Miss Jennifer Hasenfuss - Dental Hygienist
(Ep 60 "Courage")
Over the course of the average lifetime you meet a lot of people. Some of them stick with you through thick and thin. Some weave their way through your life, and disappear forever. But once in a while, someone comes along who earns a permanent place in your heart.
(Kevin parks his bike and enters the dentist office.)
Someone like, say...
Hi, Kevin! (Smiles.)
Miss Hasenfuss, my dental hygienist.
Hi, Miss Hasenfuss! (Smiles.)
I'm ready for you now. (Smiles.)
(Kevin is in the dentist chair.)
Actually, she was more than just my dental hygienist.
So, have you been brushing?
You bet. Every day.
Take a look.
Our relationship went beyond lower incisors and upper bicuspids and dental floss. She was someone I could really talk to.
(Miss Hasenfuss has a mirror in his mouth.)
(Garbled): So, how's it been going?
Oh, busy. You?
(Garbled): Well...you know.
She smelled like Ivory soap and herbal shampoo...And knew all the right things to say to make a man feel like...a man.
And even though we met only twice a year...it was pretty clear we had something...special.
(Kevin spits into the bowl. Now, doing X-rays.)
Last one. Say "Cheeeeese!"
We'll let the doctor take a look at these. But, I'm sure that they'll be perfect. As usual.
But it wasn't until the X-rays were over and the big lead bib came off...that our relationship really came alive.
So how's school going?
Great! I graduate ninth-grade this year.
Really! Quite an accomplishment.
Well, you know...
We shared things - man to woman...woman to man.
You know, I've never really told anybody this before. But...promise you won't laugh?
Oh, no...I-I mean yes...(shrugs)...I promise. (Smiles.)
I always thought I'd like to go back to school some day.
I think so. There is only so far you can go in life cleaning teeth. You know what I mean?
Oh, oh - of course.
But I never had the courage. All those tests. Tests scare me.
God, was she cute!
Oh, tests aren't so bad. I mean, I've taken a bunch of tests. I bet you'll do fine.
Hmmm...Really think so?
Oh, absolutely. No question about it.
Thanks for the vote of confidence. But I think...I'm just not a very courageous person. (Nods.) Not like you.
And there you had it. Total mutual admiration. I admired her for her, uh...
(Miss Hasenfuss smiles and holds up a toothbrush.)
I saved you the blue one.
And she admired me for my courage.
(After Wayne tells Kevin Miss Hasenfuss called, he hurries over the the dentist office, flings the door open and pauses. Miss Hasenfuss looks up surprised, then smiles.)
Boy, you got here fast!
Oh! (Gestures.) I was just in the neighborhood. (Smiles.) Did you...(smiles)...want me?
Kevin, I have something to tell you...and I'm not quite sure how you're gonna take it. (Frowns.)
Maybe not. But standing there, the possibilities seemed endless.
What is it? (Smiles.)
You have a cavity. You're gonna have to see Doctor Tucker.
(Another day at the dentist.)
Now a word of explanation here. I'd never had a cavity before. Still under Miss Hasenfuss' watchful eye, I figured...how bad could it be?
-(Fantasy - Kevin yells as he rises toward the ceiling with his arms outstretched. He stops, stuck to the ceiling. Dr. Tucker and Miss Hasenfuss turn and look at him.)
-Hmmm. Is that sensitive?
-(Kevin is stuck on the ceiling.)
(Back to reality.)
Kevin, are you alright?
Of course I wasn't. But then, I had an image to maintain here.
Fine! It was...fine. It was just a-a...charley-horse. In my leg.
Well, you sure were brave. A lot braver than me. That cavity looked pretty serious. I probably would have jumped out of my skin. (Smiles.)
Nah, it was nothin'. (Smiles.)
After all, that smile was reward enough for a few moments of agony. Especially now that it was all over.
Make an appointment on your way out.
Well...(chuckles)...that suckers not getting any smaller. Were gonna have to drill it and fill it. (Chuckles.) Book him, Hasenfuss. Next!
Was this guy joking? No way I was coming back.
How's Wednesday sound?
(Another day. Kevin's in the chair.)
Are we ready?
I think so.
-(Fantasy scene. Music "Purple Haze" - Jimi Hendrix plays, as the camera pans across a tray of "regular" dental instruments, then tools about the size of garden hand-tools, then yet more tools - of the powered variety. Dr. Tucker holds a chain-saw, and wearing a mirrored lamp on his forehead.)
-Open wide! This may...sting a little.
-(Dr. Tucker laughs diabolically as he starts the saw.)
-Help! Help me!
-(Dr. Tucker lowers the saw near Kevin's feet. Smoke starts to rise.)
-Oh! Is that sensitive? (Laughs diabolically.)
-(Shot of black high-heeled shoes. The camera pans up the sequined dress to Miss Hasenfuss' face. She holds a pick like a cigarette in one hand, supporting her arm with her other hand.)
-And I thought you were a man of courage.
Fortunately, by the next day, I'd pretty much managed to calm my fears.
(Kevin is looking off, worried, as he automatically turns pages of a magazine.)
Hi Kevin! You ready?
Uh...I think so.
Sure, nothing to worry about here. Just a simple little filling.
No. It's just...
Who was I kidding! I had to tell her. Tell her I was scared. Maybe she'd respect me for my honesty.
It's just...there was this fire.
Yeah. Yeah, at my house - so I gotta go.
Oh...I hope nobody was hurt?
No. No, nobody was hurt. (Gestures.) I just have to go now.
(Kevin stumbles backward onto the couch. He stands, and moves toward the door.)
(Miss Hasenfuss looks slightly puzzled. Sound of a whooping fire alarm.)
Grace under pressure!
(Another day at the market. Kevin and Norma are walking up an aisle.)
I was left with one option. Hide among women who shop.FONT>
(Kevin turns away slightly as he raises his hand toward his jaw, runs his tongue over his tooth and frowns.)
Honey, is something wrong?
Oh, it's your tooth, isn't it?
No - it's nothing. Really.
How long did you say it's going to Dr. Tucker to recover from that ski accident?
Oh, what tangled webs we weave...
Mom, I gotta go get some...
(Kevin is walking up another aisle.)
Face it. I was a man on the run. Running from fear, humiliation. Running from...
(Norma approaches up the aisle behind Kevin.)
Jennifer? Hi! (Smiles.)
Mrs. Arnold! Hello!
Oh my gosh - here they came. The woman I'd lied to...and the woman I'd lied to...The rock and the hard place.
(The women pin Kevin against the shelves with the carts.)
How have you been?
(Norma glances toward Miss Hasenfuss' cart.)
Look at all those books!
Yeah...I've been kinda reading up on things. I'm thinking of taking some classes, but...I'm not sure. Even though Kevin tells me I should. Right, Kevin?
But I'm afraid I'm just not as brave as he is.
Anyway, I can't stop to chat - I have to get back to the office. (Smiles.)
Dr. Tucker's office?
I was trapped. Like a rat in a ski accident.
But I thought -
It was time for some subtle creative thinking.
Uh, you know, she's gotta get back to the office. (Gestures.) And...you know, there's going to be traffic on the way home. Have you seen the lines at the check-out counters?
Oh...Well, I guess we really should go. I'm sure we'll bump into each other again.
Phew. I was outta there. Free and clear.
Oh, and Kevin, don't forget to reschedule your appointment.
(Miss Hasenfuss pushes her cart past Norma.)
And I'm so sorry about the fire.
(Norma looks at Kevin, shakes her head, then raises her eyebrows.)
(Outside the dentist office, Kevin stops Dr. Tucker who is on his way to a golf game.)
Is this an emergency?
Well, kinda. See, I need to make an appointment.
Well, speak to Hasenfuss. She keeps the books.
(Dr. Tucker turns and sets the golf bag in his car.)
Well, that's kind of the problem. (Frowns.)
(Dr. Tucker takes off his sunglasses.)
You see, I was wondering if...someone else could assist with the filling.
What's wrong with Hasenfuss?
Well, nothing. Nothing at all. (Gestures.) She's great. It's just...I'd just...rather have someone else, that's all.
Well! She's off Tuesdays. Why don't you come by at four o'clock?
You're the customer. (Smiles.) Hah.
And it was done. I'd been spared.
(Miss Hasenfuss approaches behind Kevin.)
Dr. Tucker? You won't tell her, will you? That I didn't want her there?
(Dr. Tucker lowers his head and looks over the top of his glasses. Kevin slowly looks over his shoulder.)
Doctor, I forgot to remind you...
(Kevin looks down.)
You have a nine o'clock tomorrow morning.
(Dr. Tucker points and nods, then gets in his car.)
(Kevin looks at Miss Hasenfuss, then down. Miss Hasenfuss looks at Kevin. Kevin looks at her again, then down.)
I have to be getting back to work. (Exits.)
(Another day at the dentist office.)
All I knew was...
(A middle-aged woman in glasses approaches.)
Oral hygiene...was never gonna be the same again.
I'm ready for you now.
The thing is...even though I knew Miss Hasenfuss wouldn't be around, I could almost see her there.
(Kevin walks up the hallway and glances into a room. Miss Hasenfuss is reaching up to a hanging potted plant.)
In that room where we'd shared our hopes, and dreams.
Did you come for your filling?
Good. You should get that taken care of.
I took your advice. (Gestures.) Um, I'm leaving.
My God, she was taking this harder than I thought.
I'm going back to school full-time. To become a dentist.
(She smiles and looks down.)
I think maybe for children. (Smiles.) I mean, now's as good a time as any, right?
(Miss Hasenfuss drops a small box. They both kneel down. They both pick up the box and look at each other.)
I guess I'm kind of nervous.
I'm sure you'll do just fine. (Smiles.)
Hey, I'll take all my kids to ya. (Smiles.)
And at that moment, I learned a little something about fear...and courage. If this woman was brave enough to take life by the horns...maybe I could too.
Miss Hasenfuss? I, uh...I have this filling.
(Kevin glances over his shoulder.)
Would you assist? (Smiles.)
(Miss Hasenfuss smiles and looks down shyly. Fade to "the chair". Dr. Tucker and Miss Hasenfuss work in Kevin's mouth.)
In the end that appointment wasn't any big deal after all. In fact it was kinda a nice way to say farewell.
(Miss Hasenfuss holds the spit-sucking tube, and Dr. Tucker works with a tool. Fade to a shot of Miss Hasenfuss' arm and, uh, nametag region. The camera pans to her face as she smiles at Kevin.)
And sure...maybe it was the Novocain coursing through my 98-pound body, but...I could swear Miss Hasenfuss had a tear in her eye. And when it was all over...there was nothing left to say but...
Don't forget to brush!
(Fade to outside the dentist office. Kevin gets on his bike and rides away.)
I never saw Miss Hasenfuss again after that day. But I like to think that filling meant as much to her...as it did to me. It's funny, but even now...whenever I pass a professional building, I can't help but look for her name...and remember. Good night, Miss Hasenfuss - wherever you are.
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