Dr. Tormey was the best dentist I ever had. He was a big, handsome white haired man with an infectious smile and a hearty laugh. I think I had a little bit of a crush on him (I think my mother did too!)
He was the kind of ‘let’s wait and see how it pans out’ kind of Dr. and I loved him for it.
His wife was his receptionist. They were a nice couple and I came to think of them as ‘extra’ parents. We would talk about anything and everything.
There was one time when I was having work done that required consecutive visits. At that same time I had a friend whose life was somewhat of a soap opera. I don’t remember how it started but one visit I began to tell the story of my friend as it was happening. On each subsequent visit they would both ask about what was happening with my friend so I would fill them in on the latest ‘episode’. I’m pretty sure the dental work didn’t really require that many visits but they wanted to hear how the story was going to end (so did I!)
The office was small, only two rooms for patients and the waiting/reception area. So anything anyone said was heard by all. I would stand in front of the receptionist desk and entertain them with the latest chapter. I noticed that the same patients were always in the waiting room!
Looking back I think that was a turning point for me. I learned there, in that dentist’s office, in front of a live audience what worked and what didn’t. Where the boundaries were, what I could get away with and what wouldn’t fly.
Who knew that would be the birth of my stand up career.