bored of excitement – the griefjunkie blog 

Teeth Is The Word

Dear Rachel,

A friend of mine, who is also an old ally of the business and a working prostitute, advised me that the way to deal with having things forced into your mouth without choking on them is to relax, breathe through your nose, and think about something else.   This was useful for me, as I have a sensitive gag reflex which doesn’t enjoy being annoyed by dental work administered at the back of my lovely lower jaws.   It doesn’t do for a grown man – a grown Englishman at that – to vomit on a dentist, and this has always been my only concern in what is an otherwise relaxed and sanguine attitude towards dental surgery.

I actually quite enjoy going – they refer to me as ‘Mr Smith’ for a start, which seems somehow right – and I am fond of my dentist.  He always indulges the essential set piece opening Dad Joke – the deathless ‘Take a seat, Mr Smith’ to which the only correct response is to point to the dentists’ chair and say ‘This one?’.  I suppose if you were going to freestyle at this point, which my own late father would assuredly have done, you could then go on with the ‘Just a little bit off the top and could you tidy the sides up please’ dentist-as-barber routine, but this is not for me.  I am content to answer the question ‘And how are you, Mr Smith’ with ‘Well, I’m talking to a dentist, so I could be happier’ or something similar, and leave it at that.  With these joshing rituals complete, I was offered a choice of telly to watch to take my mind off the imminent drilling and scorching: on this occasion I asked for the BBC Dentistry channel, and we had another little chuckle.   He said he quite fancied watching the Ashes, to which I assented, reflecting upon how often I had said that I would rather go to the dentist than watch cricket, and here I was managing to do both without throwing up at either.   To take my mind off everything that was happening, I tapped out the opening drum pattern from the Buzzcocks’ I Don’t Mind over and over again on my chest.   During a filling, a bit of a tooth pinged out, ricocheted off the dentist, and landed in my ear at exactly the same instant as the rest of the band would come in.  It might still be there, come to think of it.

I’d like to point out, incidentally, that my dentitional health is generally fine, although I do have what my dentist delightfully terms ‘poor person’s teeth’.  This is where individual teeth are either excellent, or fucked, and comes about as a result of avoiding routine dental work on the basis of cost, only to have it escalate until the tooth in question is beyond saving.   I have dental insurance these days and this, along with my abnormally high reading age at primary school, are the things I say to impress girls.  Anyway.  If my insurance extends to cosmetic surgery I am seriously considering getting a gold tooth for a larf, to replace a missing front right canine, which was headbutted out during a bit of a to-do at the Printers’ Devil public house, Stoke Road, Slough, in 1996.   Getting headbutted in the face really hurts, really really hurts, sends claret all over the shop, and makes your eyes water involuntarily.   It was this last item that troubled me most at the time: I felt like a schoolboy in a freezing games lesson who has just been hit in the thigh with a well struck football, and realises that blubbing now, involuntarily or not, will be the thing for which he will be forever remembered by his classmates, no matter how many Oscars, Olympic golds or Nobel prizes he might subsequently win in later life.    I had the advantage of being able to land a straight right on my assailant, which looked quite impressive, as he stumbled backwards as I landed it.    I’d have left the altercation there, having barred him (it was my pub) but fans of happy Disney-style endings will be pleased to hear that he was subsequently battered into a coma by outraged locals.

Twitter: Like hilarious and unpredictable Tories = Nazis banter?   This is the social networking medium for you.

Facebook: Still holding steady at a familiar 118 members. 

Photards: this week’s delve into the photographic archives has dredged up:

Top: London Bridge station, facing Deptford.  Note the 08:04 trundling towards Lewisham on the right.  

Middle: Main entrance, Greenwich Market.  Almost all goods to be traded are brought through here from storage areas.  When it’s icy it’s like an ice rink for Tourette’s sufferers.

Lower: The West Yard, Camden Lock, in the rain.   We never made anything work here.


  1. Stevie

    Nov 26th, 2010
    5:07 pm

    I think those realistic vampire teeth that can be fitted permanently (at a cost of about £300) would be a more attractive addition to your mouth than a gold tooth. Lots of women find vampires irresistible these days.

  2. Paul

    Nov 30th, 2010
    10:45 am

    They sound like a larf. Also, better than the realistic Frankenstein teeth I got him to put in last time.

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