Posts Tagged ‘Angels.’

From the Dentist Chair

May 3, 2017


The second of May with the 2pm meeting with Craig was getting nearer. I kept looking at the Dental appointment reminder stuck on the fridge held by a magnet. There was no need really. The friendly secretary reminded me of this looming meeting by phone the day earlier. No escape! My internal mouth machinations had already been investigated a few weeks before. The dentist then (Craig) tried to keep up a cheerful demeanour but there was just that split second furrowed brow on his face that hinted at a serious dental journey ahead. At least, there wasn’t a; ‘dear oh dear,’ or a sudden catch of breath from him. The verdict was that all could be saved and an itemised quote would be mailed. It came promptly within a few days. I divided the amount by the number of years I had not visited the dentist. It softened the blow. After checking my savings account I bravely decided to go and front up with the remainder of my mouth, tormented teeth and savings account.

Has anyone noticed that doctors’ waiting rooms have chairs, yet dentists’ rooms have couches or settees? Craig’s waiting room has soft carpet, a kind of grey-beige colour, not unlike the colour of my teeth. It is nicely furnished with three and two seater settees. Not only that! The secretary is also in the same room, cosily seated behind a desk. You can hear her talking demurely in the phone or clicking on the computer. She occasionally threw a reassuring glance over the patient. I was the only patient, so it was nice to know I wasn’t alone. I would not want a stern secretary with all that is awaiting. No, you’ve got to give it to Craig. There is calm and serenity. But, is it before the oral storm yet to unleash its fury?

I have fainted only twice in my life. The first time was in church. Where else?  I was about eleven or twelve and hungry. I had not eaten because this church laid down a law that if you were to receive communion you could not eat. The church had lots of laws that forbade almost anything that was joyful or gave pleasure. Gloom and doom was installed at a very young age. It was winter and standing room only. The church was coal heated with the hot air welling up through steel grates on the floor at the back of the church. I was standing at the back of the church on top of this grate, ready to bolt as soon I received this wafer that promised I would be with angels in case I carked it. ( but only if I had not sinned in the meantime.) I fainted and remember coming around with a woman holding me up telling me to go home. I got hot chips with pickles instead from money mum had given me to put in the collection bag. It used to do the rounds in the church attached to a long wooden stick held by a sickly looking man. A bit like a fishing-rod. Since then I put buttons in and keep the money! A wise move.

While waiting to be called into the dentist’s surgery I was mulling over the fainting history of many years ago. My worst fear was that in my heightened state of a grinding dental infused anxiety, I would not be able to get up from the settee, and instead crumble and fall prostrate in front of the dentist. It would not be a good look in front of the nice reassuring secretary that I had previously given a list answering many questions including an answer to the question about my level of nervousness. I filled in that I had no nervousness at all.

Readers will be happy to know I made it to the dentist chair without much drama.





Hark the Herald Angels sing

December 23, 2010

Gerard Oosterman


You can always tell Christmas is near when flies are getting sticky and Bogong moths congregate inside churches and wedding venues.. Super markets are stacking their boxes of artificial Christmas trees near the cash registers busy zapping the bar codes with that cheery  electronic till  sound.

You know those trees; when you go through the annual ritual of  screwing the branches onto the stem and this is then fastened and supported on a round weight filled with sand or water.  The water will never nourish the tree though.  When the festivities are over, you do it all in reverse and store it in the cupboard or attic for next year. 

Another sure sign are the  Father Christmases at shopping malls. It seems they are coming earlier and earlier. The moms, or sometimes dads, queue up with the little ones to get the obligatory picture with Santa taken. I spell Santa with a capital S in reverence to him and also to Finland where they are deemed to come from.  Alas, even here the Santa has taken on something lugubriously artificial, even sinister. Have a good look next time. I have not spoken about this before, so please get a little closer to your screen. 

Next time when a little one climbs off Santa’s knee, try and spot well endowed and generous bosoms, showing through quite clearly, and bulging through the layers of the regal red costume. Even if these Santas are bra wearing males, how about their female voices though?  Are they the last of the castrati masquerading as Santas? Not likely?

I prefer the first option. They are nothing but women Santas. So, has it come to this now? Have our suspicions of the rapacious male now infiltrated the domain of our beloved and dear Santa? 

How could society have imposed this on the vulnerable young?  Is our fear of males and devious behaviour now so finely honed by the social engineers to accept female Santas, and do away with the male Santa?  How can the bonhomie of Santa’s ho., ho, ho be credible coming from a high pitched voice? 

We know that from Ireland to Tasmania and from Canada to Bathurst, the bishops and priests have been only too keen in queuing up to apologize for their scandalous behaviour.  Not a day goes past and someone of the cloth dressed up as priest, clergy or a bishop is charged with sometimes hundreds of counts of misconduct. The higher and more prestigious the institution or school , the more the likelihood of a scandal erupting at any time. 

Even so, the installing of female Santas at shopping centres is ridiculous. There is nothing wrong for women breaking through glass ceilings, but The Santa job has always been male.  I believe the male Santas are chagrined, some even enraged. My mother was brought up in an orphanage run by nuns, having lost her parents at an early age, and she had some horror stories about their peculiar habits as well.  😉 The political correctness has gone to extreme and has now so anesthetized our lives that its greyness dominates, and it seems hardly worthwhile to go on. 

Let’s tackle the Christmas tree first.  I remember Christmas with all sound dulled, absorbed by snow, the smell of spruce tree at home and that of my friends, the real candles, held by those metallic clips and my dear old father melting and cooking the sugary fondant pouring it into their forms, baking biscuits and peppery cloved speculaas, which we would all help hanging from the tree. No matter how short the money, Christmas was real and a ‘real spruce tree’ was always the  essence of the festivities. The decorations were home made by us kids and snow was cotton wool, Christmas scenes inside shoeboxes with coloured paper on top for which I would charge my friends a fee to look at. It was all real! 

It would be nice if the plastic tree and garish baubles would make place for something real. Spruce trees don’t grow here and so we might do with something just as good, the humble pine. What’s wrong with a bunch of Christmas Bush or even a branch of Argyle Gum?  At least it will bring the fragrance in our home and is real. The idea of having something trying to look like something which it is not defeats the purpose, surely?  Why have anything that is not real. I feel for the dearly departed on grave yards, with those faded plastic flowers, how awfully disrespectful. I would rather just have weeds, perhaps Serrated Tussock or Paterson’s Curse?  The idea of having plastic flowers inside the home for the living defies description and a hefty fine should have been considered years ago. 

Apart from  male knees being better and more real than female knees for children to sit on at Christmas time my only other wish would be to rein in not just reindeer but also the’ over the top’ excessive waste during the festivities. At no stage does so much get chucked out then during those festive days. Entire hams, turkeys, tables that are groaning under loaves of bread, boxes of prawns, French champagne, tonnes of marzipan, acres of paper wrappings, it all gets chucked out. It must run into the hundreds of millions. A shopping list  divided by a third and you probably still end up with too much. 

Try also not to break into a gallop or trot during the last couple of days. Each year it seems people, pre- Christmas, start running at shopping centres. Faces are contorted and kids get smacked. A type of mania and herd instinct takes over. Wallets are being turned out in reckless abandonment and emptied in a frenzy of shopping addiction. Don’t fall for it.

Save some, and just buy a real Christmas tree.