the waiting area," she directed him with a smile before turning back to her computer.

"Thank you," he said to her, but she was already absorbed by what she was doing. "Okay, then," Jarod mumbled under his breath as he went and took a seat in front of the fireplace that was positioned between two bay windows.

A fireplace, now that's original! he thought to himself as he clicked the top of the pen and looked down at the sheets on the clipboard.


Well, that's fairly easy! he thought as he wrote down his answer, careful to use the last name he was using this time.


Uh-oh. That could be a problem. I'll say I'm thirty-nine, I certainly look it!

Date of birth?

Bigger problem. I have no idea. I guess I'll just have to make one up.

When was your last check-up?

Hmmm. . . I suppose it would have to be when I was still in the Centre. So, it'd have to be four years ago. He quickly wrote down his answer, glancing at the clock to his right. It was three-thirty. He had plenty of time.

Do you have any allergies to certain medications or pharmaceutical products?

Not that I know of. . . Although it is a possibility. I better write "no" and see where that takes me.

How often do you brush and floss?

Well, now I always try to do it twice a day, but my pretends sometimes get in the way. I'll put "typically twice a day", that should be alright.

He continued through the entire questionnaire until it was five minutes before his scheduled appointment. He got up and handed the pen, papers, and clipboard back to the secretary. He then went and looked at some of the magazines, finding one that piqued his interest.

"Highlights for Children." Interesting.
Jarod went and sat down again, looking intently through the magazine. Not soon after he started that a hygienist came out and called his name.

"That's me!" he called out, getting up from his chair.
"Wonderful! It's nice to meet you, Jarod. I'm Cindy. I see you're enjoying our magazines," she said, barely able to hold back the smile that came to her face from seeing a grown man looking through a children's magazine.

"Yes, I am. You know, these should be distributed to all the children via a mailing list of some sort," he said, holding up the magazine. The hygienist simply cleared her throat and turned away so he couldn't see her trying to stifle her laughter.

"Follow me, please," she got out, stifling her laughter.

They went around the front desk, where the secretary was now rifling through a filing cabinet, and headed through the French doors. They continued their journey down the hallway behind the door to her exam room, the second to last one in the row.

"Have a seat," Cindy motioned to the chair in the middle of the room, over which there was a medical light. Jarod promptly sat down in the chair and stretched out, his tall frame dwarfed by the size of the chair.

"Okay," she said after thoroughly washing her hands at the sink, "I'm gonna put this bib on you and then we'll get started!" The petite blond seemed extremely excited about her job, but how one could be, especially with this kind of job, Jarod might never know. He had heard about the one girl that bit her orthodontist often. Her name was Tiffany, if memory served him. She was practically a legend in the dentistry community.

After putting the little blue paper bib on Jarod, Cindy readjusted the light so it glared directly into his face. He had to squint because the light was so bright.

"All right now, open wide!" Cindy declared, snapping on the latex gloves.

Here we go. . . Jarod thought to himself and took a deep breath.

Cindy began to shove various instruments into his mouth, scratching at his teeth and looking at them. The scratching was really getting to him, giving him a major migraine.

God, this is worse than anything the Centre could ever concoct! he thought bitterly to himself, wondering why the hell he wanted to come to the dentist's in the first place.

It would be a new experience, one that every person must go through. He cursed his earlier reasoning and wanted nothing more than to strangle Cindy for the horrible scraping sound that was resonating throughout his head.

Compose yourself. It's not that bad. Other people go to the dentist every six months and they've survived. I can get through this.

"Okay then, now it's time for the doctor to come in and take a look!" Cindy said cheerfully. Jarod just blanched at the thought that there was more to come.

He had to wait several minutes until the doctor came, all the while holding the stupid suction tube in his mouth. It would occasionally get caught on his tongue and he'd have to force it off, leaving a painful spot on his tongue. He cursed the inventor of the machine.

"All right, Jarod. I'm Doctor Hendricks. How are you feeling today?"

Be a lot better if I wasn't in this damn chair!

"Fine," he said out loud.

"Excellent! Well, since you're a new patient, we're going to ask that you have some x-rays taken. You wouldn't mind, would you?" the tall doctor asked, taking a seat on the stool situated nearby. Jarod shook his head no, trying to dislodge the suction tube from his tongue for the tenth time.

"Okay then. But first, I'm going to examine you. You can take that out now," the doctor said, motioning towards the instrument he was holding.

Thank whatever God there is! he thought to himself, grateful to get that dumb thing out of his mouth and far away from his tongue. The doctor scooted closer and snapped on a pair of gloves just as Cindy had. He cracked his knuckles and then told Jarod to "open wide"—something Jarod was certain was a way of patronizing the patient.

"My, my, my. Look at all these cavities! How much sugar do you consume?" the doctor demanded of his prone patient.

Oh, crap. . .

"Not that much," Jarod said meekly, looking down at his hands.


Dr. Hendricks then began naming off the various teeth that had cavities, coming to a grand total of eleven. Cindy recorded everything the doctor said and finished up the notes from her examination.

"Now Jarod, you're gonna have to lay off the candy for a while. Do you have any on you?" the doctor said sternly, looking intently at Jarod.

"Yes," was his weak response as he pulled out the monster PEZ dispenser and handed it over.

But he doesn't know about the other two. . . Jarod thought wickedly to himself.

"Thank you. Now, we're going to take your X-rays. Put this tab in the left side of your mouth and bite down on it."

Jarod complied, finding the tab to be very uncomfortable and grating against his cheek. The X-ray was quickly taken and the tab was moved to the other side and then to the front. Those X-rays were taken, much to Jarod's chagrin and struggles. He was tired of this and wanted to leave, but not before punching the horrible and mean doctor.

What the hell? I'm thinking like a five year old! You can do this! If a five year old can, you can too. Jarod thought to himself, trying to convince himself it was okay and that he could actually get through this without killing someone.

"Okay, we're done!" the doctor practically shouted. He let out a sigh of relief and motioned for Jarod to sit back in the chair once more.

"Now it's time for the fluoride treatment!" Cindy said happily as she pulled out the various things needed. "Now put this in your mouth. It has fluoride on it, so don't swallow. You can use this to get rid of any excess water." She left Jarod sitting there, suction tube in hand with a Styrofoam grin.

Dear God, I am never doing this again! Get me out of here! No, I can do this. This is the last treatment. I'll be okay. . .
Ten minutes later, Cindy came back into the exam room and Jarod was trying to remove the suction tube from his tongue once again. She turned off the light and instructed Jarod to spit out the Styrofoam mouthpiece and spit in the sink. She then proceeded to clear his mouth of any of the foam leftover from the fluoride treatment.

"Okay, we're all done! We'd like to schedule an appointment for next week so we can put in your fillings that you're going to need, okay?" Cindy smiled, making a few final notes in the chart

"Okay," was all that Jarod responded, resisting the urge to run screaming from the room.

"Wonderful! Go and make an appointment with our secretary then. See you next time!" Cindy said happily and waved as Jarod practically ran down the hall and out the first door. He quietly approached the front desk, wanting nothing more than to get out of there as soon as possible. The secretary barely looked up at him as he approached the desk.

"May I help you?"

"I need to make another appointment," Jarod said with a loud sigh.

I'd rather be back in the Centre than ever come here again. At least at the Centre they put me under when they clean my teeth.

"Okay. When?" the secretary asked, showing no real interest whatsoever.

"Next week sometime."

"Okay, we have an opening next Monday at 2:30. Would that be acceptable to you?"

"Yeah, sure."

"Okay then, here's the card stating the time of your appointment. See you next week."

With those final words the secretary ignored anything further he had to say and began working on her computer again. Jarod turned away and began heading to the door, grateful to get out of the place.

"Hey, Jarod!"

He froze. It was the doctor. He really didn't want to talk to the doctor.

"Yeah?" Jarod asked, turning around and looking across the room to where the doctor stood.

"See you next week for your fillings!"

"Yeah!" Jarod said, giving him the thumbs-up sign. He quickly turned on his heel and headed towards the door, but an idea struck him.

I'll show them. . . he thought evilly to himself as he grabbed a Highlights Magazine off the rack and tucked it under his arm. He then walked out the door, hoping to disappear before the next Monday came around.


the end.

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