Sunday, July 29, 2007

Random Spending...

...Okay, so I woke up this morning, and made a pot of coff-ay and stared at the wall and drank my coff-ay...

...sorry, wrong cartoon... ...oh yeah, that link's not safe for work, it's got like... ...swearing... and stuff...

I didn't wake up this morning, because I was in fact, awake this morning until about 6am, playing Silent Hunter 3. It's a damn fine game, It's detailed, and very addictive. In fact, it's a game with only one minor problem - I'm sinking scores of ships that are flying Royal Navy and British Merchant Navy flags. While it's only a game, and sinking scores of ships is a good thing for your mission score, as a British Soldier to be, (I hope), sinking battleships and cruisers with your own nation's flag flying from their masts, kinda takes away from the pleasure of playing the game, and while I acknowledge that the crews of the real U-boats were no less brave or honourable than our own sailors, I still have an objection to torpedoing British shipping, even though it's only in a virtual sense - I mean, on one hand it's only a game, but on the other hand, imagine how well a war game would sell over here or in the US (cos I have American readers too), if you played the part of a militant shooting at western soldiers - it wouldn't sell at all would it? Well I wouldn't buy it, that's for sure...

...it's for this reason that I've spent a few quid and have got Silent Hunter 4 on the way - it's exactly the same except with better graphics, and the important change that instead of fighting in the atlantic, commanding a U-boat and torpedoing British shipping, you're commanding a US Navy submarine in the pacific, and torpedoing the Japanese ships - Now I like Japan, it's a cool place, now, but the whole pearl harbour/they-weren't-on-our-side thing makes me feel slightly less bad sinking virtual Japanese ships, than sinking British ones...

So what are we to learn from the above rambling diatribe? I take computer games too seriously? I'm fiercely patriotic? Make your own mind up - I haven't made mine up yet.

Anyway, in the real world, my so-called gum disease is abating, I woke up this morning feeling fine, and even now, feel no pain - it's like the attack of agony I had never happened. Strange...

I've gone and gotten myself in trouble at work again which will probably mean yet another ferking discipliniary. Am I guilty? That depends...
I'm guilty of nothing more than the same every single one of my colleagues is guilty of (using computer (if such it may be called - it's a pentium for pete's sake) for personal purposes (looking at work-safe image PREVIEWS on google search, for crying out loud, really REALLY antisocial productivity destroying behavior isn't it...) - something everyone I work with does, every single day. So yes, I am guilty of doing it, but what I'm most guilty of, is being caught. 70 people in that office, 70 people doing it, and I'm one of about half a dozen people that have been dragged into investigations, for nothing more - I feel - than to have an example made of us.
Was I angry when I was told? Oh yes. When asked, if I thought the decision to pursue an investigation was fair, I said no. When asked again, I said that I would not be bullied into saying, nor believing, that it was fair - it isn't. That place crushes every single spark of autonomy or independent thought that any one of its employees, if such they may be called (I prefer "victims"), has. And you can look forward to the naming and shaming when I get fired, oh yes indeed... It'll be like Michael Douglas in "Falling Down", except without the firearms and emotional instability...

*blinks*

Sorry I went a bit random and vengeful there, still it'll be fun to look back on...

So what else have I done? On a topic COMPLETELY unconnected to the above, I had a bit of a random spending spree on ebay, and due to reasons beyond my comprehension, I now have about 50 quidsworth of inert ammunition (Yes, inert - that means I am NOT about to go and shoot up a fast food place and demand a burger at gunpoint) of various calibers on its way to me. Why? I don't know. I figured it'd be cool to have sitting around. 7.62x51? 7.62x33? 5.56? 9mm? .50 cal? 30mm? You name it, it'll be sitting around in my bedroom, while my money is sitting around in someone else's bank account. Still, in a few weeks I won't miss the money and I'll still have the gear. Still, that's impulse buying for you I spose.

So what am I going to do now? Well I'm going to finish this post for a start, then I'm off to drink lots of beer and listen to all sorts of music and eat yummy food and stuff...

Um yeah. so, that's like, it.

See you round, folks!

PS: As something of an afterthought, I'd just like to thank Jeff, Lexi, Alex, Matt, and David_Precious - particularly David, who I don't think I actually know, and despite seeming to have stumbled across this blog completely randomly, has been sticking with it for a fair few months, (thanks matey, glad to have you onboard). I don't know if you guys are my only readers, but regardless, at least I know I'm not shouting out into the night and getting nothing back for it, so cheers for reading, at least someone is showing an interest. I should spend some money on advertising and become like, famous and stuff, and then maybe I wouldn't have to work for a living or a news station would want to interview me and I could become one of these celebrity arseholes who make money for being famous despite being talentless and despite the fact that no-one knows what they're famous for...

So yeah, thanks!

(Did that last bit sound like I wam desperate for attention and have low self esteem? The first is kinda 25% true, and the second is absolutely untrue, hehe)

Anyway, I'm off to chill and get drunk...

Friday, July 27, 2007

Okay so it's not that bad...

Okay, so I've been doing some research on the net on a few medical sites- seems what I actually have is gum disease - oh joy, well that's both good and bad news - On the downside, it means that I'm still probably going to suffer with wisdom tooth problems at some point, but on the upside, gum disease, being extremely common, is extremely easy to treat - with some luck, I shouldbe able to get my hands on some kind of medicine or something tonight.

Also, just a quick note to let you guys know that my internet at home has gone down - so I'm adding this at work - if you don't hear from me for a few days, you know why.

Well, have fun :).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

More dental agony, but Anbesol helps!

Damn, it's never ending!

I['ve got another dentists appointment to have the work she started earlier this month finished, so I can hopefully go and pass my ADSC Medical. In the meantime however, in the past couple of days, I've been having hellish pain in my gum - not my jaw, my gum.

that's right folks, after thinking I'd gotten away with it for so long, the first of my lower third molars (wisdom teeth) has started trying to come through. While I don't have toothache, because the tooth itself is brand new and absolutely perfect, the tooth is essentially trying to punch through the gum above it, a-la chestburster from the aliens movies. And my gum is sore - oh boy, is it sore. I can't swallow very well because of the pain, so eating and drinking is unpleasant, it just seems, well, not "unfair" (because fair isn't a concept I recognise - life isn't fair, so why bother moaning about it), but just damned annoying. At the start of the month I had a tooth extraction, I'm having fillings next month, and now I have a wisdom tooth coming through - so it's all happening! On the plus side, my mouth ulcer (yes I had one of those too!) has healed so I'm not in pain from that anymore. I've got some Anbesol anelgesic stuff, so hopefully that should take away at least some of the pain from this thing trying to push through my gum!

Right, what's gone right the past week or so...

Well, I'm really getting into Simcity 4: Rush Hour, and I've built a city that is really burgeoning - something that I've not been able to do before - so even though It's only a computer game, it's one I've been playing for four years and I'm finally beginning to become good at it, so that's something that has gone pretty well...

...Also, my iPod Video has arrived this morning, and I've got to say I think it's fantastic. Okay, so there was a brief period where I played with it and thought "meh you've seen one ipod, you've seen 'em all", as I'd already got an ipod nano, but this one is so much better. Once you get used to the size, and round the fiddly roundabout way of getting videos onto the thing, it's actually a pretty cool device to have to hand, so I'm definitely pleased with it. Okay, so it's got a fair few scratches on it (I bought it second hand, got it for £102 instead of the £149-£229 (hell of a difference depending on where you go!!) that various places charge for new ones. Who cares about scratches, when at best, I got the iPod AND the postage, at less than half the price of a new one.
The sound quality is great, the videos are crisp and colourful, it's an absolute pleasure to use. Err - that's just my personal thoughts, not a review or anything, though if you want a review, I strongly recommend this one - it helped me decide to buy mine!

Hmm, what else has happened. Well, I've got paid!!! This means that I've been spending more and more time on ebay, buying all sorts of things. Got a nice new armband/ipod holder sorta thing on the way so that I can run and listen to music at the same time. Also got a new leather case for the ipod so I can keep it protected when I'm not running around, and got another game for my Gameboy Advance - yes, GBA, not sony PSP - why? Because despite my obsession with gadgets and gadgety things, I'm a child of the eighties folks, born in 1985, and I wanna play the games I grew up with, hehe.

So what am I doing now? I'm sat chilling, listening to Eisbrecher on my ipod at a very loud volume, as well as this fantastic tune, converting some videos for the ipod (the main complaint most people have about the ipod video is that it supports about 4 common file formats - WMA, MPEG and AVI not among them - which makes converting videos a bit of a pain in the butt - but still...) for it, I'm browsing ebay looking for more stuff to buy. Might play Simcity again soon, and I've got my run later too.

Well, I spose I'd best go and do some of that stuff - sorry that the post's a bit disjointed - it's hard concentrating when you're listening to loud Eisbrecher!
Just to say, thanks for the comments - it's good to know people are reading :).
I'll keep you all updated, as always.

Take care

EDIT - 7:53PM: OUCH!!! I just tried to eat something, and it was next to impossible. I couldn't open my mouth fully without feeling like someone was jabbing an ice pick in my jaw, I couldn't chew my food properly cos I couldn't put any pressure on my gums, and it took me about three times as long to eat what I was eating (weetabix) than it normally does. The pain which could at the time have been described as "absolute agony" has since faded to being merely "extremely painful", and is continuing to fade, but I can't face soup for all my meals for the forseeable future, nor can I put up with this amount of pain indefinitley. It didn't even bloody hurt on tuesday, so what the hell's going on? :(

Sunday, July 22, 2007

And so it begins...

So I went to the interview...

I woke up about 8amish, which was fine for an early afternoon interview. Spent a while just kicking back, having a cup of coffee etc, generally chilling out, watching the news and waking up. I decided that I'd best get a move on, and started on my shoes - I've had enough experience to know how to make them sparkle, and I figured I was gonna do myself proud...

As time went on, everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The polish that I coated the shoes with the night before, cracked, and the crumbled polish rubbed the newer layers of polish right off the shoe. Got to get it back to bare leather and start again, but no matter how hard I tried, the problem was there and wouldn't go away - I got madder and madder, tried to brush the excess away only to discover that the only polishing brush in the house is now absent...
Anyway, over the next hour or so I just got insanely mad and my blood pressure went through the roof, as the time for the interview loomed closer.

I managed to get all my clobber on, went to the hair place, and got my hair cut - the damn woman spent more time playing with the kid there, than cutting my hair [and I spose I would have too, if it was my kid, and I wasn't in a rush]...

Anyway, like a great example of bad planning, I made it on the last bus into town before my interview, which got snarled up in traffic, where I practically ran to the carreers office, hurried upstairs, at 1 minute past the interview time, and walked... ...into a practically empty office.

I was waiting 15 minutes listening to some cadet yodelling on about how he's next in line for corporal or whatever, and barely managed to keep my mouth shut. This kid sounded like just the type of walt who would expect real serving soldiers to follow his cadet-corporal orders. I remembered back to my cadet days - I spose at the time you take your cadet-corporal rank bloody seriously, not realising that everyone apart from the kids that you're commanding, think you're an idiot. I spose it's only when you join the army or the reserves that you realise how much the army hate the cadets for trying to be something they're not...

anyway, sorry for getting off topic, cadets just boil my piss. Like overzealous scout troop leaders, taking what little power they have far too seriously...

I went in and had my interview with the sergeant which was pretty cool. The purpose of the interview is for the Army to look at me and decide whether it likes me as a person, and believes I am suitable for recruit training/service...

It went pretty well, and there weren't any hitches. Apart from one: My work had agreed to provide me with a reference, without telling me that it's also their policy not to comment on individual employees - the sergeant presented me with a piece of paper, where every single box was marked with "N/A". Something to be sorted indeed...

At the end he said that apart from me needing another reference, I had passed the interview, and he had no hesitation in forwarding me to the ADSC - The Army Development and Selection Center. This is described by the staff as "one 36 hour long job interview", where I go away and spend a weekend with the army, complete various assessments, take my medical, and if all goes well, get a date for starting REAL training.

So the interview went fantastically, everything was great, and I passed with flying colours - go me! Well I say all was well. I went to ask the sergeant a question about a form I'd filled in for him, and I'd stuck a little note to the front of the form to remind me to ask him. Well as I was asking him, I pulled the note off, and it was stuck on so well that it ripped part of the front of the form, eliciting a loud "shit!" from me. Well the interview was over by then anyway but I still glanced at him guiltily, hehe...

So now it begins. I've got the references I need, having had a micro-chat with my boss. I've got the exercise plan that the Army gave me, on my wall, so I know what I need to do in the next four or so weeks, to get fit for the ADSC assessments, and I've got my revision CD out so I can practice maths.
Yes, that's right, maths. See, one thing the sergeant also did was make me make a decision on which one of my three job choices I want to do the most. The one with the most vacancies, the one that pays the best, the most varied one and the most rewarding one, is that of Vehicle Mechanic.

"Wait", I hear you say. "You don't need to be in the army to be a mechanic". That's right, you know. But Mechanic is my trade, not my job. When I'm not out in the desert, fixing vehicles that have been damaged by combat, I'll be alongside the units that operate the vehicles, fighting alongside them - obviously, there's no use for a soldier who does nothing just because there are no vehicles to fix - so I'll get my fair share of combat too. When I'm not fighting or fixing vehicles under fire, I will prolly be fixing them elsewhere. Soldier first, Mechanic second, as the army website itself, tells you.

so yeah. I've bought a new 30gb ipod to replace my old 4gb one. Okay 30gb isn't much but I don't have 10gb worth of tunes yet, nd I wanna take all my music to phase one with me. It's 14 weeks away from home and I don't wanna be without my tunes.
The only thing that can go wrong now, is my medical. In the words of my GP, I don't have any medical problems that would make me unsuitable for military service, that I am aware of, but it always seems to me, that the more value you place on something - in this case, the chance of a carreer in the army - the more chances are, you will lose that something...

Only time will tell, until then, I' know what I've got to be getting on with.
Let's hope like hell, that all goes okay.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Full steam ahead...

Okay, not much has happened really - I've got chatting to one lad from my town who also wants to go into the army - while he seems to look at me as some kind of older brother figure (he's 18, I'm 22) or something, we get on pretty good, maybe we should go running together or something. Seems a cool enough dude...

Well anyway, on a completely random topic, I don't know if I've mentioned hay fever in the past, but I used to think that I was suffering badly from hayfever - it has been absolutely horrible, and I've been miserable because of it. To be honest, I was scared that the allergy would blight the rest of my life and make benig a soldier very difficult indeed.
Well recently it seems to have been getting worse, so I've been on a couple of medical consultation websites, and apparentl, I am showing all the symptoms not of hayfever, but of sinusitis - which I am genuinley PLEASED about.
Why the heck would i be pleased that my sinuses are all wrong? Easy. If I do have Sinusitis, I don't have hay fever. And I don't have hayfever because I was so annoyed about not knowing that I got a handful of cut grass and practically shoved it up my nose - no reaction whatsoever...
So hopefully, I'll have some antibiotics and I'll be fine again for another 18 months (I seem to get it every 18 months or so)...

On an even happier note, my parcels from ebay are on their way, Hopefully I'll get back and I'll have my copy of Lemmings for my gameboy advance, and I'm also hoping that my copy of "Simcity 4 Rush Hour" turns up - I'm a big simcity fan and rush hour would make the game even better!

And finally, we come to my discipliniary.
I don't feel that I represented myself particularly well. I had a list of the offenses, the details of how I completely mishandled the situation, and the reasons why I should know better, stacked against me one after the other. I figured that I was gonna get booted out for sure, so being nothing except honest, and resigned to my fate, I responded to every single point made, not with bull or excuses, simply with reasons and explanations. "Yes I did mishandle the situation, here is why I mishandled it, and this is how I saw the situation. Yes it does look bad on paper, and yes it was stupid, but this is how and why it came about". I still knew I was toast though, particularly when I got back after the recess, and she started explaning just how seriously my transgression was viewed, and how there were calls for serious action to be taken :(.
With this in mind, she told me that;

"I have no choice but to...
...issue you with a verbal warning"

What? Eh? So I got to keep my job? So it seems. Apparently my arguments were taken into account, and the person holding the interview understood the situation from both points of view.
Fantastic. And now I only work four days a week, my job will be even better!

So I'm in a good mood - I've got the sergeant's interview later this week, let's hope I do as well there...

Thanks everyone, see you soon!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Employment trouble...

Okay, so regular readers of the blog - if I have any regular readers - will be aware that I work a call center monkey's shift in a nondescript run of the mill call center. In the past, I have exclaimed about how much I hate it, how much of a monkey's job it is, and how anyone who chooses to stay there voluntarily would be wasting their life.

Well it seems that someone has thrown a spanner into the works, because I may be having to leave the job earlier than I had intended - a combination of several factors, including the fact that my displeasure at my job shows in the tone of my voice when dealing with the idiots i have to talk to, , as well as one offence (which I am guilty of, as is every single one of my colleagues) which I can't name, as I have yet to have my discipliniary hearing.

So the next few days could go very badly for me. While I have an interview with the recruiting sergeant next week re: the army, my shins are giving me trouble again and I may well end up having to defer entry until they're healed. So it's a bit of a mixed bag at the minute, I don't know whether I will get to keep the job I have, whether I will lose it, whether I will get my job in the army, or whether I will be refused, and I don't know how long my legs will take to heal.

So it's a bit mixed up at the minute, hey ho, here's hoping things improve soon.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Gonna have my face drilled off! (thanks Eddie Izzard!)

WARNING: The following entry concerns a surgical procedure carried out upon myself by a dentist, and goes into graphic detail to describe my experiences during said procedure. If you have a weak stomach, or are averse to long posts, please do not read on, as you will not like what follows. If you don't mind long posts, and find pain and suffering amusing, or if you're just plain curious, read on! I've tried my best to make it funny. It is a bit of a long post, but hey, bear with me okay?

PART ONE - THE OPERATION

PROLOGUE:

Right I'm in less than a fantastic and raptorous mood, because in about twenty five minutes, I have to lay down in the dentists chair, and trust the dentist to - using wickedly sharp compressed air powered tools, not to mention "forceps", which is a fancy medical term for PLIERS - remove one of my largest teeth without killing me, giving me a heart attack, and hopefully, without putting me in agony.


As you can imagine, I'm not looking forward to this one bit, though admittedly, my appointment is only twenty minutes, so I sincerley hope that she can do everything she needs to do in that time...

No, contrary to the first paragraph, I have complete confidence in my dentist's abilities - she's a lovely woman and she's been my dentist for years. Doesn't mean I have to like having teeth pulled out though. Still, I'm sure she'll at least make the experience the least unpleasant that she can, and I do have things to do tonight, so I know there is life after death, so to speak, but it still scares the hell out of me :(.

Well, I'm gonna sneak away now, got to get this out of the way, and besides, the sooner it's done, the earlier I'm medically fit, and the earlier I'm able to eat on both sides of my mouth again :).

Ciao, see you soon!
(I hope!!!)

UPDATE - 16:45

Twenty minutes? Pulling the tooth out? Ha, how naive I was...

Okay, so I forced myself to walk into the dentists with the air of a soldier on a movie who forces himself to stand in front of the firing squad. I spent a good 20 minutes just sitting about waiting for everything to be ready, and then I get called in.

"Can I ask, I know you're the dentist and you know best, but isn't there any alternative to the tooth being removed?" Says I, in a slightly quivering voice...

"Absolutely none, I afraid lovie" she replies, "There's no chance at all of saving that tooth".

Okay, fine, well that's my goose well and truly cooked, and my mind registers the fact that at some point in the imminent future, I will be undergoing some not inconsiderable amount of discomfort. "Still", a voice in my mind pipes up, "You're not gonna make a good soldier if you're too much of a chicken to sit in the dentist's chair". True enough, so I wander in, sit down in the chair (also known as "the vinyl upholstered chair of pain and prostration", possibly hereafter also referred to as "the chair" or perhaps "the electric chair") and resign myself to my fate - the feeling of complete helplessness balanced only by the knowledge that I'm in good hands. I've got my traser watch on, mindful of the times when I'll be out in the field, cold and soaking wet, months from now, as well as my chain, that I've worn to all the best all-nighters - two powerful symbols of the outside world, there to distract me from the terrible reality (oh aren't I being melodramatic - humour me, I'm the one with the farking great big hole in my mouth!) of what is about to take place...

I lay back in the chair as it starts reclining, and I try to get comfortable - which on the dentist's chair is a little like putting a coat on to keep dry on the Titanic. Out of my peripheral vision, the dentist appears at my side with a small cylinder. She takes the front - what appears to be a small cap, of sorts - off it, and to my horror, reveals a FOUR INCH long needle (hereafter referred to as the "spikey needle of death"). Crikey! If this is the anaesthetic, then can I have an anaesthetic BEFORE I have the anaesthetic please? Anyway, said needle disappears into my gob, and I get the tinest twinge of pain as it disappears into my gum, before getting an odd scrapy feeling as it seemingly bounces off my tooth. Next thing I know, the pain increases and she's shooting me full of loads of this stuff (hereafter referred to as "the befuddling poison of sleepyness"), some of which splashes out of the hole and all around my mouth - god it tastes horrible!

Having decided that one is not enough, especially when I seem to have swallowed half of it, she sticks another one in me, this time, into the inside of my cheek! "Okay that's fine-hmm, errrr, ARGH" I think, as this stuff is blasting at high pressure into my cheek - not the greatest experience, and definitley not pleasant...

"Okay lovie, have a quick rinse, wait outside and i'll see you again in two minutes".

I sit up, grap the cup of mint mouthwash, and start swilling it round my mouth while thinking "2 minutes? if that's not the worst of it she'll be lucky if she sees me ever again, never mind two minutes". However, the anaesthetic was quicker acting than I had realised, and with one half of my mouth - including my cheek, half asleep, I can't close my mouth properly. I try not to look guilty as I accidentally spit half a cup of mouthwash out of the half-numb side of my mouth, watching the jet of mouthwash arc halfway across the operating room. Well, glad that we're onto a good start!

Anyway, I go outside, glad to be out of there, if only temporarily. I get chatting to a rather nice woman in the "I-don't-know-you-but-i'm-scared-and-need-someone-to-talk-to" type manner. It turns out that she's having a tooth out as well, so we have some common ground. I slur my speech a bit, poke my gums with my finger nail, giggling at how little feeling there is, and we have a nice chat while the dentist is busy victimising somebody else, until time rolls round, my name is called, and I walk back into the torture chamber.

Now the dentist was a very straight-to-business type person, and despite her excellent bedside manner, there wasn't time for us to arse around. So again, the chair reclines, she pulls the overhead light above my head, her assistant pulls the instruments towards me before putting a surgical blue bib around my neck (hereafter referred to as "the blood collecting bib of pain") and as I feel a slight pricking sensation in my wrist, my vision goes blank and I lose conciousness.
Okay, so I lied about the pricking sensation and the losing conciousness, but in an ideal world I would have been sedated. Can't blame me for wishful thinking. But hey, if I hadn't have had to undergo the horrors of the next 30 odd minutes, you wouldn't be reading this now, would you?!

I start glancing round, wondering where the Elevators and Forceps are, as I can't see any, not that I'd know what an Elevator looked like, though I vaguely imagined it as something shaped like a square, with sharp hooks on each corner and maybe a screwthread on either side.
She reaches for a device like a needle bent at 90 degrees, with a handle on one end, (hereafter known as "the pointed skewer of justice") and it disappears into my mouth, as I feel a tiny little point of pressure, and then two teeny tiny twinges of pain. "Did you feel anything lovie?" She asks. I admit that the second two times, I felt a tiny little amount of pain, but she quickly puts me at rest - or at least tries to, by telling me that "If it wasn't numb, you'd have shot out of the chair screaming", or words to that effect. She puts the skewer down.

"Right lovie, I think we're going to break this up" she says in that soothing i-will-try-not-to-inflict-inhuman-suffering voice. "Break this up?" I think, "We just started! Oh wait, my tooth?! YOU'RE GONNA BREAK UP MY TOOTH?!" She reaches for something shaped vaguely like a nail punch (a long, blunt, metal spike - hereafter referred to as the "crunch punch") and pokes it into my mouth, before (and i'm sure there's a technical term for this) ramming it around. "You may feel a bit of pressure", she says, and with the first of many sickening splintering crunches, I hear/feel a huge chunk of the crown of my tooth breaking off. Even with anaesthesia, the sudden snapping of the tooth sent an unpleasant shock through my jaw, if not my skull. She lifts out something small and off-white, and drops it into a tray. Then back into my mouth with the crunch punch.

So she's there rooting around, and I feel my mouth forced open by the manual pressure, as again, another chunk of my tooth breaks off. She puts the punch down, and leans in with a cotton ball (hereafter referred to as "the blood soaked cotton balls of redemption"), before lifting it out, in front of my vaguely alarmed eyes (I would have said horrified, but I was already resigned to my fate), red and dripping with MY BLOOD! *Bwahahaha (evil laugh)*, then back in with the punch again. This is repeated maybe between half a dozen and a dozen times, as the small pile of blood soaked cotton balls of redemption mounts up. Mercifully, all goes quiet. She confers with her assistant, and they happily agree that that is the crown completely removed. Over? Not a chance!

Next come the roots. She selects a different tool, that looks like a smaller version of the crunch punch (hereafter referred to as "the screw punch of scrapy evil"), and starts drilling around in my mouth - in my lower mandible (!) with it. As the crunching and snapping increases, accompanied by my quiet (but increasingly common) grunts of discomfort, she happily explains "What I'm doing now is removing your roots, this is like removing a wall plug" (basically to remove a wall plug, you screw into it until the screw/tool is in good and tight, then use brute force to pull it out against it's will!). I can't remember whether my reaction was one of apathy or fear, I think I was too preoccupied by the crunching noises.

Eventually she gets tired of screwing up my mouth and asks for the one tool I DO know the name of - the Irrigator! Hereafter referred to as "the curved spiky spear of water". She shoves that in my mouth, and I believe it is used to squirt water into the cavity to clear out all the crap. I say "believe" because at some point I felt a very similar sensation to that caused by the spikey needle of death. Her assistant gets out the tiny dentist's vacuum cleaner, hereafter referred to as "the life sucking cleanser of fragments" and pokes that in there too - now I like the fragment cleanser, as it didn't actually cause any pain itself, so that was good.

Anyway, she's there hammering away, and I hear "Hmm, this last root isn't coming out". UH OH! Fantastically amazing, great! I'm laid on the electric chair in the torture chamber of death with blood gushing out of my mouth (a major exaggeration to be sure, but I still wasn't happy), my tooth in about 15 bits next to me, a huge hole in my jaw, and something's gone wrong!!! Oh great, this is real Apollo 13 stuff here. Anyway, I keep myself in check and put up with increasing amounts of pressure and screwing and scraping and pushing and shoving, and although there's no pain, I can FEEL there's a metal spike rooting around in MY JAW, and I'm laid back listening to the radio...

Her assistant puts the plastic glasses over my eyes (hereafter referred to as "the plastic protectors of the witnesses of suffering") and she comes out with the compressed air (or is it water) powered drill ("the buzzing mechanical hornet's sting of death"). Out comes the fragment cleanser again along with the mirror on the curved handle ("the curvy shaped revealer of pain"), and she goes at it for a bit trying to get the last bit out.

Anyway eventually she decides that it's stuck in there good and proper, and it will have to be left in there. She wanders over to the other side of the room and leaves me to poke the hole with my tongue. To my alarm, the hole is huge and my tongue practically ends up in my jawbone.
Coming back, she inserts a small roll of gauze ("The bloodied gauze of coagulation") and asks me to bite down on it to stop the bleeding. I'm sat there like an idiot for the next 10 minutes or so while she types up the report on her computer, and then she removes said gauze and invites me to stand up - optimistic, considering what I've just undergone...

Anyway, she prescribes me some antibiotics, and sends me up to the chemist. My head is in the clouds, unable to accept that the crunching and splitting of bone that I can STILL hear is just in my imagination.

So now I'm on antibiotics and painkillers and lucozade, and I look like I have some type of psychological disorder now as every time I try to drink I have to do it on one side of my mouth, occasionally dribbling like there's something wrong with me, but hey, thank god it's over...

I never want to have to go through that again. If you learn only one lesson from this long rambling diatribe, let this be it: For Christ's sake, take care of your teeth!!! (sorry lexi) .

Anyway, now we move on to chapter two!



PART TWO - PRACTICAL DENTISTRY FOR BEGINNERS!!!

Modern dentists use a wide variety of tools these days, the majority of which are designed to cause pain and suffering, in the hopes that this will teach you to look after your teeth in the future. Of course, dentists are merciful, and after causing a certain quota of suffering, they will of course, fix the problem, considering you to have learned your lesson.
In the article above, I pointed out a good few instruments used by dentists in their quest for healthier teeth, and I would like to give in further detail, a description of those instruments, as well as basic directions for their use.
So without further delay, let us begin with:



2:1 - INSTRUMENTS OF SUFFERING
  • The Vinyl Upholstered Chair of Pain and Prostration! - This highly manoeverable chair is powered by electric motors, and is designed to allow the victim to be comfortably seated, and therefore better able to concentrate on, and appreciate, the suffering about to be inflicted on him/her. The chair is also designed to present the victim in such a manner as to be completely vunerable to the dentist's ministrations, and to render him/her unable to protect him/herself.
  • The Spiky Needle of Death! - This wickedly sharp device is used for pumping large quantities of anaesthetic into the victim. It takes the form of an incredibly long, shiny and very pointy needle. It is designed to withstand being poked into teeth accidentally.
  • The Befuddling Poison of Sleepyness! - This foul tasting elixir is injected into the victim prior to torture commencing, to reduce their level of suffering to a level which while extremely unpleasant, is not unpleasant enough for them to attempt to cause the dentist physical harm.
  • The Blood Collecting Bib of Pain! - This bib is of itself, harmless. However, it has a profound psychological value, as when it is tied around the victim's neck, the victim immediatley assumes the worst, and is driven to succumb to fear.
  • The Pointed Skewer of Justice! - This device is long and pointed, curved at 90 degrees, and has a handle at one end to allow the user to exert greater pressure on the subject. It is designed for ramming into people's roots, and testing their pain reactions.
  • Crunch Punch! - This device is perhaps the wickedest implement of all. While not sharp, it is used to mercilessly snap, crunch and otherwise crush the teeth of the victim in a merciless manner. Sometimes, there is no substitute for brute force, and the Crunch Punch, allows the dentist to exert their physical strength, as well as their will, upon the hapless victim.
  • Blood-Soaked Cotton Balls of Redemption! - These harmless little fuzzy balls have a profound psychological value - they are used to soak the victim's blood up, and can be "accidentally-deliberatley" dangled in front of him, to show him how much blood he is losing.
  • Screw Punch of Scrapy Evil! - This device is on par with the Crunch Punch, for its pure evilness. It is used to grind and scrape and screw into the fragments of the victim's shattered teeth, prior to pulling them out, forcibly.
  • Curved Spiky Spear of Water! - This implement is often described as an "Irrigator" in the victim's presence, this is done to lull them into a false sense of security. In reality, it is a wickedly curved and very sharp needle, that can be "accidentally-deliberatley" driven into the victim's cheek, gum or tongue.
  • The Life Sucking Cleanser of Fragments! - This device has no torture value, existing merely to remove water/debris from the mouth of the victim, prior to further pain being administered. As such, it is not sharp, not curved, and doesn't even make a nasty noise.
  • The Plastic Protectors of the Witnesses of Suffering! - These devices are deceptively simple, yet powerful. They prevent debris from falling in the victim's eyes, allowing them to see clearly the manic grin of the dentist, as he/she inflicts further suffering upon them.
  • The Buzzing Mechanical Hornet's Sting of Death! - This device emits a high pitched wail, and as such, has a profound psychological value. In reality, it causes little pain initially, but can be used to drill holes extremely deep into the victim's teeth. While time consuming, this implement rewards its user's attention, by causing untold agonies to the patient.
  • The Curvy-Shaped Revealer of Pain! -This device has little use, causes no pain or distress, and exists only to allow the dentist to see which bits they haven't yet drilled into oblivion.
  • The Bloodied Gauze of Coagulation! - This is perhaps the kindest tool of all. Self administered by the victim, the gauze prevents bleeding, and reassures the victim that now their punishment is complete.
PART THREE - EPILOGUE

So I'm sat here now, with no more than a dull ache in my jaw. Dosed up to the eyeballs on Paracetomol and antibiotics, and reflecting on what a hell of a day it's been. Root canal work is nothing on having one of your teeth smashed up while it's still attached to you, I can tell you.
I suppose given the tone of the rest of the post, it's about time I gave the dentist the credit she deserves. While I have spent a good two hours writing this (yes really), poking fun at dentists, and jokingly accusing them of being sadistic torturers, the fact is that my dentist was extremely friendly and reassuring, and went to every length to make sure that I was kept informed of what was happening to me, why it needed to be done, and what she hoped to accomplish. While the fact remains that today's procedure was extremely unpleasant, thanks to the dentist, it was nowhere near as unpleasant as I had feared it would be, and for that, I am grateful to her.

I hope you enjoyed the blog more than I enjoyed the procedure it describes - well, you could print the blog out on sheets of rusty tin, roll the sheets up, set them on fire, cover them in acid, and then stab yourself in the eye with them, and STILL enjoy the blog more than I enjoyed today's dental work...

Still, have a good day, and remember - look after your teeth!

Update: 10:11 AM, the following day...
Okay, so it's been about 18 hours since the operation, and I've got to admit, I've been recovering quicker than I expected. So far, there is no bleeding, and the only time I get anything more than the tiniest twinge of discomfort from the tooth socket is when the Ibuprofen (pain killers) start wearing off.
The hole in my gum has closed to about half of its previous size, and it's pretty evident that the healing process is underway. I can now eat and drink, albeit on one side of my mouth, but I'm assured that after another couple of days, I should be able to eat on both sides.
The sounds of splintering bone have started fading from my mind, and while, as predicted, they DID disturb my sleep yesterday, I'm pretty much over it now. When I get home I'll start in with the saline irrigation of the area to clean any of the crap out, and hopefully healing will continue on course. Things are going pretty good.

Update: 04:00 AM, Sunday July 8th, almost a week later...
Right. I have to admit, I'm still recovering from the extraction, it is a fairly mixed bag - but for anyone that's going to have an extraction - PLEASE read on, because it's not as bad as you feared... Just as a tooth cavity is a subject of almost compulsive tongue-poking, the same can be said for the now substantially healed hole in my jaw.
The gum has nearly finished closing over the cavity, with about 1mm gap towards the front of my mouth, and maybe 3mm at the back, all there is is a sleek triangular hole through which is clean, visible, PAINLESS bone.
I can now eat anything that takes my fancy, which is nice. There is no pain any more, just a mild twinge of discomfort every now and again - the gum equivalent of an itch if you like...
...anyway, it's well on the way to healing, and the extraction continues to fade into memory :).