My Fear of Dentists

I’m terrified of dentists.

Cos I’ve never been to see one until I was 40 plus years of age.

It’s an irrational fear – much like my fear of lizards.

I catch flying cockroaches with my bare hands to feed the Arowana fish my family reared when I was barely 10 years old, will always declare the biggest monster on the rugby field my bitch even though I knew I was going to get hurt, and I have had to be restrained from my blind rage several times in my life.

So I know I fear very few things in life.


But if I saw a lizard in front of me, especially a baby one, I will squeal ( or try not to ) like a 10 year old kawaii girl in pigtails.

It’s a curse.

But why ?


My Fear of Lizards

I just don’t believe that lizards are chill pina colada folks who would leave me alone.  I believe there is a blood feud that spans back numerous centuries when our ancestors didn’t get along and tried to massacre each other.


In my mind, that’s what every lizard was trained to do since young.

To scream aiyeeeeeeeeee and to attack me on sight.

And they’re all soft and rubbery and if they didn’t kill me, they will leave their tail for me.


Like I said – irrational.


Dentists are evil

Back to dentists – since I was a young boy I removed everyone one of my own teeth usually through tying a string and slamming a door.

Or just by forcibly yanking it out.  I knew where my father kept the pliers in the tool box.

So I never saw a Dentist.

And if any of my tooth hurts, I just gurgled with strong salt water for days on end.

And told no one.

And waited until it was time to do the slamming door or pliers yanking thing.

So this way, over the years, I formed the impression that dentists were evil and practised the dark arts.

If they got near my mouth, it was to cut my mouth open from ear to chin and to yank out my tonsils with their bare unwashed hands.

Why my tonsils and not even the bad tooth that was causing me pain?

I said they’re evil – weren’t you paying any attention ?


So I avoided the devil incarnate for 40 years. For the better I thought because I didn’t know what would happen if I was put in the dental chair and went full-on PTSD on the dentist.

It wasn’t until I was in my 40s that I was persuaded to see my kids’ dentist, who had the most gentle bedside manners and pretty face to boot.

And finally got my teeth looked at and treated after 40 years.

But I can’t say the fear is completely gone.


I can’t promise that if it was another dentist (especially an unattractive one), I wouldn’t suddenly see red in the dental chair and go into this psychotic episode overturning chairs, wielding dental instruments and inhaling funny gas indiscriminately.

And I would be drooling during this psychotic episode unless those I was attacking reminded me to spit.

The Sweet Irony

I was chuffed very recently when my youngest daughter achieved good scores in her A levels.

My shameless friends immediately set a date for me to cook a feast for them and we picked a date.

It makes no sense because some of their kids have achieved perfect or extremely good scores in the recent past, and I don’t recall being rewarded that way.

I put it down to me being weak, slimy, soft and rubbery, and not being able to say no.

Damn that lizard fearing gene.  I think our ancestors were more similar than they think.

My daughter also told me she had applied to the Dentistry faculty in the University.

It is a small coveted intake every year, and it’s what she really wanted.  I was happy for her.

Now we’re waiting to see if she will be given a place.


Maybe a dentist in the house one day.

Perhaps there will be a day when I won’t fear dentists or make the sign of the cross and spit on them whenever I see one.

That’s a good thing cos it was embarrassing the last time I was invited to a wedding dinner, and the dude wanted to know why I had spat on his petite wife when she told me what she did for a living.

It didn’t help that the petite wife was the bride’s mother.

I assured him it was nothing personal.

Still.  It was embarrassing.

The Feast

Anyway this is what we feasted on in celebration.

Mini open faced sandwiches topped with crabmeat, grilled beef, eggs and water chestnut

Deep Fried Chopped Prawn toast with water chestnut

Deep fried 3 gingers chicken wings with breadcrumbs

Oven baked aubergine flavoured with Gouda cheese and topped with Japanese flying fish roe

Ayam Sio (Chicken marinated with ground shallots, tamarind and coriander seeds)

Braised pork leg with tau kwa, tau Kee,eggs, beancurd skin, fish maw, pig skin, pig stomach, mushrooms, Chinese sausage, dried scallops.

Prawn mee soup with jumbo prawns, pork lard, fishcake, quail eggs and sliced pork shoulder

Vietnamese Beef Pho with beef tendon, brisket, beef flank, beef balls and home made minced beef ball.

My daughter my Dentist ?

So does this mean that if, God willing, she gets into dental school and I waited, I can sit in that dental chair one day without palpitations, and be lovingly treated without incident by a much loved one?


Nah – the house has plenty of strings and doors.

I just hope I don’t spit on my darling daughter and hang cloves of garlic around her neck.

And Mr Lizard?

No chance I will be hugging one soon.

I’ll still be decorating every inch of my residence with empty egg shells and peacock feathers (all rumoured to keep off lizards).

Nobody told me the ancestral feud was over.

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