Men in white coats

With their being no National Service anymore I have no experience of the military. While I could have enlisted voluntarily I preferred to be a civilian. This doesn’t mean I can’t daydream. And the best place to do this is in the dentist’s chair.

I haven’t been to the dentist for over a year, missing out on two regular six month check-ups. It’s not fear of Dr. Christian Szell that kept me away it was his frontline troops I couldn’t handle; the Checkpoint Charlie receptionists are a dour-faced lot. They may be young and pretty but by gum they don’t know how to smile and are as welcoming as (insert your own dental simile here)…
The two glum sentinels forced me to change my practice.
You changed your dentist because of the receptionists I hear you say.
Yes, I was that soldier. Handily, a new surgery opened up nearby and was looking for new recruits.
I signed up.

On entering the barracks I was cordially greeted by a beautiful, bubbly, smiling, professional receptionist. I was welcomed with open arms. Then I met the General. He said it was time for my examination.

The check up revealed that no work needed to be done and I was livid though I kept my feelings to myself. I was wanting a good, long bout of treatment. You see the dentist chair is the best place to daydream. While he’s probing and drilling and pulling and filling and sucking in your mouth you can pretend to be somewhere else.

I like to imagine I’ve been captured by the enemy and they’re trying to extract vital information from me using enhanced interrogation techniques. With great willpower I say nothing and fight through the pain as the dentist of death carves me up. This is a piece of cake and I can’t wait for the waterboarding to start. Sometimes though, as I’m too enmeshed in my hallucination, I shout out my name and number-

“WILSON 1872”

This gives the dentist a fright and I apologise with a meek, sloppy “Sortthhy”.

16 thoughts on “Men in white coats”

  1. Somewhere deep in a forest, probably in Eastern Europe, there is a faculty where they breed receptionists like Helga from Allo Allo but without the humour or the sex-appeal

    I go in for an appointment with the doctor/dentist/accountant/council wonk. Good morning, I have an appoitment with Dr/Mr XYZ. She (for it is always a she) thinks, Soooo, I do not like zer vay you heff said Guten Morgen. Zat vill be zwei hours on your waiting time Sunshine und if you complain I vill heff you taken round the back of zer surgery/waiting room/office und heff you shot….verrrry slowly.

    Anyway, why bother seeing a doctor or dentist who has trained for six years in university to become competent when the receptionist knows so much more than they?


  2. Hi JW

    Oh no!! That face, that film, that trauma!!!

    I’ve had nastily annoying encounters with receptionists at my doc’s surgery (incompetence, defensiveness, blocking techniques and downright bloodymindedness), but the nice ladies at the my dentist are all sweetness and light. They are especially smiley at the end when I present my bank card.

    Your last para made me faint. If I have a wish to be tortured, I’ll watch the film again.

    Fun blog. 🙂

  3. Carry the war into the enemy camp for starters!
    Always turn up well dressed with a sufficiency of grooming, good jewelry and style.
    Start off with an autocratic, peremptory and well elocuted “Good Morning” in an exceptionally crisp manner. Carry on stating your business in like manner.
    Ride roughshod over any objections, deem as much as possible as “ridiculous” or “nonsense” and make assumption that all will be as you wish it. Tap counter with fingernail.
    Maintain sardonic bored visage throughout.

    Generally withers the bitches where they stand/sit. Works in airports too. Never forget in Sicily making some customs wallah repack my knickers, totally hysterical
    Asked him ” You disarrayed my suitcase, you hardly expect me to repack it surely!?”
    Poor sod didn’t know where to put himself!
    (Always pack underwear on top of suitcase it gets them twitching every time!)

    Practise the ‘basilisk eye’ before mirror until it can drop at 500 yards.
    Such fun.
    Apologise for anything royalist? You must be crazy or masochisitic! Go get’em.

    Oh damn! An apocalypse, no no an apostrophe!

  4. Morning all,

    VG comments. Well played team.

    Being brought up in a quiet little housing scheme you can probably guess that I am quite your ballistic approach is all new to me, MrsO. What was the first thing? Dress smartly? Hmm. Need to dig out my old Bermuda shorts and flip-flops. Not forgetting the black socks.

  5. Yesterday I had to have a minor op on my hand and the medical staff were all very competent and very pleasant. As husband pointed out, the one exception was the receptionist. Probably a graduate of OZ’s special facility. Perhaps she was miffed she didn’t get to wear a uniform.

  6. Dare I suggest that the merest possibility of the nightmare of opening a suitcase and finding Chrisina/s shreddies would weaken the heart of even the summa cum laude graduate of OZ’s forest training camp? Particularly when the Lady herself is standing in front of it, fingernail tapping with a life to pursue and a mahoosive attitude. 😀


  7. The absolute best was the boy taking a dump in Chicago O’Hare. Some greasy little wop Costa Rican doing a jobsworth on my luggage. I had the boy in my arms, had to put him down on the desk to open some luggage.
    I noted the boy going red in the face and gruffing so I carefully left him there and kept a straight face. Gradually a miasmic cloud of effluvia rolled over the customs creep, he was so offended, positively gibbered at me. Needless to say I was excessively slow and meticulous at repacking my effects. I left the boy on the desk deliberately rather than putting him back in his pram just so the ‘gentleman’ could enjoy the full and rich aroma for as long as possible!

    Many was the time I reminded the boy that very very few have had the opportunity of crapping on the customs though many millions have longed to do so! One of life’s gold star moments!
    Indeed, one of the best Osborne moments!

  8. A good thought has come to me-
    Take a few too many bars of Exlax and then visit your favourite location with SS receptionist. Arrange to have that life changing moment right at her desk and artistically collapse into coma within nose distance.
    Bet they would never keep you waiting again!

  9. Perhaps yes referencing the above!
    All splendid entertainment. Trouble is too few people relish the ‘game form’, they belong to the ‘don’t make a fuss brigade’ whereas I never miss a trick! One of my chief entertainments in life, most people are so tediously obedient and downtrodden and so utterly boring. It is one of the things all husbands must thoroughly enjoy as spectators if not active participants otherwise they don’t get out of the starting gate!
    But, and it is a big but, one must do it with style and class, serious put downs are merely uncouth if done in rant or drunken mode etc. The thought of doing a ‘Ryanair’ gives one the vapours! And would get Aunt Anita spinning in her grave! She was my model, to watch her sweeping through Waitrose was a joy to behold.

  10. I’ll start you off:

    Aunt Anita shopped with style
    But fools she reprimanded……
    ……demanded. 🙂

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