It’s entirely likely I was the only guy in the country today - well, this morning - who sat down in the dentist chair and had the doc stroll in and quote his blog.

“So you have a hot tooth,” Dr. A said. There was actually a reason for that: abscess pain was alleviated with ice water, which caused (I think; I’m not seeing straight today) outgassing of built-up stuff. You cooled down a hot tooth. My problem isn’t that, but the damned chopper that had the root canal last year isn’t completely healed, and it either will be brought to heel with antibiotics or yanked by the dentist WITH HIS YANKERS.

“My friend the Giant Swede says that once you lose a tooth, it’s all downhill from there. They all fall out and you die early.”

Dr. A smiles. “Not necessarily,” he says

“Not necessarily? I’m looking something like ‘ridiculous.’”

“Better be careful,” says Jody, the assistant. “You’ll end up in the blog”

He smiles and blithely dismisses any problems with that. See, that’s trust. He trusts me to praise the skill of his shop and staff, and I trust him not to inflict a jot of discomfort more than the situation requires. I’d recommend him to anyone - Minneapolitans are encouraged to email me for details if you need a dentist - and daughter goes there next week, because the old dental office had a castle in the corner of the room and stuffed animals and Highlights.

Anyway, it’s misery. Can’t eat. Either this works over the weekend or it’s bright electric HOLLLLEEEE MOTHER OF OH MY GOD when eating something and the upper and lowers happen to touch. So it's hamburger slushies and hotdog smoothies for a while.

This goes back to the Valli, you know. This tooth was chipped on a piece of bone in a hamburger I ate back in 1980 or so. It’s been in a state of blame ever since. As I tweeted earlier, it may be time that I set the tooth free. If it comes back, it was mine; if it doesn't, it never was.

You'll excuse me if this is brief, but there's a sizeable update to amuse you at the Institute. More on that in a bit.





A preview of something I suspect will be much, much longer - another one of those “Faces of Silent Movie” sites in B& W world. But first. Let’s see if you can guess what this is about.



Mysterious hands at a safe; documents; grinning man escaping at night; panicked phone calls. Yes, it’s espionage.

Who might the mastermind be?



That’s the opening sequence of what may be the first secret agent movie ever, “Spies.” Early on there's a sequence where a flunky in the head of the Secret Service’s office does this . . .



. . . which alerts this fellow . . . .


. . . who knocks him out and shows the Secret Service boss something not even Q dreamed about:



That’s right. A miniaturized camera. In 1928. The fellow who saves the day goes by the name of No. 326 - a three-letter code name decades before Bond. I’m really enjoying this. Bonus:


His first film after the brilliant Metropolis, which almost drove the studio into bankruptcy. They insisted he do this one on the cheap. He did. Can’t tell.

By the way: there’s a lot of this:


But you get used to it. Facial mugging in silent movies is a bit like Shakespearean dialogue; after a while, it seems perfectly normal.

That's it; off to the weekend of relief or escalating chisel-blows. Enjoy the Institute Addition, below.





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