Saturday, August 11, 2007

In which I prevent a cranial explosion

On Wednesday I had my final dentist appointment. There was nothing new. The Man was there in the clinic while I was getting the treatment, which this time consisted of only finishing up the cleaning once the dentist had checked again and couldn't find anything else wrong. I told The Man he didn't need to come after the first time when I realized there was nothing to worry about and the dentist and I could communicate, but he said he wanted to help, and I quite enjoy him being there. I think, actually, he likes to watch. It is the curiosity of a man who has never in his life needed any dental work.

He certainly watched very closely, and I hoped that he was noticing that the new dentist is much, MUCH better than his friend was.

He and the dentist talked about what I should watch for and when I should take the antibiotics I've been given for if the inflammation, wherever it is, comes back when we're on holiday. I could not join in this conversation because there were hands in my mouth, so I just listened. The dentist asked about our holiday, and they talked about travel a bit. It is nice to have some distraction at the dentist, and I enjoyed listening.

Then the dentist said,

"I have a friend who lives in Malaysia."

"Really?" said The Man. "Which part?"

The dentist tried to remember.

"Something like 'Madagascar,' but . . . no, that's not it, is it?"

"Madagascar is off the coast of Africa," I didn't say, because of the hands in my mouth.

"No, I don't think so," said The Man, diplomatically. He tried to think of Malaysian place names that sounded similar. They both tried, but neither could come up with anything that might be it.

And that's when it stopped being so much fun for me, because the conversation had stalled and I KNEW WHAT THE ANSWER WAS. I willed The Man to say it, but he didn't. He frowned, wanting to be clever but unable to come up with the right name.

There was a long, thoughtful silence, as they both tried to figure out which town it could be and I became more and more frustrated. Finally I couldn't cope any longer.

I waved my arms.

Here I should explain that earlier, when the dentist was trying to locate the source of the twinges, he tapped on various teeth and asked me if it hurt. When I said, "Uh-huh," he had to take his hand out of my mouth to find out whether Uh-huh meant Uh-huh-yes or Uh-huh-no. After doing this a couple of times we settled on a hand signal instead. If it hurt, I was to raise my hand.

This was the first time I had moved my hands, but I was not just raising a hand. I was flapping both arms furiously. I may have waved my legs as well.

The dentist instantly stopped and peered at me worriedly.

"Did that hurt?" he asked, puzzled. He removed his hand.

"MELAKA!" I exploded.

There was a surprised silence.

"Your friend probably lives in Melaka," I explained, a little more calmly, but I suspect I may have failed to not roll my eyes.

The dentist stared at me for a moment, then his face cleared and he started laughing.

"Melaka! Yes! That's it!" he said, and turned to The Man. "My friend lives in Melaka!"

He turned back to me.

"No pain?"

"No pain," I said. "I just couldn't stand it any more."

And it was true. I couldn't. They may have laughed at me, but it was totally worth it. If I'd had to hold onto the answer any longer I am fairly sure the top of my head would have blown off.


kumonkey said...

Hey Badaunt. I came across your blog randomly... I enjoyed reading; I`m another Kiwi in Japan (is there anyone left in NZ?!, so interested in your musings. I`ve also just started a weeblog of my own this summer, feel free to drop by for a squizz! Cheers. Kumonkey.

Radioactive Jam said...

And if your head HAD exploded, imagine their puzzlement. Still, it might have restarted their conversation, though perhaps along a different track.

Lia said...

I wasn't even there, and I'm laughing. I really needed that today.

kenju said...

We HAD to have been sisters in a former life.....LOL

Bruce Bills said...

After reading this, I felt like I was watching a game show with the million-dollar question, except that you were in the dentist's chair waiting for things to happen before you blurt the big answer. I take that you really felt good after dropping the answer on the dentist and The Man. No pain there, yes?