Tuesday, June 22, 2010

explorers, radiation, unanswered


Posted by PicasaIn pursuit of London.

About 10 years ago my dentist, Tim, bought a new x ray machine. It was either this or a Porsche, he said at the time. His new machine to which he introduces me today he says "is clean, very clean. The cleanest. I can stand beside it all day and  receive no more radiation than on a return trip to Paris. France is on his mind at the moment. I'm on holiday in Saint Malo, next week," he says. "Golf?" I ask knowing his sporting inclinations. "No," he says: "Food. I know what my first meal's going to be... A dozen oysters and foie gras." And getting a little carried away, "pounds of Normandy butter." Dentists by virtue of their occupation and their patients'  necessary subservience to their drilling, scraping and tinkering, are hard to engage in dialogue, or I would certainly have enquired after his drinking plans.

As I stand on platform one at Tunbridge Wells station, I hear a telephone ringing through an open office window on the other side of the track. No one answers its insistent,  plaintive call. Why don't they answer? someone is saying somewhere.

3 comments:

The Crow said...

I always enjoy reading your posts, for you make interesting observations.

Sometimes, though - and often, acutally - your observations are quite keen and your reportage takes on a novelist's air, as in last post about the writer's hands glimpsed through the window, and, here, with the telephone's plaintive wail for attention.

Not to mention the humorous picture in the dentist's chair and your knowing, wry observation regarding his potential imbibing!

Barrett Bonden said...

It's important not to let dentists get the upper hand conversationally. I start firing questions at mine (more often it's the hygienist) as I enter her chamber. One notable inner was "Are you aware of the statistics for patients who have died in a dentist's chair?" Questions help put us both on a more equal footing.

Plutarch said...

Crow Unanswered telephones are sad, arn't they. They give me a hollow feeling.

BB It's alright when your jaws are not prised open, but it's then that your sometimes want to say something and you can't. In my case I would quite enjoy a conversation with the hygienist and the dentist, both of whom I have now known for a long time.