(Nicked from old blog - Feb. '07)
I've always thought of Tuesdays as being a wee bit nothingy. But not any more thanks to Conchon the Fangman. Suddenly it's the worst day of the week, the day of dread, because 10.30am every Tuesday is now firmly etched in my addled brain as dental appointment time.
Couple of weeks back, I managed to weedle out of a dreaded Tuesday appointment thanks to divine intervention. Basically, it snowed. And snowed. So the road became blocked by drifts and fallen trees. Which meant I couldn't get into town. So I made a new appointment for Tuesday last week. Er, without realising that that was the day I had to drive Georgie back to Limoges airport after a long week-end's stay. So I cancelled again and re-arranged for this Tuesday. A case of third time lucky. Or unlucky, rather.
I duly reported for duty on Tuesday at 10.30 on the dot, reeking of eucalyptus mints that I'd found in a little old tin in the dark recesses of the kitchen drawer, with an 'eat by' date of February '04 (live dangerously eh); like a lamb to slaughter. Conchon, bless him, made some opening remark which I didn't really understand. Come to think of it, neither of us ever understands a word the other is saying. I think he was on about the snow-blocked road of a fortnight ago. But he could have just been asking if I'd had any ill effects with the tooth he'd removed at my last visit. In which case my response about chainsawing fallen trees would have totally confused him. Ah well.
Couple of minutes later, with white-knuckled hands gripping the armrests of the dentist's chair, sweat dripping from a furrowed brow and body tensed like rigor mortis, I began making weird gurgling noises. Concerned that he was causing me unnecessary pain, Conchon stopped work immediately. At which point, I drew his attention to a couple of fat pigeons I'd spotted in a tree outside the window. "Cigeons!" I'd gurgled excitedly (impossible to pronounce a 'p' with a gobful of dental stuff); a remark to which Conchon responded with some incomprehensible comment, followed by a look that showed he's convinced I'm bonkers. Panic over, he returned to fiddling with the remnants of the tooth that recently lost its cap.
Bit later, he suddenly downed tools, issued me with an appointment card for same time next Tuesday, and escorted me down the corridor to the door. As a parting shot, I drew my thumb across my neck and made some comment about "noir" in an attempt to explain that they were actually ring-necked doves, not pigeons. However, he may have thought I was threatening to send a big black man round to slit his throat. Luckily, his parting shot didn't confirm this. Instead, I think he made some remark about the doves being a permanent feature in his garden. Mind you, it could have been something along the lines of "Yes I know they're ring-necked doves. I told you this a couple of minutes ago. You're stark raving bonkers. Barking mad. Goodbye." Damned confusing.
Next stop, haircut.
For someone with a barnet that closely resembles sparce vegetation in a barren desert, having a haircut is on a par with visiting the dentist: bloody scary. To make matters worse, the only barber in town is a women's salon that claims to be unisex. Which probably explains why most of the rednecks round here go for a drastic 'number three' executed by the wife, girlfriend, or trusted mate. As I don't have a wife, the girlfriend's in England and I don't trust anyone, my haircut options are somewhat limited. So I had little choice but to enter the chamber of horrors.
Soon as I entered, three lady customers frowned and three lady hair artistes raised eyebrows, clearly indicating that this girlie poodle parlour was no place for a proper bloke. Almost turned and made a run for it but too late; Madame was on me in a flash. In the hope that I'd be asked to leave immediately, I apologetically asked if I could make an appointment for later in the week as they seemed to be rather busy. "No problem. I'll do you in a minute. Wait over there."
A delightful young nubile then pointed to a door. Assuming it to be the waiting room, I entered. And promptly found myself in a small dark cupboard, headbutting coathangers. As I reversed out to the sound of snuffled giggles from the cutting floor, Madame spotted my embarrassing predicament and wafted across the salon in a cloud of Chanel No. 5, hung my jacket in the cupboard, sat me down with my back to a sink, slung a black sheet over my head and ordered Miss Nubile to give me a shampoo which I didn't really want. Thought about terminating the operation but Madame didn't seem to be the type to take 'no' for an answer.
Few minutes later, with dripping hair and sudsy ears, I was plonked in another chair where I confronted a short, fat, balding bloke in a big mirror. As I waited for Madame to finish off her latest hairy masterpiece, I spotted a magazine. Unfortunately, it was a women's mag. A French women's mag. Not exactement my tasse de the, but anything was better than staring at that ugly git in the mirror. Flicked through it and then twiddled my thumbs. Then started absent mindedly tongueing the Fangman's latest bit of dentistry. The previously jagged edge of that half tooth stump now seemed much more rounded. And a bit higher. Maybe he's building it up. Which may explain why he's booked me in for next week. Or maybe he's spotted another cavity. Checked with tongue for any more holes. Nah. Seems okay. Ring-necked doves, eh. Croo, crroooo, crrrroooo. Crrrrrroooooo. Felt quite soporiphic. Momentarily nodded off.
Feeling a tap on my shoulder, I automatically gripped the chair arms and opened my mouth in readiness for Conchon's latest attack. Which probably quite surprised Madame. Politely ignoring the strange behaviour of her latest victim, Madame then asked if I had any preference regarding coiffure design. Given that her options in this respect were somewhat limited by having very little to play with, I simply asked for a 'normal'. However, as neither of us had the foggiest idea of what constituted 'normal', I ended up with something probably best described as 'short'. But never mind. At least I'd had my money's worth.
Scratching an itchy neck, a short-arsed braveheart who looked suspiciously like an escaped convict was then seen running up the street from the hairdresser's in a last-ditch bid for freedom.
A Winters's Harvest
1 week ago