Exquisite pain. Only the best for The Van Man. The pain began at the exposed root in his jaw and slid into the left side of the tongue, then straight up to the mandible joint and, finally, it took the direct line to his brain. He knew it was no longer acceptable to "deal with it". "Toughing it out" was a phrase whose power had been deflated by the hell that wreaked havoc in his mouth. Add in the food poisoning at the hands of the Haggen's salad bar, plus ninety-three degrees of filthy Valley heat and Van Man was gloriously fucked.
As he vomited over and over again out of the van, he appreciated shade more than ever in his life. He was beat, but not beaten. The University Dental School was the answer. He found it a riot. The kids were in charge of him now. And The Van Man just wanted the pain to go away, as he wiped the puke from his lips.