My devotion to the jackfruit, which reached almost mystical proportions, has diminished somewhat of late. There I was munching a seed when something gritty crunched between my teeth. I’m sure you know the sensation. Very unpleasant. Like eating a mouthful of garden in salad that hasn’t been washed.
I found it strange that this should happen in a jackfruit seed, which hadn’t been anywhere except inside the jackfruit. And indeed, when I eventually worked the grit to the front of my mouth, I found that what I’d crunched between my teeth was my tooth.
All that was left was a gaping hole and a jagged bit, like a fragment of ancient pottery in a museum (I’ve spared you the full technicolour dentist’s eye view). At first, I was pleased to get an appointment only three weeks away. Back in the Metropole, unless your jaw is infected with gangrene, Dr. Moquet won’t have a slot for three months. But then I thought, perhaps it’s too good to be true. It means the dentist can’t tell the difference between a molar and a rawlplug. And he’ll strap me in the chair and set to work with a monkey wrench and a chisel.
But of course, just because I’m in Mayotte doesn’t mean the dentist isn’t good. It’s simply that I’m used to Moquet, who happens to be the best in the world. Not only that, but the fastest. Like one of those farmers in sheep-shearing competitions. He’s beaten his own record, folks – three fillings and a bridge in sixteen minutes!
Not that I’m too fussy, to be honest. Anything to stop that jagged bit of remaining tooth from tearing my tongue to shreds. In the meantime I’ll do my best to recover my respect for the miraculous jackfruit (no, honestly!) After all, it was my tooth’s fault really.