It started so very well. Mike and I met at our designated place. He looked exactly as I'd remembered him all four days ago - not lip-licking scrummy, but something kind of appealing around the eyes.
What I haven’t told you is that what I'd referred to minimalistically as a temporary crown was, in fact, a temporary bridge, an appliance made necessary by my darling children donkeys' years ago when I was still suffering from a three year bout of chronic Lovely Mushy Mummy Syndrome. I’d had two of the
annoying little buggers dear sweet things on my knees, one in front of the other, and was jigging them up and down on my lap whilst singing them some dorky song. A word of caution - never stimulate a male of any age in any way – it will all end in tears. As it did in my case. The child in the front got a bit giddy, slammed his head into the kid at the back who slammed his head into my teeth – the front one of which went flying to the back of my throat. The only thing that could be done was to file down the teeth on either side, vampire style, to accommodate a bridge.
Now it just so happened that a few days before the date with Mike, I'd severely chipped said bridge whilst
opening a beer bottle at a Hell's Angels rally in Brighton. Oops, sorry! Unreliable narrator moment there! Where was I? …whilst trying to disengage the vacuum packaging from a halogen light bulb. (Spit, grumble, mumble, moronic designers...) The bridge had to be replaced before it crumbled. The dentist said it would be TWO WEEKS before the cruddy temporary plac contraption could be exchanged for my brand new set of gleaming porcelain gnashers. Such is the state of dentistry in the UK: you give them hundreds of thousands of pounds for their craptastic service, they inform you 'two weeks minimum' without so much as apologising that you’re going to resemble Abraham Lincoln for the next fourteen days.
When Mike had pushed for an early date and I’d said I’d rather not because of the crown, I thought the white lie would be irrelevant because he wouldn’t see me anyway. But the Abe look might be harder to disguise...
We caught up on the week over starters. He didn’t seem to be peering at my mouth as I fluttered my eyelashes in a feeble attempt to look alluring. He had, after all, said he needed a correction to his laser eye treatment. For the main course I’d chosen some fancy chicken salad. What I hadn’t banked on was that the chef also needed some laser eye correction. Don’t ask me how it happened – I have no idea. I’d already eaten about three quarters of the salad, chewing with my molars mainly, when I chomped into what was supposed to be chicken breast; but it was a bone. It dislodged the bridge. I put my hand over my mouth in a sort of ‘I'm listening intently to everything you're saying’ kind of way, made captivated (sic) eyes at him as he spoke, all the while surreptitiously trying to put the bridge back in place with my tongue. But the more I fiddled with it, the looser it became until finally the bloody, sodding, shitty piece of British-made rubbish slid off altogether.
In the meantime, Mike, who’d been telling me about his time in the Falklands, asked me whether I remembered where I was when I heard the Belgrano had sunk – the usual stuff of second dates, I should imagine. Well, I couldn’t answer, could I? Not without revealing my predicament. He asked me again. I just grinned, closed-mouth, going “Mm. Hmm”. (I'm killing myself laughing here - there's just something gloriously absurd about the juxtaposition of discussing the Belgrano and my teeth falling out - go figure!)
“Belgrano?” he said. “You do remember the Belgrano, don’t you?
Me still grinning like the village idiot after a three week bender.
“Are you all right?" he asked finally.
Aw, bugger and thod it! I thtood up, thaid “Ekthcuthe me for a thecond” and throde off to the Ladieth to thee whether thomething could be thalvaged from thith horrendouth thituation.
Once in the loo, I managed to stick the bridge back on the stumps. Of course - you won’t be surprised - not before another of the female diners walked in and caught me, toothless, rinsing it under the tap.
So, all in all, yeah. A brill evening. Thanks for asking.