At the dentist ....
1. You sit in a waiting room, wishing you were in the mood for people-watching, ie making interesting observations about what others do when they're nervous. But you are not. You too are texting people to whom you have nothing decent to say, biting your nails (perhaps for the last time for a while) and curling your toes up towards the ceiling.
2. You read, from cover to cover, a magazine called 'Groom your Dog the Tai Chi Way' or 'Collect Tree Bark as a Lifelong Pastime' and find it absorbing.
3. The words which come over the tannoy ('Fran to Room 3, please) you hear as 'Climb the stairs to your eternal doom' and the receptionist has to tell you it's your turn.
4. You enter the dentist's surgery and hear his opening words ('Hello, Fran, how are you?') as 'Lie down on this couch and let me drill down through your palate and up into your brain tissues until you scream for mercy'. You only just stop yourself from saying, 'I think I've changed my mind. I have a better plan for my afternoon which involves putting my head inside the jaws of a starved shark'.
5. You realise that, however handsome the dentist, you and he (should you be free, of course ...) are never going to become an item. You can dress up all you like in a nice spotty cardi and your favourite black trousers, but all he'll be looking at is your ageing gums, the purple veins at the back of your tongue, and your epiglottis. It's not a good start to a relationship.
6. Another woman, to whom you have not given an explicit invitation, gets to stare at your face under a bright light under the pretence of sucking extra liquid from your mouth with a vacuum cleaner. She gets to muse for a LONG TIME on your upper lip hair, the little cluster of moles on your right cheek and the fact that you probably have yesterday's mascara on. She also gets to dress you in a pair of plastic goggles and a plastic apron, as well as watching you spit into a sink. She is one happy lady.
7. You suddenly become very adept at making up little games for yourself while there's a shedload of plasticine in your mouth, waiting to set. These games are called, 'How long will it take for that cloud to go past that bit of the window?' and 'How many ceiling tiles are in this room?' and 'How much of Paradise Lost can I really remember?'
8. Things about pink liquid. a) Drinking pink liquid and spitting it out of your mouth is much more difficult when your mouth isn't where it was earlier in the day. b) Pink liquid down your shirt is not comfortable or pretty. c) Pink liquid looks even pinker when it's been spat, not in the sink, but over the edge of it.
9. The dentist's words ('Right, that's all done, then') make you so happy that you mishear them as 'I am not a dentist, really. I am George Clooney in disguise and I think you are stunning. Let us run away together on a white horse.'
10. It's best not to smile at the bus driver or any passengers when you journey home, however pleased you are to be out of there. However hard you try, smiles after anaesthesia don't work as well as they do without anaesthesia, and as you are probably dribbling as well, you don't want to spoil your joy by having to explain to a police officer why you are trying to scare people.