lurch-wtfI’m doing my part lately to help the service sector of the economy.

Yesterday I brought my work van, formerly named Ed (for reasons I can’t quite remember), back to the dealer’s shop to fix the same problem it had when I brought it to them in December. Around 45-55 MPH, it would shudder and lurch. I feared a new transmission would be in our future, but they ran tests and cat scans and whatever else they do in the cavernous exam room and gave me a laundry list of minor items. Minor, except for the $600 total bill. All that work fixed the issue for about a week. It was better, but not gone – and it steadily got worse until I finally made another appointment. This time they fixed it all the way, and it only cost $250.

I’m still calling it Lurch, for romantic reasons.

Do you name your vehicles, or is it just us? Do tell.

Today I visited my new dentist. She is highly recommended, and I’ve always had relatively good experiences with dentists (although I have to consciously unclench my hands and shoulders and feet and neck and cheeks (all of them) several times during each procedure). Today was Initial Exam Day, even though I’d been there once before for a toothache, which went away on its own. I’ve never had so many pictures taken of my gob, from 16 X-rays to photojournalist-style mug shots to really really really closeups – all digital, with a viewing screen mounted on the chair. Freaky.

After the photos came the measuring, which is a code word for poking sharp tools into the gums until a) the tool stops, b) blood flows, c) the patient screams, or d) all of the above. That was a whole creel o’ fun right there, can’t wait to do it again.

The result of all this poking, suctioning, examining, and photographing? Dr. Dentist wants me to buy her a new boat, or maybe pay for a new jacuzzi in her cottage/ mansion. She says all my silver fillings, collected  before my 17th birthday, are cracking my teeth and showing decay around the meeting of tooth and metal. My (previously apparently healthy) teeth need all sorts of rejiggering and scraping and even replacing in one case, to the tune of about $11,000, which doesn’t include the $260 for today’s visit. My new dental insurance doesn’t cover even 10% of that.

I’m now collecting recipes for gruel and soup. I wonder if I can get all my meals in a shake?capn-shake