Thursday, November 13, 2008

A penn'orth of snails

This morning, Lower Left 6 needed to be crowned, so there I was once again sdraiato on the dentist's chair wondering why the Almighty didn't think to make teeth out of titanium, when the conversation - you can chat while waiting for the anaesthetic to kick in - turned to wildlife, and in particular to the widely-held belief that there isn't as much of it around as there was when we were young.
At this point, the dentist's Dental Nurse, Penny, spoke about her childhood enthusiasm for beetles and other small creatures, and ended up boasting proudly about her collection of snails, each one with a number painted on its shell to give it an individual identity. By this time the dentist was back in my mouth, if you will pardon the expression, while Penny sucked the liquid out, if you will pardon the expression. When the dentist commented adversely on her practice of numbering her snails, Penny came back vociferously, saying how she looked after them, cared for them, fed them, housed them and made sure that they had plenty of fresh air and exercise. Exercise?!
It's not easy to laugh while you have a dentist and his assistant in your mouth, but I collapsed into hysterics at the mental image of Penny as a little girl taking her snails for a walk every morning. In no time, the three of us were helpless with laughter.
The dentist's chair is not a place where you expect to have fun, and to be honest, it was a painful session, but God bless Penny and her snails. I would have kissed her but the whole of the left side of my face was frozen. Also, she's unmarried, and I know better than to kiss unmarried women.

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