Wednesday 24 September 2008

Lies, dam'd lies, and dental appointments

This post was going to be called 'of rear ends and dental floss', which, you have to agree, is a pretty catchy title.

It certainly would have snared some pretty interesting visitors.

But I started to write, and somehow that title skewed the content of the post, I can't imagine why. I began to tell you all sorts of things about my mis-spent youth, knickers of choice, and other personal histories which frankly are best left undisturbed. At least, in writing.

So instead, here's a snapshot of my morning. Please laugh - I had to...

Imagine, if you will, a Kwikfit store, somewhere in central London. It's 8.31am. The bell on the door tinkles prettily as a stunningly attractive late 30-something brunette sashays in. (In a certain light, she looks just like Juliette Binoche. In the dark, that is). She makes her way to the counter where the following exchange takes place...

Brunette: "Could you take a look at my car, please? I think there's something wrong with the exhaust as it's sounding like a Ferrari - which it isn't."

Manager (as if): "Certainly ma'am. Which car is it?" (gesturing hopefully outside at any of the number of expensive models parked on the street)

Brunette: "That one, over there."

He wilts, visibily. "The........ Skoda?"

The Brunette holds her head high: "Yes. I'm afraid so..."

The long and short of our conversation (for yes, dear reader, that stunningly attractive late 30-something brunette was, in fact, me)(Oh alright. Early 40-something, if you're going to be like that...) was that my beloved purple nightmare needs not only a new catalytic converter, but a new exhaust as well, and that the grand total for this injury would be in the region of £470...

Before 9.00am? Before even a can of diet coke, a hot chocolate, or a cuppa?

I don't think so.

So, I thanked the gentleman for his expert opinion, declined his kind offer of a free machine coffee whilst I waited for the work to be done, and drove off to seek a second opinion, from Ray, our helpful mechanic who services said purple nightmare yearly. Imagine the following delivered in strong Greek accent.

Ray: "What you want, see, is this, you want a new cat, because it's broken, right, and if you bang it, like this, you hear it - you hear that? - so we need a new one for you which I don't have but I will call him right now, the man, and see if he has one, but wait, I don't know which model, because your Skoda, right, your Skoda can have one of two, so I need the chassis number (I just look it up on the computer right now don't you worry I got it), and then we know, but what you don't need, see, is a new exhaust, because this, right, this is not broken, it's got 3, 6, 9 months, maybe a year left in it, and I know your husband he don't want to keep the car that much longer so why pay, right, if you gonna replace it soon, so don't you worry PM, all will be OK, and I won't charge you what those cowboys at Kwikfit quote - no don't tell me what it was, I don't want to know - but I better it by a lot because I not going to fit new exhaust just because I can. OK?"


The long and short of it is that it's still going to cost too much money, but we're going to do it anyway, because the incessant rattling and roaring is driving me crazy, worrying Boy #2 who now accuses me of crashing the car every time he hears it ("Mama! Listen! Don't crash! Car!"), and leading Boy #1 to glance around expectantly for a Ferrari every time I accelerate...

So, that was my morning until 10.30am, at which time the Ferrari/Skoda and I arrived at my dentist's for an appointment with the hygeinist.

Now, there are times in life when it's acceptable - almost expected - to tell a little white lie or two...

  • Gosh, no, I never diet!
  • Exercise? Me? No, the baby weight simply dropped off through breast feeding and running around after the children...
  • Don't worry about it! I'll easily find another babysitter (at 4 hours notice?)
  • No, no, bring your mother. The more the merrier!
  • Boy #1's feeling a little under the weather today - otherwise I'm sure he'd wolf down this risotto with chanterelle mushrooms just like the other children...
  • I never eat chocolate...

You get the picture, I'm sure. But there are other times in life when it is impossible to lie. Like, when you swear blind to the lady with the scales that you have been eating sensibly - but you've put on 2 lbs. Or, when you stand in the kitchen at home wondering when the little taste of ice-cream suddenly turned into an empty tub.

Or, in the dentist's chair. No place to hide - or lie - there. Not with the hygeinist putting you through seven kinds of hell whilst she removes all the scaly evidence that you made empty promises when you said on your last visit you were definitely going to floss at least 3 times a week from now on...

I think she was a little disappointed in me. If possible, it hurt even more than usual this time. She probably did that just to teach me a lesson. In a kind of 'no more Mrs Nice Guy' style. She needn't worry though. I've learnt my lesson. I will floss, every day.

Starting tomorrow.


  1. Surely they secretly love that we eat chocolate and drink red wine? Of course they do! Keep them gainfully employed, that's what I say! t.x (poop about the car)

  2. That stinks about the car, but you sure told us about it in a very entertaining way! Does that lessen the blow any?

    No? Oh...

    Anyhow, I agree with the other stuff....I do the whole "lying" thing too...what? Throwing that pile on my desk 10 minutes before I have to leave to pick up my son at the sitters? No.No. That's fine. No problem.

    What?'s just some exlax I plan to put in the brownies I was going to make for all of you co-workers tomorrow. I wasn't going to do it before mind you, but will looove running to the bathroom all day long!

  3. Ferraris are ten a penny in South Ken; a Skoda is far more chich and unique. Especially a purple one.

    And you've just reminded me to book my dental appointment. Now there's something to look forward to!

  4. Spooky. We have a Skoda too, and I am very fond of it. I'm sorry to hear yours has gone wrong and hope it gets better soon.

    As for the floss, I used to have this exact same scenario every time I went to the hygienist. Eventually I made a real effort to floss every day - which I know do and find strangely addictive - and they are STILL critical; you can't win......

  5. KP, I know, you'd think they should be grateful when I turn up with a mouth full of plaque, wouldn't you..?

    J's Mommy - you see my problem with the exlax would be that I love brownies too much and wouldn't be able to resist sampling them... Though at least then if I suffered too no-one would suspect my evil plan...

    Mud, you're right about the skoda of course. Especially one accessorised with dirt, empty water and juice bottles, toys, and children's books. Tres chic indeed!

    VG - you may have a skoda but surely you weren't foolish enough to get a purple one? And answering your comment has been v helpful as now I will try and remember to floss tonight...

  6. am laughing! Kwikfit once told me I needed "four new tyres darlin' an' the spare" and then quoted me a figure that had me wheezing and leaning against my poor maligned car for support. I whipped it along to Grays on the A2 (not a fat lot of good to all non South Londoners I know but....) and sprightly young whippersnapper covered in grease took one look at my tyres and deduced that the "offside one's a bit bare but the others are good" and actually winced when he told me it would cost £34.

    I could have kissed him. And vowed there and then to avoid Kwikfit like the plague!


Go on - you know you want to...