Here's an update

Aug. 1, 2002
Here are a couple of updates. I'm from a generation where my hair is almost always longer than my sons' hair. My hair also is almost always longer than the hair length of men from my father's generation.

Here are a couple of updates. I'm from a generation where my hair is almost always longer than my sons' hair. My hair also is almost always longer than the hair length of men from my father's generation. I understand how the latter transpired, being a child of the 1960s and 1970s, but I have problems understanding the former. My boys step out on the back porch with shears and come back in a whisker's length away from being legally bald. Hair is a noteworthy characteristic of the human body; why cut it all off, if you don't have to?

Here's the second update. My almost bald 16-year-old son was chatting with me about the car, finding a better job, etc., when the phone rang. It was his best pal calling. After a few minutes, my son comes back in and says, "T.J. is working in the electronics department tonight (at the local Target), and he just waited on Barry Sanders."

In case you don't pay much attention to football, Sanders was from another universe when it came to running around a field with a football - mainly within an indoor stadium in Detroit. Sanders, who has Oklahoma roots, excites people when he goes shopping in Tulsa.

Here's an unimportant update. The only celebrity I've ever shook hands with was Morton Downey, the now-deceased precursor to shock-talk's Jerry Springer. Big deal, eh? I was attending the Greater New York Dental Meeting back in Downey's heyday, and he was walking around a hotel shaking hands, including mine. I need to get out more, don't you think? Here's an update on my tombstone: "Downey was the only celebrity he met."

Here's something you probably didn't know about me. I dislike the "notes" from editors at the front of a magazine. When I read most Editor's Notes, From the Editor, or Editor's Page, I discover a regurgitation of what appears in the table of contents. Why do we need to read the table of contents a second time? Sometimes an editor will be more descriptive about how an author got the story.

"When Thayler came down on the other side of the Himalayas, he encountered a snowstorm, and he and Madonna spent several days reminiscing about brands of tequila. An avalanche swept them down to the ocean, and they swam back to the United States. Upon reaching the shores of Pascagoula, Mississippi, Thayler located the best chef in town and ordered a three-course meal centered on the marlin he caught with his hands during his swim." Most RDH writers I know sit in front of a computer screen in the bedroom with a Snickers bar nearby in case hunger strikes.

Here's an update about the table of contents. Karen Kaiser writes about her experience treating Mark McGwire, a baseball player from another universe who was quite remarkable with the skill of swatting at balls with a stick - mainly within stadiums in Oakland and St. Louis. Now you understand why I remembered Downey and smiled at my son's gossip about Sanders.

Here's another update about the table of contents. The questionnaire for our annual salary survey is in this issue. I know you're interested in the numbers. About three or four years ago, I decided to print a "state of mind" survey. If you remember it at all, it was the one where I asked if you'd rather treat George Clooney, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, Sean Connery, Brad Pitt, or Denzel Washington as a patient. Most of you didn't like that question, and only about half of those who normally respond to the salary survey responded to the "state of mind" survey. So I didn't do it again. But I still want to know your opinions about issues (minus the "dream" celebrity patient). I'll collect the data about salaries and benefits if you'll let me climb inside your head with the answers to a few additional questions. Deal?

Here's another thing you may not know about me. The editor who prepared the article by Gayle Lawrence about checking pets for perio is Penny Anderson. If you want to know what Penny looks like, that's her in the photo on the first page of the article (not the vet - the other woman).

I want to draw your attention to the dog. Penny thought she could sneak a photograph of her poodle past me. While I'm aware that 99.9 percent of hygienists probably adore poodles, I am now disclosing the fact that I can't stand them. Yet, I have allowed a photograph of a poodle to appear in RDH. See? I'm not such a bad guy, even when I rehash the table of contents.

Mark Hartley is the editor of RDH. He can be contacted at [email protected].