I have four main fears: guns, cars, my teeth being smashed out, and getting electrocuted by stepping on the live rail of a suburban railway.
Unless you’re particularly unlucky, you are unlikely to face all those fears at the same time. I managed two together at the weekend, when a driver smashed out my tooth with his car – a delicate, precision manoeuvre requiring a lot of incompetence.
Thankfully, as I fell back from his windscreen, I neither was shot nor stumbled onto any train tracks, setting me back in my ongoing audition for a remake of the Naked Gun.
They say it’s good to face your fears, but I would prefer my fears remain in Dunstable where they belong, while I carry on with my life.
The crash meant I had to visit the dentist, a place which lives in my second, slightly lower tier of existential horrors, alongside flying, wasps, and being found out.
My dentist was a wonderful, funny and no-nonsense lady. She told me stories of people walking out from the surgery with those temporary bibs and 3D glasses they give you nowadays still attached. I do like the 3D glasses; I feel like I’m about to see an underwhelming Pixar sequel, not have a complete stranger hack away at my mouth.
Dentists now have so much PPE they look like extras in a pandemic thriller – which, thinking about it, they kind of are. Mine said the conditions had been gruelling, with 30 degree temperatures and no air conditioning allowed until recently.
Having to dress up like you’re about to dissect the Roswell aliens just because some lad wants a filling must add another element of stress to what I can see is already quite a stressful job.
I say this just as an observation, not in a Trumpian, the virus is a scam cooked up by China, 5G operating companies and Hillary Clinton kind of way.
Half way through the procedure the dental nurse passed me a hand mirror to check out my new look. I was extremely tempted to start laughing hysterically and smash it against the table of implements, but I think the first Batman movie came out before she was born.
The tooth didn’t look quite right, so the dentist made me scroll through my photostream, past socialist memes, millions of cats and representations of furious geese, until I found a picture where I was showing my fangs. This took longer than expected; I am deadpan in photographs, and I haven’t had much to smile about lately.
Grin located, we had a bit more of a chat of how I’d like it to look, and then it was back to the 3D glasses and the moulding, and the eyes closed thinking of England.
After the procedure, I had an X-Ray and was given an explanation of what is likely to happen from here. The good news is that the root is still alive, and teeth do heal. The bad news is the binding of the first falsie is always the best, so if I accidentally bite this one out then any following ones probably won’t last as long. So no toffee bars sellotaped to the Beano for me, then, ever again.
So who knows, it might be years before I have to think about my tooth again. Unless it turns out the dentist has put a tracking device in it, as part of the lizard conspiracy against non-trackable teeth. But even if she did, I’ll let her off. She was nice.