10 January 2011

The Gutta Percha Synchronicities

I had a root canal in November. It was kind of an ordeal, because the root canal led to needing a crown, and the temporary crown fell out on a Friday night, and then the tooth next to it decided to be unstable and an old silver filling fell out of it, necessitating another crown, but that all led to me saying to my dentist that I thought two crowns should get a bonus tiara - and I have an awesome dentist because he actually gave me a tiara when I went back to get the second permanent crown put in. (Was that a long enough sentence? Good, because sometimes I like run-on sentences.) Anyway. After I had the root canal, I went poking around on the intertubes, as one does, and discovered that the rubbery stuff they stick down into the canals after they remove the dead nerves is gutta percha - a bio-inert natural latex.

Gutta percha? Huh, I thought. I had, just the month before, read a book in which a character "chases a piece of gutta percha round a golf course." That is, gutta percha = golf ball.

After going through my GoodReads account, to see what I'd been reading, because who can remember, I figured out that the gutta percha had been in Josephine Tey's book, The Franchise Affair.


So, the same stuff inside my tooth is what's inside a golf ball, or was, anyway. Miracles of modern technology.

Then, it was time to mend the girlie's jeans. Why she only gets holes in the right knee, I'll never understand. I pulled open my drawer of odd sewing notions, like zippers and twill tape and pellon and snaps, and found an unopened package of vintage carpet binding, dark green. Idly wondering whether it would work in lieu of iron-on mending tape, I read the label and discovered - oh, for heaven's sake - gutta percha! The melty stuff on the tape was made of gutta percha. I didn't use it because the label said it wasn't washable, but what on earth is the chance that I would encounter gutta percha three times in as many months?

You had any run-ins with gutta percha recently?

13 comments:

Harriet M. Welsch said...

Your dentist rocks. We have regular run-ins with gutta percha because the bad kids across the street like to hit golf balls into the wooded part of our yard. We collect them and give them to my brother-in-law, who actually plays.

FreshHell said...

No, not outside a Wodehouse novel, but I do have encounters with the same new thing appearing over and over again in my life. Like you and the g-p.

liz said...

I love The Franchise Affair!

YourFireAnt said...

"Kookaburra sits on the old gutta percha tree.ee.e.eee " (she sings, lustily)

;-)

Heide said...

No, actually, it's not a run-on sentence; it's a good example of parataxis, which is the most frequent method of compounding sentences in Old English prose.

Imperatrix said...

That word feels like it's floating around in my head from somewhere, but nope -- not gutta percha synchronicities. Synchronicities in general, though? Yep. At least 3 times per month. I love them!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I have not heard of it, but being in possession of a crowned tooth I probably have some in my head.

painted maypole said...

i was thinking this year i will start keeping a list of what I read, because I have several times done this "oh, where did I read that?" or "you would love this book... if only I could remember what it was called or who at least who wrote it..."

mayberry said...

Never heard of the stuff, but I'm glad it's holding my two front teeth in my head!

The Library Lady said...

Hoping not to. Got to go to the dentist though at the end of the month....

I had double root canals several Christmases ago--about 5 days apart. The dentist didn't give me a tiara, but he did give me a slight discount on the second root canal. And considering his office looked like something out of Nip/Tuck, I was very,very glad of it.

S. said...

Oh, someone else already said Wodehouse! He uses it as a character name, I'm pretty sure.

I spent years, in the time before Google, trying to remember where I'd read the phrase "lobelia-growing classes." Different grad student friends I asked about it insisted it was Virginia Woolf or E.M. Forster--in fact, it's from Joe Orton, which gives it a completely different kind of sting.

Not sure why gutta-percha made me think of this, though.

(And I do grow lobelias--the annuals have the best dark-blue shade I've found in a flower.)

Patois said...

All you've done is made me mourn for my lack of dental insurance that has me walking around, with gutta percha nearby, uncrowned since I broke my crown awhile back. I guess I gutta percha new crown out-of-pocket.

Angela said...

I hadn't previously commented on this previously, just waiting for my own gutta percha moment. Last night, we were watching an episode of Wild Wild West and Jim West was attacked by an octopus-like robot that was made of... gutta percha. Apparently it was a common substance in the days of yore, your you're.