Thursday 27 December 2012

The Leviathan Awakes

The human body is a triumphant machine, maginificently complex and scientifically programmed.
Until it goes off balance.
It’s been a few months ago since mine started to go wrong, listing my standard walking pattern to one side when that blasted Achiles heel wrenched itself out of its socket. Then the machine became a bit like driving a well oiled car – on three wheels. In a straight line it is manageable but the steering somewhat unreliable at best, with ‘incline’ mode causing major problems. As with a programmed machine, so it compensates by overloading the other supporting systems- eg my other leg - until that gives up too and my knee says no more.
‘Pull into the pits man! All this fast and furious stuff is getting us nowhere. I think we’re ginna crash.’
Take a seat, sir. Chill.
But then one of the other departments in the mechanism finds a slot in my slowing down schedule to throw in a new crisis.
Sitting dormant for a couple of generations, one of the old guard from the dental society decides to make an airing in time for Christmas, wise old thing that it is.
Wisdom tooth?
What’s so fucking wise about a heavy-duty piece of calcium sitting at the back of the mouth doing nothing but hide until it can pounce and cause pain?
Thirty years ago I went into hospital and had three of them removed by a psychopathic butcher with some pretty heavy duty implements that left me bruised all over for a month. At the time it was a bit traumatic, but I was young and able to endure all the swelling and hamster jokes that came my way.
At the time also, I wondered why someone as wise as myself only had three of the damn things, the other one being nowhere in sight! Most people have four?
Well here it is folks, awakening from its slumber like a leviathan from the depths and tunnelling its way right into my mouth at right angles. After a dramatic axe-through entrance like Jack Nicholson in The Shining, it now sits there with its razor sharp edges exposed, evilly waiting to snag anything that passes.
One never considers the tongue really. That piece of soft equipment that tirelessly works back and forth like a con-rod connecting all the senses together as it sends signals to the taste buds and shovels food down the hatch. Cleverly it translates brainwaves into coherent sounds that ears can interpret, some of them so rapid that it has to resist spontaneous combustion on an hourly basis. Fortunately it can be occasionally cooled by refreshing doses of alcohol.
Did you ever consider it doing all that work? No? I hadn’t either – until it no longer can.
Because now, due to the imposition of a craggy outcrop of calcium in its path, it has been snagged more times that a wetsuit in a coral reef until it all its sinews hang out behind it like a decapitated victim of trench warfare.
Oh so hard it tries to carry on its job, dragging its torso through the muddy quagmire of Christmas pudding or delivering jokes that it has heard several thousand times before.
Well, today, quite rightly, it has given up. ‘If you wont stop using me,’ it says, ‘I will swell up like a bouncy castle until there is no more room on the cave to move at all.’
These are but a few of the latest perils to endanger my lonely existence until those nice stone-masons at the National Health with some modern mining equipment can remove the bell-bottomed ice-berg that is in danger of taking us all down.
One hopes that the waiting list for such surgery is not as long as the queues for those Boxing Day sales at Argos which snaked past the emergency dentists in Kidderminster’s downtrodden town centre yesterday.

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