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My new dentist is quite chatty. After she loaded me up with syringe after syringe of Novocaine, she said, “I set my cat on fire once.” I thought for sure that the meds had numbed my brain. I asked, “On purpose?”

“No, it was an accident”, she said. “What happened was that I’d lit a candle and put it on the dining room table and then the cat jumped up on the table and her belly was right over the flame so I told her not to move, but she did and her fur just went ‘whoosh!’ and I thought, ‘OMG! Fireball!’ and I thought for sure that the cat would leap on to the curtains and set them on fire and my whole house would burn down and I’d have to try to explain to insurance company and they’d never believe me but then the cat jumped down to the floor and she stopped, dropped and rolled on the carpet and put herself out.”

“Wow!” says I.

“And right after that, my mother called and she’d lived all her life in Santa Monica but when my father retired, he moved them to North Carolina and my mother is always, ‘I have to drive to Raleigh to buy anything of value’ and my father is loving it because he can play golf every day and she called to ask for the love of God, could I please buy her a proper bathroom faucet and ship it to her and I asked if she can’t just buy a faucet in Raleigh and she said not any that you’d want in your bathroom.”

“That’s probably true…”

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