Friday, September 02, 2011

Apologies For My Extended Absence. I Have Been Held Hostage By My Teeth

I would apologise for my absence from these pages if I thought anyone had noticed, but the sad truth for a silver - verging on ferrous oxide - surfer such as myself, is that the internet has become overrun with celebrity, filth, and irrelevance. And that's just the Daily Mail.
In truth, I have been unwell. My teeth have been playing up again, and I have been forced to endure a series of sadists with poor communication skills in the vain hope of finding a solution. My problem is age (and how many times do I say that to myself of a damp autumn morning?). It was my misfortune to be born at a time when the ethos of dentistry was changing. My mother, Mrs Elder (or Ma'am) talked fondly of her 21st birthday, because on that day, along with the key to the door (and a 16 hour-a-day job mashing raspberries at the cannery), she was given a full set of mahogany choppers. Her teethy teeth were removed, and donated to science. I understand they reside in a glass jar in the Surgeon's Hall museum, next to a two-headed pygmy in brine, where they are often mistaken for a masterpiece by the punk charlatan, Mr Damien Hirst.
By the time my teeth had succumbed to a lifetime of jube-jubes, the National Health Service had introduced a new ethos: to preserve the teeth by any means necessary, without regard for the pain and inconvenience this may cause to the patient. Over the years, this philosophy has been modified somewhat. Currently, it can be characterised as preserving a bit of tooth at all costs, with the emphasis on costs. So it is that even when dentistry is free, one's practitioner will find a way of charging hundreds of pounds, while also making sure that the work is completed to a ludicrously tight schedule. Most of my appointments are scheduled to last 30 minutes. but I have noticed that they tend to unfold with the rhythm of a 10,000 metres race, rushing aimlessly at the end, before sending me out into the daylight in a state of collapse with mysterious flecks of red plastic attached to my face.
I hope it is not racist to mention it, but I was happier when dentists were British. It may be a small point, but the ability to converse with the patients - who, like passengers on trains, are now thought of as customers - made the whole gruesome business a little more bearable. I am not saying that these British fellows were better dentists: my old scale-and-polish man was a terrible alcoholic who learned his drilling technique on Piper Alpha. But if I am going to be humiliated, I would like to understand the nature of the humiliation as it is happening. My last dentist, Mr Ceaucescu, was an angry Lithuanian, whose smalltalk extended to three words: "Open", "close", and "goodbye". That is not to say that he offered no entertainment. A flatscreen television on the ceiling showed the films of Mr Vladislav Starevich in endless loop. He was particularly find of Terrible Vengeance.
Oddly, I didn't intend to write about teeth. I turned on my computer because I felt the need to say something about trams. But I suppose that can wait. When it comes to trams, I fear Edinburghers will have to get used to waiting.


Anonymous said...

A grey Saturday in the Borders has suddenly been miraculously lightened!

Welcome back.

Wintermute said...

It is splendid to know that you are back.

However, the dental problem delay comes as a surprise because I'm certain everyone thought you knew the drill.

Mr Grumpy said...

You are too modest by far, sir. I look forward to your tram piece. Down my way we are revelling in the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway after it opened just two and a half years late, and I am sure you won't keep us waiting that long.

David Duff said...

Saved by the skin of your teeth - ooops, sorry, that probably wasn't very diplomatic. However, I am delighted to tell you that you came within a whisker of being air-brushed out of my blog links on account of you being AWOL for so long but just as I was about to click the 'Delete' button, I decided to take one last look and - hurrah, you're back.

Talking of teeth, my dentist has just remove one from the very front of my mouth on the bottom row. He re-assured me that it was quite simple to replace it with a 'falsey' which could be tacked (somehow) to the tooth next to it and no-one would notice. Wonderful, I said, and asked him how much? £500 was the answer. I thought long and hard for approximately 7.2 nanoseconds as I imagined have 10 x £50 notes in front of me and then scrunching them all up and ramming them in my mouth. Couldn't do it! Still, I like to think that my smile now has character.

Welcome back!

Wintermute said...

Ah yes, KE,with regard to dusky dentists, I'm rather afraid it is racist to mention it, perhaps even qualifying as "hate".

Mind you, the official BBC/Guardian/Government troika have not explained to you why "hate" is an incorrect response for a people suffering race - replacement colonisation.

I am sure that, in your heart of hearts, you know that "hate" is, from an evolutionary perspective, entirely adaptive.

What kind of BBC/Guardianista morality consigns the British people to race - replacement, labelling their righteous indignation immoral?

The answer, of course, is neo- Marxist morality.

There is no reason whatsoever, KE, why the British people should acquiese in that.

Even in Peebles.