UNITED STATES—“This was one of Kyle’s permanent molars, so we’re going to do our best to save it,” said the dentist. Meanwhile Allegra was so nervous, steeling herself for the heist of dental work for her son, and discreetly sharpened the left index finger between her finely manicured right thumb and index.  She already imagined holding it on the pocket of her raw silk jacket and saying, “This is a stick up.”

“From the looks of things, I think Kyle got the idea he was exempt from brushing because baby teeth grow back.”

“Well, wasn’t he?” said his mother.

Meanwhile Dr. Feyz had his fingers in Kyle’s mouth and put in the hissing tube to vacuum up the spittle. The child, prisoner in the chair, moaned and groaned something. “Open your mouth wider,” the dentist said, and he drilled deeply, filling the atmosphere with the odor of singed dentin.

He used the vice grip, perfected during dental school, to mold the smarmy gradeschooler’s head in the right direction, and boxed him on the ear. Normally, Allegra would have threatened a lawsuit for mistreatment, but here it seemed appropriate for his own criminal neglect of teeth that had brought on this abscess. A local anesthesia spread numbness around the child’s cheeks quickly.

“What about laughing gas?” Allegra said.

“We used that on special occasion,” said the doctor, threatening Kyle, “Open your mouth! Open your mouth!” He uttered in an operatic trill to the little patient and then he asked him, “Do you think Heidegger was the real father of existentialism.”

There was mumbling and gurgling in the far reaches of the pre-teen’s throat. Yanked by the hair.

“I thought so,” said the dentist. “Here,” he offered to Allegra, “try a bit of laughing gas.” He applied the mask to her nose; she had scarcely taken a breath and the euphoria thrill coursed her body. She was free, for a miraculous moment, of the near-chronic angst of living in Beverly Hills.

The dentist took a whiff himself. They were both feeling elated, and the doctor was feeling especially inspired. In the next few minutes, he had done a couple of root canals, and capped Kyle’s uneven front teeth, that even matched the slight beige tint on Kyle’s young teeth caused by chugging too many Frappucinos.

Then Dr. Feyz got more inspired. “Look at the circles around your eyes, young man.” He again drew out the hand mirror, and Kyle gurgled. “I can do something about that. After all, we are the Beverly Hills Institute of Dental Beauty and Anti-Aging.” And he debuted a fresh pair of latex gloves and with panache to burn wielded a hypodermic the size of a turkey baster. “It looks like you’ve not been keeping good hours, young man. Burning the midnight oil, are we?”

Kyle groaned or gagged—hard to say which. “Hardly ever sleeps,” his mother said and added, “You wouldn’t believe the amount of homework they give these kids.”

“You know what I say about anti-aging,” Dr. Feyz said as he treated the eight year old. “You can never start too young.”

Allegra chuckled and took a fresh deep whiff of laughing gas.

“Don’t mind if I do myself,” said Dr. Feyz and his nostrils sucked in the gas.

After administering the Botox injection, Dr. Feyz got out the mirror for Kyle to behold the results. Kyle still had the suction hose hung on his jaw and some clamps around molar number two, so he wasn’t very articulate in his joy about his new teeth and face. Laughing and basking in the achievements of the Beverly Hills Institute of Dental Beauty and Anti-Aging, Allegra, his mother, suddenly remembered she was on a mission.

“This is a stick up,” she blurted, extending her index finger and placing her hand on her pocket. “We’re taking all this dental work and walking out the door, Mister.”

“If you’re doing a stick-up, the hand goes in the pocket and not on it,” Dr Feyz said. Allegra awkwardly tried to remedy her gaffe. “Don’t worry, I always had a great deal of trouble with prepositions, too,” said Dr. Feyz.  Chuckling, he promised to send a bill in the mail.

Chuckling, Allegra went out of the dental office, as Dr. Feyz gallantly held the door open for her. Kyle moaned, “I feel like a chipmunk, my cheeks are still numb.” He was not chuckling, but there were chuckles all around for Allegra and Dr. Feyz. Chuckling , she pulled Kyle by the ear and headed back to the two-hour free parking . Allegra squealed with excitement, “I’ve never had so much fun at the dentist!”

Grady Miller is a humorist and author of “Lighten Up Now: The Grady Diet,” and the upcoming “Later Bloomer.” (both available on Amazon).