Let me introduce you to my very own Tooth Fairy.
I know what you are thinking – that I am far, far too old to need
a Tooth Fairy, one who will visit me at dead of night to rescue my milky white tooth from under a cute Tooth Pillow or from inside a silver box with a wistful fairy on top. I am too old to be getting excited by the prospect of the Tooth Fairy’s
payment (I gather, from a little bit of research among family and friends that £2 is the going rate for the first tooth, with £1 per tooth thereafter.)
that does not mean I can’t have a Tooth Fairy of my very own and her name is Julie.
Julie has fair hair, a sweet smile and the kind of low, pleasant
voice which is most comforting when you are lying in the dentist’s chair, awaiting Whatever May Befall. Julie is, in short, my dentist.
expecting to be lying there in her surgery this morning. It was Mr B who had the dental appointment. There was no way he was going to forget it this time, either – there on our stairs, where it could not be missed, was a yellow post-it note bearing the
warning: “DENTIST. 10.50.” Mr B firmly believes in the Powers of the Post-It Note as a way of providing reminders, advice, information, general warnings and diary dates. When he celebrated a significant birthday, some years ago, I had a local
artist produce a cartoon model of him and asked the family what special characteristics should be included. Every single one of them mentioned the Post-It Notes.
bus to town was a long time coming and when it did arrive there was another one right behind. How often does that happen? We had left home with plenty of time but the lateness of our bus meant that we arrived at the Dental Surgery with just half
a minute to spare so Mr B hared up to the surgery while I asked the receptionist if I could make an appointment with the dentist to fix a missing filling. Could I come back just after midday, she asked. Well I had to say yes, even if it meant we would
have to forego our planned lunch in Marks & Spencer’s cafe. It would only have been a sandwich and a packet of crisps, with a mug of coffee to wash it all down so it wasn’t too much of a sacrifice.
At 12.10 precisely, I am in The Chair and the Tooth Fairy’s Little Helper is replacing my specs with some fetching purple shades. The Tooth Fairy bends over me and I open my mouth plaintively,
for all the world like one of the baby peregrine falcons which have just hatched out in their nest in Chichester Cathedral (watch them on the live webcam - they are enchanting!) The Tooth Fairy says all I need is a minor repair and asks do I want an
injection to numb the nerve or am I going to be brave? I remind her that I am, in Mr B’s words, A Wimp of the First Order, and she nods consolingly as she prepares a syringe of numb-inducing Something Or Other. Not a word of reproach for my cowardice
does the Tooth Fairy utter.
I like the way the Tooth Fairy says “Well done!” when she has finished injecting into my gum though I am not sure I am
at all deserving of her congratulations. I like the way she tells me what she is going to do to me and my tooth, before she does it, even if most of the time I haven’t the faintest idea what she is talking about. I like the fact that she doesn’t
appear to expect an answer when she has filled my mouth with strange metal objects and rolls of cotton wool. I like her soft, calm voice saying: “Nearly done now. Just a little longer.” I like the fact that she says the numbness should wear off
in half an hour which means I should still be able to enjoy the biscuits at our cribbage group this afternoon. I don't tell her about the biscuits, obviously.
may not leave any money under my pillow – but everyone should have a Tooth Fairy like mine...