The Dentist's Self-Imposed Insomnia

"It's the same nightmare over and over... I'm losing my mind", the dentist said to the bartender. "It happens once a month maybe. Occasionally twice in a week. No real pattern to it. Then it occurred more and more often and now I can't sleep without having that dream." He took a sip of his beer. The bartender was washing glasses. It was well past closing and they were the only ones left in the bar.

"The people populating my dreams walk around in glorious sunshine. They are radiant with happiness and all smiling constantly. ...but their teeth. ...Their teeth have grown in normally but the gums will not break to let them through. The gums stretch to a thin translucent membrane covering the teeth. It wakes me up screaming."

The bartender, not knowing what to say, merely flashed the dentist a hideous, fleshy smile.