Sheltered Islander: Dentist Chronicles – The Chicken Protocol

Employ the Chicken Protocol! Dentist Fear
Employ the Chicken Protocol! Photo: gerenme/iStock/Thinkstock

Mary: “Judy, Ms. Flynn called today saying she lost a filling. I gave her an appointment for next Tuesday. When I did, I saw a little yellow flag pop up next to her name, what’s that about?”

Judy: “She’s on CHICKEN PROTOCOL. We have many patients on the Island who are big chickens when it comes to seeing the dentist. Dr. Bob and I worked up a protocol for them. I’ll need to pick up the following supplies: M&Ms, silly string, party hats, pretty stickers, tequila, margarita mix, a blender and three gas masks.”

Mary: “Sounds like a party.”

Judy: “I know, but trust me, the CHICKEN PROTOCOL is no joke.”


Judy: “Okay guys, she’s pulling in now. She’s getting out of her car. Okay Mary, throw some M&Ms in her direction. She’s taking the bait. Keep throwing M&Ms closer and closer to the door. Okay Mary, take a second and put on your gas mask. Dr. Bob is going to flood the office with Nitrous. Keep the M&Ms going right into Room Three.”

Mary: “It’s working! She’s inside, we’re coming down the hall. She’s smiling. Are you ready for her?”

Dr. Bob: “We’re ready. Now watch, Mary. We grab her by the shoulders, give a little kick in the knee, and spin her into the chair.”

Patient: “How come I don’t get a mask? I wanna play too!”

Dr. Bob: “I have your mask right here, Ms. Sally, there you go, breathe in. I’m putting a nice party hat on you.”

Patient: “I need some music! I want Carmen, I love Carmen!”

Dr. Bob: “Sure. Okay girls, we can remove our gas masks now. Somebody find the CD with classical piano.”

Mary: “Why can’t she listen to Carmen if she wants to? We have Bizet’s Carmen here.”

Judy: “She loves that opera and tries to sing with it. Carmen under nitrous is such an egregious offense to the opera world that the ghost of Maria Callas would haunt her for a year.”

Mary: “All this just to get a filling?”

Judy: “No, it’s worse than that. Half the time, she needs nitrous just to make an appointment. We have several patients like her. Wait till Mr. Smith comes in. We use nitrous and horse tranquilizers on him. And then there’s Lefty. His wife brings him in at gunpoint. But it’s all right because she usually doesn’t load the gun.”

Mary: “They taught us about anxious patients in dental school, but they didn’t cover any of this stuff.”

Judy: “That’s because these people are so far over on the anxiety dial, that the next click starts again at normal. Bait and switch, lying, threatening, cajoling and thumbscrews are all viable options in our CHICKEN PROTOCOL.”

Dr. Bob: “She’s done. Judy, get the refrigerator dolly. Mary, get the pretty stickers, a copy of my invoice and a pen.”

Judy: “Okay, I think we’ve got her positioned on the dolly.”

Dr. Bob: “Looks good. The bungie cords are holding. Let’s get her into the back of her car.”

(At the car…)

Dr. Bob: “And we slide her into the back seat. Pin the invoice on her sweater. Put some stickers on her hand. Make sure her party hat is on straight. Hit her with a little silly string. When she wakes up, she’ll think she was at a party and drive home.”

Mary: “So what’s all the margarita stuff for?”

Judy: “That’s for us. We always have a celebration after a successful chicken appointment.”

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