"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

A Polished Performance


“To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock,
In a pestilential prison, with a life-long lock,
Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock,
From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block!”

The Mikado,  W. S. Gilbert


I have never quite forgotten the unpleasant, childhood experience of dental procedures.


Driven perhaps by residual angst, I pay slightly obsessive attention to dental flossing. But a couple of nights ago, the process dislodged what felt like a large pebble.

Exploring my teeth with my tongue gave the impression of a vast jagged cavity.

It was clearly time for a trip to my Cochin dentist: a man of great skill combined with the gentle touch.



Having hired an auto

with an unusual name

and made a brief, refuelling pit-stop, the rains began in earnest.

The driver attached tarpaulins to the sides of the auto in an attempt to keep us dry.

Thus I arrived incognito at the dentist, as if travelling in purdah.



Fortune smiled:



One porcelain filling had a very small chip missing.

An X-ray revealed the rest of tooth to be fine.

Dr Emmanuel’s recommendation: polish the newly rough edge to smoothness.

Then, leave well alone.




2 responses

  1. Lucille

    So glad the name of your auto wasn’t Spiritually Bankrupt. The polished plaque certainly inspires confidence. (Oh dear sorry that was an entirely unintentional pun, but rather good don’t you think? Especially with the Colgate ring of confidence allusion). I’ll get my coat.

    July 16, 2010 at 1:25 am

    • Jolyon

      Sadly the Youtube was blocked to us. Your dentist sounds very sensible. I have just visited mine and an extraction was suggested…

      July 23, 2010 at 12:53 am

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