Malcolm has a friend who has braces, smiling his big silver grin with abandon.

I said “So Mike, who is your orthodontist?”

Mike gave me the name of the guy who has a practice in a charming stone house… located smack dab in the center of the middle school parking lot. 

I admire this orthodontist more than I can say.  Not for his teeth-straightening work, which I haven’t really paid attention to, but for his LOCATION.  Nabbing that office was nothing less than  genius.

The patients simply leave class and walk, trot, or skip over to get their braces adjusted.  No mom, dad, or guardian need be involved.  It’s a turn-key operation.  Leave school, get braces fixed, return to school. 

I am so jealous, I almost wish Hugh and Malcolm needed braces just so we could experience the thrill of not having to drive them to the orthodontist all the time.  Wait, we already have that thrill.  But you know what I mean.  Maybe this is where Noah will have his work done, making Emily’s life easier.

We didn’t know about this option when  Ian had braces.  For reasons now lost to the sands of time, we signed him up to have his orthodontia delivered at a sort of far-away braces factory.

This place used Henry Ford’s principles of mass production.   There were six chairs lined up in an L shape – the assembly line – each containing a pubescent kid.  The doctor would ROLL from open mouth to open mouth on his wheeled chair. 

 There was no way he was going to learn anyone’s names, so each kid was called nothing, and we parents were always “Mom”  and “Dad.”  It’s bad enough when the OB/GYN calls you that, but it’s  just plain creepy coming from an elderly dentist.  “How ya doin’, Mom?” he would say.  One time he asked what Ian was eating.  I said “He likes to have a quesadilla…” and the dentist howled “A case of BEER?”  I could not relate to this guy.

Finally the orthodontia odyssey ended, and Ian was sent home with a retainer in a purple plastic clamshell, which he never wore, which meant his teeth shifted…which meant in the end he just got an implant…which perhaps meant the entire braces ordeal was unnecessary.

To return to my original point, I remain in awe of the dentist with the office at a middle school.  It’s almost as good as the country club located across from the most giant Catholic church in our community, ensuring that it is perfectly positioned to nab tons of wedding and funeral receptions. 

Any good or bad locational juxtapositions in your neck of the woods?

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