You know when you know that they know?
You do, don’t you?
The main giveaway is when someone’s demeanour towards you totally changes, and they now look at you with sympathy/pity/fascination or like you’re an unexploded bomb or a particularly action packed episode of their favourite soap?
I’ve been going to the same dentists for years now, and their current assistant/reception to chair escort/suction tube wielder, a very camp Morrissey lookalike with uber attitude, has always been aloof to the point of rudeness to me. He would glance at me with a world weary, effete disgust, stalk about two metres ahead of me lest anyone see us together, and say not a word in response to any conversational overture I might make to him.
Each visit he got camper and snottier, and in our most recent encounters he resorted to using minimal, non verbal gestures and signals to get me to do his bidding.
A cursory nod meant I was to take a seat.
A flick of the finger meant he wanted me to put my head back.
A styrofoam cup thrust rudely into my hand meant he wished me to rinse out my mouth with that pink liquid.
All of which I duly ignored and did these things when asked by the dentist or in my own time.
Actually I never really minded him. All of this was to get some kind of reaction that I was determined not to give him, and apart from finding it quite amusing it was water of this little black duck’s back for the most part.
Then, earlier this year, due to my relentlessly grinding my teeth into powder, I was referred to the dental hospital who immediately joined up the dots between my gnashing and my burgeoning mental health issues (durr!) and decided to make me a special bullet proof splint. They sent me home, then sent a full report to my chap along with instructions to make a cast of my poor, deformed, traumatised little gob.
On attending this appointment today, it soon became apparent that something was amiss when my mincey little mate greeted me at reception like a long lost sister.
“Ello! ‘Ow arrr you? Isn’t it a loooveelly day?”
“Such a shame to be in ‘ere hey? Just look at the SUN!”
Oh God. He’s smiling.
I’d never seen his teeth before and I don’t think I ever want to see them again. That faux rictus makes him look like a serial killer.
I nod politely and return the smile nervously.
“Not that we get to see ‘er in ere!” he chortles gesturing towards the treatment rooms, “these girls,” gesturing towards two lumpen, semi comatose heifers slouched behind the counter staring at him incredulously, “they sooo luckee to seet here all day een the sun!”
Poor things. They’d seemingly never seen this particular side of him either.
And whilst I was firmly berating myself for drinking on top of my meds and tripping myself out, the penny dropped.
He was doing his politically correct duty and trying to be nice to the practice’s resident looney of the day.
He’d seen the report.
I seriously didn’t know whether to laugh or complain, about them not protecting my confidentiality, but settled on maintaining a dignified, polite demeanour in the face of his gleeful charade.
And as I took my place on that deceptively comfortable chair (“Pliss lady!”) and mentally prepared for those plastic trays filled with playdoh-like goop to be crowbarred into my tiny mouth, I acknowledged a barely perceptible wink from my lovely mischievous dentist as Mincey continued to babble on inanely.
And I’m supposed to be the odd one here.
Then my chap filled in another vast cavity that I created only the other night, gave my teeth a clean, and as I rinsed out my mouth with a cupful of pink stuff (placed gently in my hand this time) he told me to come back in about three weeks for the fitting.
I was desperate to use the loo, but my hero insisted on escorting me to reception personally (just in case I ran riot though the streets of North London with one of the drills I suppose) so I gave in as the thought of him listening to me wee, ear pressed to the door, grinning maniacally gave me the heebie geebies.
I smiled my thanks, bid him goodbye and finally exited onto the high street, heading towards the nearest cafe for a well deserved latte, some normal company and the opportunity to look miserable again.
But as I opened the door to this establishment and beamed at the proprietor I was greeted with a dropped jaw gaze, and as the table in front also turned towards me in unison like a mob of meerkats I felt my paranoia rise again.
WTF? Did someone fax them a copy too?
Keen to escape even more rubbernecking scrutiny, I spotted a nice cosy table for two bathed in dappled sunlight.
‘Alright here?’ I asked, sounding like a slightly less pissed Withnail.
stare, stare, stare…
Slack jaw nods, and I stride over, plonk down my stuff down, place my order, and ask the yummy mummy on the next table (stare, stare) to watch my bags whilst I go for a wee.
What is wrong with people today? The blood moon was last week!
But when I go to wash my hands, the explanation is staring me back in the face.
As said face is liberally splattered with that gloopy blue playdoh stuff.
I look as if I’ve just fellated a Smurf.
Thanks for telling me Mincey!
Cursing him, the waiter, and everyone else that just stared dumbly, I scraped off the mess, refreshed my lipstick and headed back to my table just to find Yummy trying to defend my table from a particularly rough looking couple.
This was the last straw.
‘EXCUSE ME’, I practically bellow, ‘that table is mine!’
The rather burly woman turns to take me on. ‘We wanna eat, and YOU only have a coffee!’
Reasonable point. But by then, quite frankly, I’m up for a row, but by some miracle, Slack Jaw steps in and says ‘I’m sorry madam, but this lady was first’.
Unspoken message being ‘Don’t upset the Smurf bothering nutter.’
And as I finally take my seat, sip my delicious beverage and nibble on my complementary biscotti, basking in the warm sunlight, it occurs to me that I could actually make this shit work for me.
Does anyone know where I can buy a second hand straight jacket?