It was back to the dentist yesterday afternoon. I had a serious case of deja vu as I crossed their threshold for the second time in 24 hours and the receptionist, apart from a knowing look, never said a word about me tipping up early the day before.
I sat down next to a tired looking mum in the waiting room. She was with her two small daughters, one of whom looked like she'd probably be spending some time in Holloway (the ladies' prison for my American readers!) as she got older. She was sitting on the other side of her mum, and every now again would peer around her mum and stick her tongue out at me whilst threatening me with a rather flea bitten doll. Each time, her mum/prison officer told her to 'leave the lady alone' but this had about as much effect as sticking wings on a pig and expecting it to fly.
Having smiled politely at the little girl every time, I decided on a different tack, and delicately stuck my tongue back out at her. Well this put a smile on her sullen little face, and a most enjoyable twenty seconds was spent making funny faces at each other across the mum's lap.
And then she spotted us.
Turning to her daughter, she gave her a good telling off, and removed the doll 'until she learned to do as she was told'. And then the little madam said this...
'It's not fair!' she wailed. 'She started it'.
Well this put the twenty-something mum in a bit of a quandary. Should she have a go at the middle aged lady with arthritis sitting next to her, or not...
Luckily for me (she looked a bit handy if you know what I mean) she decided to accuse her own daughter of being a liar, and I doubt she'll ever see that doll again. She then turned to me and muttered a most insincere apology.
It was at that precise moment that my dentist walked into the waiting room and called my name. As I walked past the other patients, there were many looks thrown in my direction as they all knew that it was my fault for egging the little girl on.
Funnily enough, no one said a word. I would imagine that before I turned up, the little madam had been causing mayhem with everyone, and I'm sure that secretly they were revelling in the little girl's misfortune.
A rollocking by proxy is always acceptable...