Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Little Green Men

Recently Ken Armstrong was discussing hypnosis and how at one point after being hypnotized, he was asked to catch a little green man, something like this...minus my four legged kid.

Well the truth be known, I HAVE a little green man in my possession. Have had him since I was a mere child. And no, he's neither Irish nor a Leprechaun. But I considered him to bring me good luck...or at least gave me something to hold onto when times got bad.

I'm not sure exactly how old I was when the little green man fell out of the bubblegum machine into my hand but I'm guessing seven or eight. He was quite a fashionable trinket at the time...a bald headed little troll doll. I found his little green self somehow comforting, which I guess probably resulted in the fact I NEVER won a toy out of that bubblegum machine, only gum. He became my personal good luck charm.

I don't know when Mom suggested I carry him to the dentist with me, but at some point in childhood he became my right hand man. Literally. That's where I kept him when I went to the dentist...clutched in my right hand. I was convinced that if I'd just give him a squeeze when I got nervous, everything would be fine....or at least over in a few minutes. As much as I feared the dentist, it's a wonder I don't have a permanent impression of the little guy in my right palm. I got away with this for years, until the Dentist heard the receptionist talking to my Mom. He finished up with me one day, then said with a smile, "So do I get to meet this fella you keep bringing along?"

Feeling somewhere between foolish and angry to have been caught, I slowly opened my hand to show my friend. The dentist nodded sagely, as if all his patients brought in bald, green plastic men as part of their dental health plan. After a while, I put the green man away in my jewelry box even though my family teased that whenever I felt nervous about something, they still believed I took the little guy along in a pocket for a morale boost. He was the only toy I ever owned that I refused to share. Hey, he was tiny. Less than an inch high. Could I afford to share any of his luck with a sibling?

The last time I used the Little Green Man, as he was known in our household, I shared him with the man who'd probably lent me the money to go into that bubble gum machine. Dad had been diagnosed with cancer and we'd been to several different offices for a variety of tests. Dad had remained fairly calm until we faced the one test which would tell how far the cancer had spread. As he tried to remain calm and parental on the ride down in the elevator, I said very quietly, "I thought you might want to borrow this." As he looked at me, I opened my palm to reveal the Little Green Man. Dad laughed, a hearty, cheerful laugh I hadn't heard in a long time. He took the little guy, placed him in his pocket and gave me a hug. After the test Dad returned him without a word, just a smile. I think the little guy went with him two more times before he joked that he might be using all the luck up. So I bought him his own little troll doll, somewhat bigger but with the same silly grin. I think Dad got a bigger kick out of that than any of the real gifts I bought him on the various gift giving occasions. When he died five years later, the troll reverted back to me. He lives upstairs, in a drawer somewhere.

I went to the dentist yesterday to pick up my crown. You know, the one on the tooth that had the month long root canal history? The one I battled through infections and long sittings to get right. It was beautiful and it fit like a glove. The x-ray which we took prior to cementing it in place attested to the fact. It also found a cavity I had no clue about. I felt my heart sink. Doc offered to fill it or have me return. I voted on filling it so I wouldn't have to come back. Unfortunately, it was above the crown, meaning another shot of Novocaine. That part of the mouth really hurts. When he was done, he asked for another x-ray, sighed and informed me the tooth next to it had a small cavity as well.

I tried not to burst into tears. Instead I swore that I was going to give up eating. He began to sing, "Doom, despair and agony on me." His assistant immediately ordered duct tape, saying I was suffering enough without his entertainment.

So I left yesterday with one crown, two fillings and three shots of Novocaine. And I discovered I'd only paid a portion of the crown, so they got an extra $525 for that. Sigh.
Dude, I sure could've used you yesterday. You were always there for me. And you didn't sing.


Susan said...

Oh, hope, deep dark depression, excessive misery! (sorry)

That's so funny you've got a story to follow Ken's! I hope you have better luck soon with your dental woes, and that your wee fella comes through for you again as he used to.

(he's a cutie)

the broken down barman said...

its funny. i was gonna write about my little green friend as well!!!! honest.
never got round to it though. will do soon........

Poetikat said...

I'm sorry about your dad. It's nice that you have that memory of him.
Glad to hear your ordeal with the root canal is finally over. I had one last spring, but it was way easier than I expected.

I remember these little troll dolls! When I saw the photo, it brought me back. I wonder why they had no hair?


hope said...

Susan and the Barman: We all just inspire each other I guess. I hadn't even thought about my wee little friend until Ken said something about a little green man.

Kat it's funny...every troll doll I remember from childhood had that ridiculous spiky hair that went straight up...except my little green man. Only bald one I ever remember seeing.

Ken Armstrong said...

Hi Hope, I'm glad I sparked this story out of you. I still have my little green man, wanna see? :)

hope said...

Ken, ironically the Irish Green Man in the photo with my eldest son Smokey actually came from Ireland! Hubby's Mom was going there and asked what she could bring back to us. Hubby quipped, "A leprechaun so I can find that pot of gold."

I can't even imagine what they thought when she carried the little guy on the plane.

Ken Armstrong said...

Those pots of gold are very tricky to track down. Believe me, I try regularly. :)

I didn't get your email and can't find one for you. Can you mail me again - the address in my my profile page thingie kfelix etc. :)

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