Monday, April 17, 2006

The chocolate holiday being over, I shall now count my teeth

What a confusing Easter it has been this year. Not only did my mind go blank when buying Easter eggs at three-for-nine-Euro rates in Dunnes Stores such that I sat into a taxi with the words:

"Thirty Euro for chocolate! Did you ever think you'd see the day?"

But I also ended up with more chocolate eggs than I know people, with the result that the house is standing-room only and the floors occupied with neatly knotted 15c plastic bags containing homeless confectionary. One cannot have a breakfast without accidentally kicking a chocolate egg lurking beneath the table. I am surrounded on three sides in the sitting room by presentations of Easter delights. It has got to the stage where the subliminal message of the overcrowding has made me reactivate the building of kitchen cupboards that had been placed on the longest, E.T.-like finger.

This evening, as I read the "Warning: This should only be assembled by a competent person" message inside the packaging of my flat-packed wall unit, I pondered my recent luck with sweet things. My boss, in his kindness, offered me a chewy sweet last week which pulled out another lump from my back teeth. I sat there, feeling the empty space with my tongue and looking at the piece of tooth in the palm of my hand. There could be no doubt but it was after five o'clock, for no good deed goes unpunished in my workplace and if the bosses couldn't think of anything else to do to me for staying on after quitting time in an attempt to keep abreast of all the paperwork, why not resort to tooth-pulling?

I tossed the half-chewed sweet and the tooth fragment into the bin where they probably caused the cleaner to faint when she looked in later that evening. As I said, no good deed unpunished.

This afternoon between rain showers I managed to paint three-quarters of our garden gate, that piece of tissue paper between the car thieves and our only means of transport to and from work. When it rained, I withdrew to the house and sampled another piece of chocolate eggshell. I've not turned blue or lost the power in my shins yet, but I'm sure it will set in by morning. What has happened on this windy, cold April day is that the black Hammerite paint turned aerial and rained down droplets onto the driveway, my boots, my hands, my jeans. I shall return to work on Wednesday like someone covered in candle smuts.

The filling in that half tooth is standing upright like a sea stack in a saliva sea. I shall have to avoid speaking words with the letter "L" in them for a while or cut myself speaking. Many would say it's about time.

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