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The Tooth, The Whole Tooth And Nothing But The Tooth
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"Stop touching it, Richard!" said Cheryl to her brother, "the more you touch it, the more it's going to hurt. The sooner you grasp this, the better."
Richard sat slumped on his living room sofa by the TV, hoping that his favourite serial, 'Crossroads', would help to distract him from his toothache.
They were both in their thirties and their parents had gone to Florida for the week.
It was early Summer, a time when people are out and about enjoying the warm weather, but poor Richard, because of this toothache, was confined to remain indoors as his tooth had actually become so loose that even when he opened his mouth to speak it moved back and forth.
"There's only one solution now my dear brother," said Cheryl, "it's got to come out."
There was an instant look of fear on Richard's face and he sunk lower down on his sofa.
"No, that's going to hurt a lot! Now you listen to me very carefully, there's absolutely no way that you're going to pull it out!"
He turned his head to the left, sulking.
Cheryl didn't know whether to feel sorry for him or thump him.
It was after all, for his own benefit and so she lifted the telephone receiver and rang the dentist.
"Hello, I'd like to book an appointment for my brother Richard Spencer.
Oh that's great, 10.30 tomorrow morning. Super. Bye!"
Cheryl put the receiver down.
She went up to Richard and gave him a sisterly hug.
"Oh, don't be such a baby Richard; remember the pain will only last a few moments as the dentist pulls it out."
"Oh thanks Cheryl that really makes me feel a lot better!"
Singing she went next door to the kitchen and opened the fridge door, inside there was chocolate pudding in a glass bowl. She lifted it out and lifted the plate that rested on top of it; it didn't take very long for the smell to reach Richard.
"Hey, what's that lovely smell?" called out Richard from the living room.
"Oh, it's nothing." replied Cheryl, placing a large spoon in her mouth.
Her eyes closed in ecstasy.
"Mmmmm! this is absolutely yummy; I'm in Heaven."
Suddenly Richard appeared and instinctively grabbed the spoon and bowl from her and quickly placed a spoonful in his mouth.
There was a moments silence and then, "Aaahhh!!"
Cheryl tugged the bowl and spoon from him and threw the chocolate pudding in the bin.
Richard cupped his mouth, jumping up and down.
"Serves you right Richard, now you're going to feel even more pain. How many times did Mum and Dad tell you not to eat any kind of junk food because of your toothache?"
"It's all your fault; you tempted me with that chocolate pudding. That was supposed to be for the two of us so I was saving it for later!"
And so the day passed by in this manner, the next morning Cheryl decided to accompany Richard to the dentist.
When they arrived at 09.50, there were two patients seated, an old man in his 80's, he had a plaster across his jaw-bone and he was making moaning sounds. Beside him was young lady who seemed very calm and relaxed.
Richard and Cheryl sat beside her and she smiled.
"Hi, my name is Richard, you don't look tense at all" he said nervously.
"There's nothing to be tense about" she replied.
"Excuse me, but you have such a wonderful set of teeth, so err...why are you here?"
"I've come to give my father moral support." she turned to the old man and held his hands. He smiled to reveal one gold tooth in his mouth.
Cheryl found it hard to control her laughter at her brother's ignorance and excused herself. She went to the Ladies room and burst out in a fit of laughter.
"Ahhh haa haa haa haa!" "Ahhh haa haa!"
A few moments later when she emerged she was surprised to see that nobody was in the waiting room.
She went to reception.
"Excuse me, but I came in with my brother Richard Spencer, did you see him leave?"
The receptionist looked into her appointment book and scrolled down, she pointed to the Dentist's surgery.
"Oh, do you know when he went in; can I join him, please?"
The receptionist nodded.
Cheryl knocked on the door and entered.
Richard was lying stretched out on the chair and the dentist, a tall young man and his young female assistant were standing around him.
The assistant held a rubber face mask which was over Richard's mouth.
"Please be seated, you are?" asked the assistant.
"I'm Cheryl Spencer, his sister, is that anesthesia you're giving him?"
The assistant nodded.
"There's absolutely nothing to worry about Ms. Spencer," said the dentist, "but I must say you're a very brave girl, and hats off to you for bringing him here."
"What...I don't follow you."
The dentist placed an X-Ray plate up against a projection screen, which lit up to reveal left, right and front images of Richard's skull.
He pointed with his pen at white areas around the gum region, around the infected tooth.
"I know it may not be clear to you, so let me explain. Your brother has picked up a fungal infection that was slowly spreading around his entire gums and it had reached its advanced stage. If you had delayed any longer, then it would spread to his jaw-bone and we would have to use surgery to amputate it. Now, I've applied some medicated gel and am giving you this prescription for steroids. Nine a week then eight and so forth. Don't miss a single dose."
Cheryl's face grew long and unhappy.
The dentist's assistant placed her hands on her shoulders.
"Well done, you may not be aware but you saved your brother from a terrible fate."
Cheryl stared at Richard, who was now conscious.
"Come on silly, let's go home. Oh, and by the way; how are you feeling now?"
"Well, to be perfectly honest, I feel very nauseous; and that's the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth."
There was a brief pause and then they all burst out laughing.
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