I pour hot espresso all over my most favourite T-shirt whilst I am still in it! [translation = my new mouth is not to be trusted, and my top lips is still numb] I decide that I have managed to turn myself into a dribbling idiot, whip of the T-shirt and run upstairs half naked for my second favoutie T-shirt. [translation = and we wonder why ‘naked’ runs in the family] For some reason the laundry maid has failed in her duties and I have no choice but to slip into second to least favourite T-shirt which has the added advantage of already looking scrumpled.
I toddle off to the Chemist to collect my prescription, [translation = drug store] The pharmacist retrieves a large white package. [translation = ominous]
She takes out each item to give me a run down. [translation = what to do with which]
“So this is the mouth rinse,” she proffers a brown bottle, “but that’s not covered by your insurance.”
“Great thank you.”
“Do you know how to use it, have you had it before?”
“Oh yes, thank you.”
“Do you have any questions about this one?”
“Er no, I don’t think so.”
“So you know that you can’t eat for thirty minutes after you’ve rinsed?”
I am non-plussed. I have no plans to eat anything after they’ve yanked out four of my front teeth anyway.
“No I didn’t know that. They didn’t tell me that last time.”
“Well, they should have done! Didn’t you read the instructions?” She flaps an instruction leaflet the size of a good defense brief.
“Ah, that instruction leaflet!” [translation = one of many that achieved instant recycling status]
“Well…….not the fine print, exactly.” [translation = it is al fine print and the bifocals aren’t up to the job and neither is the psyche, as ignorance is bliss]
“Right. Then we have this one!” She shakes a small tub of pills. I peer at them affecting interest. My bifocals have no trouble in recognizing that they are the size of horse tablets.
“So these are the anti biotics. You start taking them now, five days before surgery.”
“You need to take them with food.”
“What happens if I don’t take them with food.”
“Well, ….don’t, just don’t.”
“Because they’ll upset your stomach, you know.” I wonder which of the two most obvious kinds of stomach upset they cause? I stop wondering. [translation = ignorance is bliss and I always prefer a surprise]
“And then lastly, we have the pain killers.”
“Right.” These at least are very tiny. There are very few of them. “Great!” I beam, flashing my retainer covered teeth that are all in my jaw prior to extraction. She gives me an odd look.
“Yes. Great! Looks, there’s only…..4! Four tiny little pain pills.”
“They’ll certainly be easier to swallow……” she frizzles out. I fill in the blank for her.
“Well, if there’s only four and they’re ever so teeny tiny, that must mean that it will hardly hurt at all!” I beam, so that she can admire my intelligence and my straight teeth at the same time.
“Oh. I see what you mean, but I don’t think you should draw that conclusion.” I shouldn’t? Why shouldn’t I? I don’t want to know.
“O.k. well how much is that little lot going to cost me?” I witter in the hope of distracting her. She faulters, she knows she’s missed a beat and she’s a professional.
“Well, you know that you need to take these with food.”
“Yes, you already said that, thank you.”
“No, that was the antibiotics, you need to take the pain killers with food too.” Why is everyone so insistent upon the food, when someone without teeth, or four less teeth will not be capable of eating. I long to fast forward to the future, where as promised, we will no longer eat food, but just pop a pill of 2500 calories and be done with the whole messy business, or fast forward even further to when humankind has morphed into some hideous green slug, of Banana slug perhaps?
Not for the first time, my mind drifts off into the many failing of the human body. I may be able to wiggle my ears, but it would be handy if they could do double duty, the ears that is to say, so you could shove pills in your ears and they’d make there way down to your tummy, a sort of dual pathway, a minor deviation. Better still, your nose could function in the same manner. Rather having snot end up at the back of your throat, if you could just move it a couple of inches, it could all just drop into the intestine by a little back road. A zip in the tummy would be ideal then you could skip giving birth, and it would be reusable, for as many babies are you might find favour with.
There are other things too. Why do we have ear lobes? What are they for? What do people do if they don’t have any, or only one? Why is there a pleat just under your nose that runs to your mouth? I think the pleat is there to stop your top lip splitting when you smile, but if that’s the case, why don’t you have a pleat running from your bottom lip to your chin? Maybe the pleat is to ensure that when you have a cold, you have a dual channel, keep them separate and neat, but if that’s the case, why is it an indentation rather than a long bump?
“Madeline?...........Madeline!............MADELINE!” I am disturbed from my meanderings and forced to return to the current situation. The pharmacist looks at me. I look at her, even though I’d prefer to duck down under the counter. I shift my weight from foot to foot under her gaze, “so that’s o.k., you’ve got that then, any more questions, do you want to sign here?” I conform and confirm and sign on the dotted line, luckily it’s not in blood.
I leave the store, knowing that I am already a day late in starting the antibiotics due to circumstances beyond my control. I wave at the guy who is nearly always sitting outside the shop next to his cart. He smiles back at me, with even fewer teeth than I am likely to have, but that’s because I’m a lucky little alien with Health Insurance.
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