THE MUSIC MAKER
"This should be entertaining," is, under normal circumstances, a phrase designed to delight the ears, offering a prelude to forthcoming fun, games and general shenanigans. It's somewhat less appealing, however, when the orator is your dentist and he's poised to extract a tooth which had crumbled in defeat over Christmas, having been filled more often than my favourite pint glass. He may or may not have rubbed his hands in glee before commencing work; it's hard to recall the details.
Apparently there was so little actual tooth left to yank on, we were all set for an extraction requiring the highest of skill sets. Well, it's always good to put top professionals to the test and I was glad to do my bit with a dodgy molar.
Having never had a tooth out before, and my only experience of such things being a vague recollection of my granddad disappearing into the back kitchen with some string dangling from his mouth, a slamming door and a muffled grunt, followed by the old boy returning to the parlour clutching a bottle of whisky, I didn't know what on earth to expect. I did ask if they were going to give me gas at one point which caused not a little mirth.
Anyway, off we set with a double anaesthetic injection, not a particularly good sign I felt. Neither was my brilliant dentist's "Mmm" noise as he delved into the abyss. It reminded me of the one a car mechanic expels shortly before informing you that the repair might go horribly wrong but, not to worry, he's got a mate with lovely Mondeo he wants to sell.
Nothing hurt very much, but I'll never forget the crunching sounds that rattled around my head, like an over zealous insect diner enjoying a feast of cornflakes and crisps within the confines of my cerebral cortex.
Not to worry, though, it was soon all over and José had done a magnificent job, spending quite some time stitching me up, mumbling something to himself about that was where the secret to success always lay. Indeed, by the time he'd finished, I felt royally embroidered.
He showed me the end result on a screen above me, and then, bizarrely, asked me if I'd like to keep the tooth. Er, no, thanks. What kind of weirdo takes the thing home? Where would you keep it? On the mantelpiece next to the under-fourteens Lancashire five-a-side trophy you once won?
No, I'll be happy never to see that little blighter again, thank you. The tooth, I mean, not José - he's a marvel.