I’m a celebrity phobic, get me out of here!


YOU know how, some mornings, you wake up ready to take on the world, feeling invincible, immortal and potentially omniscient? Yesterday wasn’t one of them. Now, there’s a short preface to this tale. I’ve always had a fear of dentists – odontophobia – a condition that hasn’t improved over the years.

But yesterday, when a filling and I unexpectedly parted company, I had to bite the, er, bullet, and go and sit in that dreaded dentist’s chair.



Now, phobias exist for almost anything. Astraphobics fear thunder. Octophobics fear the number eight. Nucleomituphobics fear nuclear weapons. And while rhytiphobia, the fear of wrinkles, has surely plagued many a Hollywood actor, pentheraphobia (fear of mothers-in-law) may well have afflicted the late Les Dawson. But odontophobia surely has to be up there amongst the nastiest, cruellest phobias known to man. I mean, let’s look at what you can expect:

1. There’s always an aquarium. To calm you. Huh! All those goldfish swimming around with their eyes bulging out of their heads. Don’t they just look as if they’re silently screaming: I’m A Celebrity (Fish), Get Me Out Of Here!

2. The dental staff. Yes, all of them. Their teeth are too pristine white. They need to join the rest of humanity and down some coffee or red wine occasionally. It’s unnatural. And unfair.

3. You sit in that uncomfortable chair and two sets of eyes peek at you from behind masks. Remind you of a horror flick? The Chainsaw Massacre, perhaps? I could never pick out any dental hygienist in a line-up. Do they even have faces behind those masks?

4. Tools in your mouth. One’s sucking saliva while the other drills, producing seven times the decibel level of the entire BA 747 fleet engaging reverse thrusters simultaneously. Triffic! Then the dentist asks you about your plans for the holidays, the credit crunch, if you’ve seen any good films lately. Huh? Excuse me while I drool a little and try to work out how I’m supposed to talk? Any response I do manage sounds so trite and makes about as much sense as asking Bruce Forsyth for his opinion on George Osborne’s spending cuts.

5. It smells.

‘Nuff said. I floss and I brush, but I do not enjoy the dentist’s. And nobody can make me go. I am an adult, for goodness’ sake. So there! I legged it away from there faster than Banksy would to a freshly painted white wall …


Nora Johnson’s novel, The De Clerambault Code (www.nora-johnson.com) available at Amazon. Profits to Cudeca


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