The dentist was with someone in his office when I got there but I could hear the conversation clearly.
A lady asked, “Doctor, how much do you charge to pull a tooth?”
“It’s usually about $125.”
“What?!” the lady exclaimed. “That’s way too much. There must be someway you could do it cheaper than that.”
“Well, if we don’t use anesthesia we can charge less. Numbing the pain is a big part of the expense. I could take about $40 off.”
“That’s still $85 dollars,” she said. “That’s too much.”
By this time it was clear that the dentist was joking but the lady was dead serious.
“I don’t think I can go cheaper,” he said.
“There must be some way.”
“How about if I take the tooth out with a pair of pliers instead of using my new tooth extractor?” the doctor asked. “I could knock off another $50.”
“That sounds good,” the lady said.
“O.K.” the doctor told her. “For $35 we don’t numb the pain and we pull the tooth with my old rusty pliers. I warn you though, it will be painful.”
“It will be fine,” she said. “I want to make an appointment for next Wednesday, for my husband George.”