Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Jack Bauer Visits the Dentist

Today I went to the dentist for my six month exam. While at the dental office, my mind for some reason decided to pretend that I was Jack Bauer from 24 being interrogated by enemy agents . . .

The following events take place between 9:00 am and 10:00 am.

Upon getting captured [summoned from the waiting room] I find myself strapped into a chair. My interrogator, a tall blond woman, lowers the back of my chair so that I am staring up at the ceiling. The woman wears a blue mask over her nose and mouth to conceal her identity. I know that all operatives from her home country, Oralhygienia, are highly skilled at extracting information.

On the ceiling above me are posters with propaganda slogans. One of them shows a dog hugging another dog. The caption: “Hold a true friend with both hands.” Another poster features trees and a lush green hillside. Its caption: “Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” I hum the Star-Spangled Banner to avoid being corrupted by these subversive attempts at mind control. The masked operative shines a bright light in my face and forces me to open my mouth. She then assaults my gums with a sharp metal poker thingy. After about ten minutes of jabbing and scraping, the interrogation begins:

“Ready to talk, Mr. Bauer? Tell us the passwords for the White House security system.”
“How about now?” She drives the metal poker into the gum line below a molar.
I cry out in agony and shout, “Why do you hate freedom?”
“We do not hate your country's freedoms, Mr. Bauer. It is America's greed, materialism, and inconsisent flossing habits that we seek to destroy. Oh, could you tilt your head a little more towards me?”
“Thank you. Now where were we? Oh yes, the White House. Perhaps you might talk if you knew that we have your daughter Kim locked in a room with a cougar.”
“That didn’t work in Season 2 and it won’t work now!”
“Very well, Mr. Bauer. You have forced me to use a little something I call the Cleaner.”

The masked woman puts a paste-like substance on the tip of a small cylindrical device, which she uses to start buffing my teeth. The device sounds like a small drill, but this process doesn’t hurt at all. I consider telling her that, but decide against it. When I still refuse to talk, the woman says that I must now face their master interrogator—a man known as “The Dentist.” The woman exits, leaving me alone in the room. Deciding that it’s time to escape, I shift my body to turn on the cell phone in my pocket. I shift again to activate the speaker function and dial Chloe at CTU.

“Jack, where are you?”
“I’ve been captured. They've taken me to a torture facility, a place they call the Dentist’s Office. I’m trapped in Exam Room A and need an escape route. Can you get me the schematics for this building?”
“Sure. I’ve got ’em right here on my desktop.”
“I’m thinking if I can get out of this chair I’ll jump on the counter, punch through a ceiling tile and then shimmy out through an air vent.”
“Well Jack, you could do that. Or you could walk out the door behind you. That leads to a hallway, which leads to the waiting room and the front exit. Oh wait, Jack! My screen shows that someone is moving towards you.”
“Damn it!”

I hear Chloe taking a drink. The door to my room opens and The Dentist enters. “Hello, Mr. Bauer,” he says, while examining X-rays on the wall. “Good news. No cavities. But Yvonne tells me you still won’t give us the passwords. Perhaps this will loosen your tongue.” He pokes around in my mouth with a metal wire thingy similar to the one that his assistant used earlier. A while later he turns to write something on a sheet of paper. While he’s distracted, I’m able to wriggle free of the straps holding me in the chair. I grab a cup of Listerine and throw it in his face. I then snatch some of his torture implements [a toothbrush, a small tube of toothpaste, and a roll of floss] and burst out of the room. Following Chloe’s escape route, I race down the hallway and into the waiting room. But someone is blocking the door. So I leap through the window, landing on the sidewalk amid a shower of broken glass.

In the parking lot, I toss an old lady out of her car and prepare to drive away. From the building behind me I hear The Dentist call out, “You may have escaped this time, Mr. Bauer. But we will meet again . . . in about six months!”

09:59:58 . . . 09:59:59 . . . 10:00:00

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