Mark Hartley, Editor
Billy Don, my redneck cousin from Texas, wishes to deliver a brief eulogy. "My wife`s a football widow. She and them other gals in the neighborhood are all football widows. I tell you, they are as cunning as Eve, and together they have laid football to rest in an empty Budweiser beer box. They`ve done killed football. A long time ago, them football widows got all their little boys and girls playing soccer when they were tykes - a mere four-years-old. They told me and my buddies that they didn`t want those little boys and girls to get hurt. Well, those boys and girls are still playing soccer. Worse than that, those boys and girls are trading soccer cards of their favorite players. Those kids are wearing T-shirts that say, `Soccer is a kick in the grass.` Yesterday, my kids told me they wished NBC and Fox would televise MLS games instead of the boring football game I was trying to watch. They tell me this in the fourth quarter with the score tied 20-all. I thought MLS was a disease, and they wanted to watch a bunch of telethons or something. I told them to stop blocking my view and go watch has-been singers on the TV in the bedroom. No, it turns out that MLS stands for Major League Soccer. Yep, them football widows have won after all. They done got their revenge. There`s nothing left for me to do but go out in the backyard, prop up the shotgun, and pull the trigger with my big toe. I hope them widows are happy about what they done."
Thank you, Billy Don. And I thank the audience of dental hygienists for listening. Normally, I wouldn`t trouble you with an eulogy. But, as he has implied, he`s having trouble getting anyone to listen to his sorrowful tale. Even his favorite barber is a soccer fan now (not to mention his Oklahoma cousin standing up here with him).
Billy Don actually touched upon something that I`d like to follow up on, now that I`ve got the microphone again. He was talking about the football widows not wanting their kids to get hurt while playing sports. Well, it`s a little early for New Year`s resolutions, but I have one for you to ponder over while we wait for January 1st and the collegiate soccer bowl games to arrive. I think you ought to resolve, with all the determination that football widows have, that you`re not going to get hurt on the job next year. It seems to me that occupational injuries in the dental hygiene profession are still occurring with too much frequency. It rankles me to think of RDH readers getting hurt on the job. I want it to stop. No one that I know, from OSHA all the way down to the homeless patient receiving charity treatment, expects dental hygienists to cripple themselves on behalf of oral care. It`s not necessary. Every patient I know wants you to live a long, healthy, and pain-free life.
Repetitive motion disorders can and must be prevented. As a magazine, we`ll do our part, publishing articles on "dental ergonomics." Part of the solution, as Mary Martha Stevens says on page 26, is just taking better care of your own body.
You spend such a large part of your day telling patients to take better care of their bodies. Well, your patients, including Billy Don here and myself, are telling you to take better care of your body. We don`t want you to get hurt.
So make it a New Year`s Resolution: "No more on-the-job pain." And have a safe and pleasant holiday season.