Has anyone had a root canal lately? As the recipient of two, I can tell you that they don’t hurt. We need to retire this passé cliché and come up with some new ones.

Recently, a friend told me that she would “rather have a root canal than shop for pants.”

Not too long ago, I recall reading that “39 percent of singles would rather have a root canal than watch the royal wedding.”

Just yesterday, I came across a current book titled, “I’d rather have a root canal than do cold calling.”

We use this cliché for comparing worst-case scenarios, with the gist being that we would rather “endure” a root canal, the most feared procedure in dentistry, than whatever other awful thing awaits us.

Hello? Has anyone had a root canal lately? As the proud recipient of two, I can tell you that they don’t hurt. Trust me, there is nothing grisly or torturous about this procedure once the meds kick in. Spring for a little nitrous oxide and you’ll be hoping more roots croak.

My point is, we need to retire this passé cliché and come up with some new ones that fit the worst-case scenario bill.

To get the ball rolling, I spent this past weekend at my desk thinking about all things painful, torturous and fearsome. That’s right; while the rest of you were out gallivanting about, I was inside, conjuring up excruciating scenarios that would supplant the maligned root canal.

Believe me, it was not easy, especially since I had to leave my family and their ghastly habits out of it. But enough about the knock-dead smells I encounter on a daily basis.

OK, I’ll start with my most terrifying scenario and take it from there.

“I would rather receive a Tweet from Anthony Weiner than do my taxes.” Honestly, I can’t think of anything worse that opening up a tweet from Tony in his tighties.

“I would rather re-enact a Civil War battle in the scorching heat than have my photo taken.” All those layers? All that sweaty wool? All that standing around in the blazing sun? Shoot me now.

“I would rather drive cross-country with my mother-in-law than speak in public.” Gulp.

“I would rather give birth to a porcupine than shop for school supplies.” Seriously, can you imagine anything more painful?

“I would rather be trapped in a Porta-Potty than balance my checkbook.” Just envisioning the scenario makes me shudder.

A personal favorite: “I would rather listen to bad grammar than have a colonoscopy.” Nothing frightens me more than the flagrant abuse of the English language.

Anyway, that’s my take on this tired cliché. Now it’s time to wrap things up. Ugh. Endings can be so hard. So, so hard. Downright torturous! A tweet from Weiner while giving birth to a porcupine in a Porta-Potty would be preferable.

Anne Palumbo writes for Messenger Post Media. Email her at avpalumbo@aol.com.