Dentists and Pharmacists
Posted on August 15, 2013
I had an evil toothache this week, the first in years and a reminder that this type of nerve pain is second to none, always there, day and night, making my face throb and bringing tears to my eyes.
Fortunately, I managed to get an emergency dental appointment with an elderly and flamboyant Irishman whom, if he had a strap line on a business card, it would simply read, “I don’t fuck about.”
It was a bizarre experience, without even requesting if I would like local anaesthetic, he set about my mouth with tools fit to carry out major repairs on a dual carriageway, singing folk songs as he did so.
He identified the troublesome tooth by hitting it with the handle of his mirror before proceeding to drill off the edges with a jackhammer as I bravely kept quiet safe in the knowledge that he was the type of chap that would call me a big Jessie if I squealed. It was quick and barbaric but by God was it effective.
Within minutes the misery I had been subjected to was subsiding. Apparently it was caused by my bite pressing on a jagged area of the tooth, thus pressing on a nerve and causing inflammation. He also put in a filling elsewhere and charged me £49.00 for his trouble; bargain of the year as far as I am concerned.
To complete the treatment, he gave me a prescription for Penicillin which I took to Sainsbury’s. It was at this point that I realised that this was the first time in my life I had actually paid for drugs, well, legal ones anyway.
Pharmacies are quite alien to me and when I was stood waiting, I was staggered at the amount of different drugs there are on the market, with treatment for the fine art of having a healthy shit being remarkably popular, in fact almost as popular as the ones like Imodium that appear to stop you having a shit.
There is even a stronger version, Imodium Plus, that one assumes, must turn your bowels into concrete. Surely it can’t be healthy swallowing ready mixed sand and cement; that should be for building sites only, not for the bowels of someone about to go back packing in the sub-continent.
Because it was Thursday (Pension day) there was an eclectic group of sick looking old people in Sainsbury’s picking up all manner of different prescriptions for ailments that judging by their strained and distraught faces, would make an inflamed tooth look like a picnic in a sun baked water meadow.
This caused a tidal wave of depression to engulf me as it became apparent what I had to look forward to in the future, some of these poor sods looked days away from meeting their maker. What kind of existence were they living?
Then with immaculate timing, my mood was immediately lightened by an impromptu comedy sketch.
“Roger you old cunt…You should be dead by now!”
“I’m still going Brian you miserable old bastard, it’s just the knees and hips that have packed up.”
“How’s Joan, okay?”
“Yep, still moaning as well as ever.”
“Well, at least you have come here for the Viagra to put a smile on her face.”
“My dear boy, I gave up shutting my eyes and thinking of Blighty twenty years ago.”
“Ha ha, see you soon you old fart, if not in here up there…If you make it past the gates.”
Age, it would appear, can make so many things deteriorate but hearing that conversation made me realise that all it does to the the British sense of humour is make it blacker and decidedly more vicious.
Without knowing it, two old duffers lifted my gloom in an instant.