First of all, let me preface this potential mess of a post by saying how much I love my dentist. I’ve been going to him for 20 years and he may very well be the love of my life. He is so gentle that I have had fillings done without freezing. If I do need numbing, he does this vibrating massage thing to my cheeks so when he sticks the needle in my mouth, I am so distracted, I don’t feel the jabbing prick. As he digs away, he always tells me how awesome I am in his cute South African accent. I never dread going there and in fact, I sometimes go early because he has the best magazines in town. He subscribes to In-Style, People, and Men’s Health. I have learned some things from Men’s Health I may have never known from my own field work. And when I say “field work,” these days it’s restricted to watching “Californication” which I know is worse than a fairy tale and Hank Moody is the fictitious Holy Grail of sexual prowess who would never exist in the real world. A girl can dream.
Anyway, although I love my dentist, I hate his receptionist. She is an uptight Leaside mom-type who obsesses over her preschool-age son, named Adam. She wears a headset and always on the phone talking to her nanny about Adam who is a hellion. When the kid gets on the phone, she threatens to “punish” him when she gets home for being “a naughty boy.” I’ve been privy to this conversation more than once, and I only go there twice a year. You just know where this kid is going in 20 years, I can picture his ad on Craigslist under “M4W” with a cryptic picture of a wooden spoon, captioned; “Spank me.” She is a control freak. Last year, when I was waiting, the tv was on and Dr. Oz was talking about how to enhance the female orgasm. She grabbed the remote and changed the channel to the monotonous reel of petty crimes and weather reports that is CP24 and muttered about how the topic on Dr. Oz was “inappropriate.” And I was like, “Bitch, please, I don’t have that nailed yet, I’d like to hear what he has to say!”
Just other day, while Freddy was getting some fillings, I was in the waiting room alone blithely pouring over “The Best Sex Tips of 2011” in Men’s Health, when a woman and her 3 children plunked themselves down. Now I don’t care about children, I can easily tune them out. Their inane blathering is often repetitive and rhythmic so I can translate it into white noise. It’s parents I hate. Sure enough, this woman was one of those cows who talk loudly and refer to themselves in the third person: “Mummy wants you to do your homework while you wait, Mummy is tired, blah blah..” I pegged her for one of those older mothers who miraculously spawned these 3 snotgobblers from her rotting egg farm so she needed to advertise how fabulous her parenting skills were. At one point her son, age 11, picked up one of those pop-up picture books meant for pre-schoolers. This one was about “The Creation” as depicted by Adam and Eve. I know, right? Why is this in a dentist’s office? The receptionist is a religious freak and she probably brought it in from her Bible Study group. The kid opens the book and up pops a cartoon drawing of Adam and Eve and an apple tree. Eve has her back to us and Adam is facing her. Her cartoon bum and his cartoon peen are obscured by a cartoon bush. The boy holds it up, “Look mummy!” The mother shrieks: “Ryan! Put that away! That is so inappropriate! You’re embarrassing me!”
Now I am the only one within earshot and I am sitting with a magazine spread on my lap of a woman with her real legs up in the air with a man’s real head popping through, obscuring her real bush, and I am thinking that between this lady and the receptionist, exactly what goes on in North Toronto behind closed doors? How do they raise their sons? Do they make them shower with their clothes on? Shame is their weapon, the wooden spoon that keeps their behaviour “appropriate.”
Speaking of which, last week, my daughter and I went to see the film, “Shame” with Michael Fassbender and his penis. And yes, this was our main purpose AND we liked him in Jane Eyre. We consider ourselves to be “British Celebrity Penis Connoisseurs.” 6 years ago, when she was not much older than that Mummy-whipped boy in the dentist’s office, we took a trip to London to see Daniel Radcliffe, aka Harry Potter, go full monty in “Equus.” Neither of us particularly enjoy live theatre but we got to see Harry Potter’s Arab-strapped penis boner and that is worth the price of admission. And no, it did not scar my 12 year old daughter, it empowered her. My first viewing of a non-relative’s penis was not so spectacular, it was semi-traumatizing. When I was 10, my friend and I would crash sugaring off parties at the sugar shack on the bottom of my street. We’d steal syrup taffy from the trough and if we got caught, we’d run into the woods. Once we saw a drunken French Canadian man with his pants completely down, wang out, taking a slash in a bucket attached to one of the maple trees. You know, the ones that collect the sap that makes the syrup. Yes, he was urinating. No, I never eat pancakes.
In “Shame,” Michael Fassbender’s penis is the protagonist of the film. His character, Brandon, doesn’t say much, but his peen keeps the plot going. It’s not like it gets closeups or anything but it has more screen time than most Actra members. Usually in a non-porn cinematic experience, you might see a flash of pube and a blur of tubular flesh from afar and the actor is in a fast action mode like diving into a pool in the dark. In “Shame”, there is a decent sequence of frames that pans it as it sways from the shower to the kitchen, in the brightness of the morning, like an elephant trunk sniffing for peanuts. The film made me sad for the penis, “penis empathy’ if you will, Freud. It’s a bleak and realistic depiction of sexual addiction, and childhood shame is the cornerstone. This is why you can’t be an asshole as a parent. Respect the penis, it’s got a fragile ego.
On that note, here is the trailer for “Shame,” go see it, take your mom: