Imagined Conversations with my Dentist

Can you describe where the pain falls on a scale of 1 to 10?”

Me: “Is it a logarithmic scale?”

Dentist: ???


Dentist: “Can you describe where the pain falls on a scale of 1 to 10?”

Me: “Well, I’m a software developer and I tend to think in either base 2 or base 12. Could I give it to you that way?”


Dentist: “Can you describe where the pain falls on a scale of 1 to 10?”

Me:  “Does 1 mean no pain? Because it seems weird to me that a 1 would mean no pain. What would a 0 represent on that scale? Less than no pain?”


Dentist: “Can you describe where the pain falls on a scale of 1 to 10?”

Me: “Do you get tired of asking the same question over and over again?”


Dentist: “Can you describe where the pain falls on a scale of 1 to 10?”

Me: “About as painful as this conversation. Where would you say it falls on a scale of 1 to 10?”


Dentist: “Can you describe where the pain falls on a scale of 1 to 10?”

Me: “No.”

Dentist: ???

Published by Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

3 replies on “Imagined Conversations with my Dentist”

  1. Oh this is brilliant. So good. My favorite response: Me: “Well, I’m a software developer and I tend to think in either base 2 or base 12. Could I give it to you that way?”

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