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It's the 9th of the 9th '99, and today, of all days I'm off to the dentist for my twice a year checkup.
And to make things worse, it's few minutes to nine.
I do have my doubts about this visit, although it's just a check. Fortunately chances are small for a drill to go nuts. I assume that the mirrors and hooks won't suffer a pre-millennium bug.
This is a new dentist. The previous one transferred the practice. I'm not too happy about that either. Each new dentist seeks to apply his own ideas and revise the work of the previous one.
In the first instance it's not too bad. The assistant maps my fillings for a start. I can't really understand why that is necessary. Were the old data lost during the transfer? Was the good old card system incompatible with this modern computer system?
She grabs a hook and removes a bit of tartar. Nothing to worry about. It's 8 minutes past ten now. Just a few minutes until the maximum change for a pre-millennium jam.
Suddenly she happily announces This is vibrating mini drill, and at 9 past 9 shoves it against my teeth. Just to remove tartar she adds cheerfully. Why do I deserve this. The machine shrieks like a bunch of nails on a blackboard and the sound resonates through my entire skull. Not really enjoyable. This hell's machine won't have to make the next millennium, as far as I am concerned.
At the end of the session I am happy to have no holes. What a relief. For the next half year I'll be free of more torturing.
Unfortunately it is not possible to schedule the next checkup. This new dentist does not give such service. Hmm, a small millennium bug perhaps? Quite annoying in any case. In half a year I'll surely forget to make a new appointment.
But... would I be so kind to pay immediately? Unfortunately the pay machine does work properly on this pre-millennium day.
As I walk out, I melancholy remember the previous dentist. She was far less automated, but a whole lot friendlier for her customers. A nine with compliments for her good old service! Couldn't the whole millennium bug be a blessing in disguise?
· October 1999
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