Pastille la vista, baby
– I’m off to the dentist

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I blame a Fruit Pastille. Or maybe two. Oh all right, then – perhaps three. In my part-time job as a delivery driver, I have this little ritual. When I’ve done my last, and I’m heading back, I celebrate by having a Fruit Pastille or two. OK, sometimes three.

Of course, when I do get back to base, I may well find that something urgent has cropped up in the meantime, so I have to turn round and go out again. Naturally, then, I’ll have to have another Fruit Pastille (or three) when I’ve finished that. So then. On this occasion, I was heading home, in a First Chomp situation, when suddenly ... tragedy struck. Part of my tooth fell out! Naturally, I had strong words with the offending molar. “What do you think you’re playing at?” I said, with as much indignation as I could muster. “It’s only a pastille! Well all right, then – three! But it’s not as if you don’t get plenty of practice!”

My mind flew back to my last dentist’s appointment – as it does in moments of terror. He told me there was a bit of a crack in the offending tooth, and if a filling didn’t work I’d need a crown. “And you don’t want that.”

Crikey!, I thought.

A crown? My mind flew to some kind of ennobling ceremony, involving myself and the Duchess Of Cambridge...

I went back to the dentist, and told him about The Pastille Incident. “I’ll pretend you didn’t say that,” he said. But he added: “You’ll need a crown.” There was no mention of the Duchess Of Cambridge whatsoever. I was gutted. But thankfully not literally. Although there were three injections, and enough drilling to qualify as major road works.

And this was only the preliminaries. While the crown was being made, the cavernous hole in my mouth would be plugged with a temporary filling. “It looks a bit like a hearing-aid battery,” said the dentist. He wasn’t wrong. But the time I went back, I was almost sorry to lose it. I’d felt a bit like Jaws from the Bond movies. Albeit a slightly sillier version ... with a hearing-aid battery in his mouth.

But don’t you just love the way dentists have of saying slightly startling things, when you’re lying there unable to reply?

It turned out I needed a filling for a hole in the neighbouring tooth. But not just any old hole. The dentist called it ‘enormous’.

“You’d never believe it if you hadn’t have seen it!” he said. “No!” said his equally astonished dental nurse.

Crikey, I thought!