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Saturday, April 5, 2014

E is for Epiphany

A to Z April Challenge

N.B: I apologise that this post is not even remotely funny and I just want you to know I'm fully aware of it so please don't write it in the comments because my feelings will be hurt. I used up all my funniness showing off to my friends today and I don't have any left but I had to write a post because I'm on this bloody challenge.

I've only ever had one real epiphany in my life. 

About ten years ago it struck me as I lay in the dentist’s chair, high as a kite on nitrous oxide.

‘Happy Gas’, as it’s sometimes called is like sweet, exhilarating nectar from the gods to nervous dental patients. It doesn't lead to a hangover of any sort when delivered in moderate quantities but provides the same euphoria as two or three glasses of French champagne. 

You can still feel everything but you just don’t give a damn. The dentist could drill a hole in my head and I probably wouldn't notice.

Back in the Eighties, when I was working as a dental nurse we would offer it to all our patients. I recall a sister and brother about the age of ten, coming in one day for consecutive drill and fill appointments.

“Who wants to go first?” I asked when I walked into the waiting room. 

“Me!” shouted the boy, almost shoving his sister over in his eagerness. ‘Something’s going on here,’ thought wily nurse Pinky, no kid likes going to the dentist.

“Is that gas working yet?” asked the kindly Dr Mac. The boy lay twitching in the chair like an impatient junkie waiting for the smack to kick in.

“No, not yet,” he grinned slyly. It had been turned on to the usual level for children but Dr Mac turned it up a little smidgeon for Charlie Sheen Jnr.

“Working now?” Dr Mac queried again. The boy giggled senselessly and gave us the thumbs up.

We didn't hear another peep out of him. 

When I took him out to the waiting room to swap places with his sister I saw him grab her by the arm and whisper nefariously into her ear. She nodded in collusion.

‘What are they up to?’ I thought.

Again, Dr Mac asked little Lindsay L this time if the gas was working. 

No it wasn’t.

Apparently we must have been using extra weak gas that day… so it was cranked up a notch.

“It’s still not working, Dr Mac,” slurred Lindsay a few minutes later.

“Really?” asked Dr Mac. “Better turn it up a bit more then please, Pinky.”

I was a touch suspicious of this little ruse so I proceeded to eye ball Ms Lohan closely. Sure enough, within seconds her eyeballs started rolling back in her head with her eyelids flickering in a seizure like fashion and she was clearly having the time of her life.

“Err, Dr Mac I think the gas might be up too high,” snapped Pinky the snitch, and Lindsay’s supply was replaced with oxygen so she missed out on her naughty thrill after all. It was duly noted on her patient card, she was put on a good behaviour bond and referred to rehab.

So… now you see how powerful the ‘lure of ecstasy by nitrous oxide is and how it was in this corrupted state my mind was unlocked and my epiphany, the answer to the meaning of life, came to me as I lay prone and languishing in the dentist’s chair.

I remember the profound insight suddenly gifted upon me; the arcane secret of what it means to be a human. I could reach out and touch the unfathomable purpose of civilisation. I was filled with unbridled elation and was desperate to leap out of the chair, run from the room and share my superior knowledge!


Now my dear, dear friends...I would most definitely impart this inscrutable answer to the riddle which vexes all of humankind with everyone… right this minute.

I promise I would.

If only I could remember the bloody thing.

I think it had something to do with Pinky not being as important as she thinks she is in the grand scheme of things.