Another excruciating experience at the dentist. This time it wasn't the mannerless, humourless receptionist - they were fine.
My hygienist sees me every three or four months. I have fabulous teeth; unfortunately I also have lousy gums and years of dedicated NHS treatment has resulted in good times and bad; deep pockets, shallow pockets, deep pockets, yellow lorry, red lorry etc. I can't stand the sound or feel of the sonic super stud tooth cleaner and insist on the hand job every time. But today my gentle hygienist's car has broken down and one of the dentists has taken her place.
She was scientific, she was specific, she wore scary magnifying wotnots like a diamond dealer, only for both eyes. We discussed my symptoms, she explained that stress made it all worse. Thanks. She said she'd use the supersonic doodad. I said no. She said yes. She flailed about in my mouth and after a few minutes I waved my arms at her - not in defeat but in a "if you don't stop that right now I'll pull your head off" kind of way.
Frustration increased her sadistic pleasures. She mangled about in my gob with the vigour and lack of finesse of a method actor. She squirted aloe vera amd some substance made by bees into my gums and sucked out so much saliva I felt my feet dry out.
I should go to a private periodontic hospital in Bristol, she said, to close the pockets in my gums. "Over your dead body" I thought.
I wobbled into Waitrose, shoved a few necessities into a basket and stumbled to the checkout where I promptly dropped some cinnamon shower gel all over the floor. The staff couldn't have been kinder. I'll ask the checkout girl to do my teeth next time.