John Updike needed em. Dental Hygienists, that is. See "Tristan and Iseult" from the short story collecton "The Afterlife"
Terrance McCarthy is up to his usual hi-grade commentary on life (or at least, the Fox Entertainment version of it).
I had a new dental assistant the other day (she was still catching on to the dentist's lingo for particular tools and processes, so I assume she was new), getting a filling replaced. After the dentist pumped me with novacaine (he kept asking if I felt the needle, and did not seem to want to stop until I nodded that I did, in fact, feel the needle), he wandered off to let me numb up. Then she and I sat and watched MSNBC on the flat-screen TV's they put in when they moved to new offices.
Last time I was in I got X-Rays, and the hygienist routed my X-Rays to the flar-screen so I could see 'em. I think they can also put a little camera inside my mouth to show where I've been flossing (or not). I got one of those ultrasonic toothbrushes a while back, and ever since, I've had no lectures on brushing / flossing, although frankly, the inside of my mouth is not really the best subject matter for 42" of high-def viewing.
So we're sitting there, new assistant and I, watching some piece from San Fran - the recent anti Prop 8 protests. Lots of angry gay men and lesbians, with a smattering of gender transgressors. Out of nowhere she says "I hate those men who become women (long pause) because they turn out looking better than I do"
"Only the ones who start out with enough money to get the work done" was the best I could do. I've been going to this dental practice all my adult life - since 1983. Outlasted 3 dentists, 2 offices, and countless hygienists and assistants. Somewhere in the bowels of the data I am sure my records point to a certain major life change and changes to critical bits of identity. But not anywhere this new assistant could find it.....