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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Dentistry and the Vulnerability of being the Patient


As I was plotting and planning the characters and plot of “The Pond,” I began to wonder about what vocation Mike Adams, the main character would have.

Taking into account that his family was well-to-do when he was growing up, I considered the usual employment ideas; doctor, lawyer, stockbroker, entrepreneur etc. Then I began to wonder about what some consider to be a step below a doctor, either a dentist or a chiropractor.

For some reason, dentistry provides interesting character development. Consider the number of people who have dental phobias and movies that have perpetuated that fear even further by creating films like Marathon Man. Watching Dustin Hoffman’s character is particularly horrifying as he is tortured with dental procedures.
While I didn’t push the envelope to that extreme, I did plant the suggestion by having Adams be a dentist. And, surprise! One day, he is paid a visit by long lost childhood friend, Bill Simpson. Discussions of the past and certain neighbors cause Simpson to feel vulnerable as “Little Mikey Adams is messing with his teeth.”

Some fears are never outgrown. They simply intensify with age.

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