Sit back and relax. Well, that may be unrealistic because you aren’t exactly relaxed when you come here, but sit back and remain calm. Let the squeaky vinyl chair with qualities of a Craftmatic adjustable bed envelope you as the harsh rectangular light on a crane dangles above your head. Out comes the little metal scraper, out comes the mirror on a metal stick, and on comes the most inoffensively hideous musical soundtrack you have ever heard, a veritable aural cavity.
When I was a kid, my dentist was apparently a huge fan of Steve Winwood, who was at the height of his popularity at the time. I have many unpleasant memories of receiving fluoride treatments and getting x-rays to the moribund strains of “Back in the High Life.” And of course the fluoride treatments were no big deal – the music was the unpleasant part.
I don’t understand why dentist’s offices must play such horrible music, really I don’t. I mean, I get it, they don’t want anything that will be offensive or stress people out. But why not just put on something quietly instrumental and new agey then? Why subject us to a steady diet of the lamest midtempo adult contemporary dreck-mix that anyone could devise? What is it about sitting in a dentist’s office that entails we must listen to a musical parade of monotonous beta male vocals?
Partially due to my fascination with this topic, and partially due to my morbid idea to attempt to create the worst Pandora station ever devised, I decided to create a Pandora station of the type of music you’d hear in the dentist’s office. I called my hideous station “Novacaine.”
I’ve listened to Novacaine thus far for about the length of a routine dental cleaning, and let me tell you, I think I did a bang-up job. I mean, I really feel like I’m about to receive my goodie bag of floss and a new toothbrush. And I mean that in the worst possible way. Here are the songs Novacaine has played:
Higher Love – Steve Winwood
Throwing It All Away – Genesis
Solsbury Hill – Peter Gabriel
End of the Innocence – Don Henley
Desert Rose – Sting
Valerie – Steve Winwood
In the Air Tonight – Phil Collins
Take Me Home Tonight – Eddie Money
Learning to Fly – Tom Petty
Beauty and the Beast – Peabo Bryson and Celine Dion
All At Once – Whitney Houston
You Make My Dreams – Hall & Oates
That’s the Way It Is – Celine Dion
Suffice it to say, I really hope I don’t have to listen to this station any more often than once every six months. Hey, come to think of it, maybe that’s the idea of making dentist’s office music so horrible. If patients hate the soundtrack enough, they’ll make sure they brush and floss really well so they won’t have to come back anytime soon. Genius!
While we’re on the topic of endurance tests, today was a 20-mile run Saturday for me as I prepare for the Boston Marathon. Because it was around freezing outside and I am a cold weather baby as established in previous postings, I went to the gym. At this gym, the indoor track is directly across the hallway from the cardio equipment, so I split my time between the two to break up the monotony thusly:
3 miles on track
3 miles on treadmill
6 miles on track
Final 8 miles on treadmill (while watching the first half of the Wichita State/Miami NCAA game)
I tell you, college basketball is the greatest programming ever devised for treadmill running. I have one more 20-miler on tap next week before tapering, and if the weather’s even slightly warmer than it was today, you can be assured I’ll hit the outdoor trails for a more enjoyable experience. And I sure won’t be listening to the Novacaine station on Pandora.
Thirty days to Boston!