Monday October 9, 2006
Off, early in the morning, to take Graham to the dentist. Needless to say, the expedition started out in rather glum mode. After all, no-one really likes going to the dentist. Except me. Lately I’ve come to love it.
“Will you come in with me?” Graham asked. “I’m frightened.”
“Of course. It’s not like you to be frightened of medical help when you need it, though.”
“I’m not frightened of the dentistry. Can’t wait. It’s the ladies behind the desk that frighten me.”
“Ah. Fair point on past experience. You’ll be fine here. Just you wait and see.”
He was, too, just as I knew he would be. He was dealt with swiftly and kindly, and asked to wait for an emergency opening there and then.
“Ok,” he said. “I’m happy now. Why don’t you pop over to Sainsbury’s and come back for me here?”
I whistled round the corner in record time, picked up the makings for Graham’s favourite dinner—corned beef hash—and returned to find him waiting to go in to see the dentist who’d been allocated to him. We sat there together poring over a slightly elderly House and Garden, sniggering at the make-over section, until the bright young assistant called him in.
While I was waiting both my own dentist and her assistant came through separately and, seeing me there, got concerned that I might be in trouble. Both said the same thing: “Are you alright, Mr Bailey?” I assured them that I was fine and only there in a position of moral support. “I’m looking forward to seeing you at the end of the month,” I said. And I am, too. I shall be able to smile back at them properly when they’ve done with their work on me.
Ten minutes later, out he came, beaming all over his face.
“That was the nicest woman I’ve met in a long time,” he said. I’ve got a script for antibiotics and now I have to make an appointment for Wednesday when they’ll do the x-rays. She’s going to pull the blighter for me but at the moment it’s impossible to tell whether it’ll be one tooth or two. And, you know what? She complimented me on my oral hygiene and said I’d done everything possible to prevent trouble. It’s the gap between two teeth that’s been the problem all along, just as I said it was.”
“Good. Do you want me to take the script in to the pharmacy while you make your appointment?”
“No, ta. I want to see it for myself.”
When he’d done at the desk we walked across the yard and in to the pharmacy, where he was equally pleased with his reception and the service.
“Home?” I asked.
“No, let’s get the whole job done. I’ll pop into the doctor’s and get myself registered there.”
That job done, we hopped into the car and came back home. On the way he said: “You done a good job of research and selection there, chooky-boots. It’s a grand setup altogether. And a massive relief to be signed up with a dentist again.”
“Thanks. End of the tooth problem in sight, then?”
“Oh, yes. And ain’t that a happy thought?”
The antibiotics started to work very quickly and, along with a heavy dose of Anadin for the pain, he was about back to normal by tea-time. Shortly afterwards I heard the old familiar sound of cardboard boxes being ripped open and the contents unpacked floating down the stairs to the kitchen.
“Didn’t take you long to get stuck in,” I said when I took a can of beer up to him.
“Too right. I’ve been looking forward to this. What are you cooking down there? Smells delicious.”
“Corned beef hash.”
“Brilliant. You do know how to spoil a chap, don’t you?”
“Well, sometimes you deserve it.”