I woke up this morning to the sound of birds. Just to be clear, I am referring to the feathered creatures, just in case you thought that, being the sexist chauvinist that I apparently am, I had decided to employ a harem of women to sleep in my bed, who were chatting away with each other, as women are of course prone to doing, on and on relentlessly. Obviously if this harem of chatty women did exist, then presumably they’d be talking about shopping or make-up, right men? And before any women write to me about me being sexist, I want to reiterate again that I am not sexist, I am merely just stating a fact, which as I’ve said before, is very different. You are just being over-sensitive, which is only natural because you are a woman, and women tend to get a bit over-sensitive; it’s probably your time of the month or something. if this is your first Dollop that you’ve read then you might be wondering what the heck is going on. See yesterday’s Dollop if you’re confused, which to be honest, if you’re a woman, you probably will be anyway even if you have read yesterday’s Dollop. But don’t worry your pretty little heads about it.
Anyway, I woke up at 530 in the morning to the sounds of the birds outside. It was a really beautiful experience. The bird sounds of Australia are very different. I think the birds in England are much more melodic. Perhaps if the over-sensitive Australian woman from the Blue Mountains Festival is reading this, she will now be seething at this comment, seeing it as proof that as well as being sexist, I am also racist, and my preferences for the bird sounds of England is proof of my anti-antipodean opinions. I think it’s the familiarity of the sounds that I appreciated, and after 30 hours of sitting in a metal box, emitting the same annoying droning wining sounds (that’s the plane that’s doing that, not me), I found the sounds of bird song was quite emotional, joyous and life affirming.
I just lay there, basking in the beautiful sounds, until I noticed that there was another sound lurking below the birds. It was the noise of the aeroplane’s persistent drone and wine. For a brief moment I was filled with horror. Had I been dreaming? Had I dreamt that my journey had ended and that I was at home in bed with the sounds of birds outside? Was I about to wake up and realise that I was still on the plane, with another 15 hours still to go?
Apparently, the brain constructs our reality partly around what sensory information it expects to receive, rather than simply what it’s actually receiving, so that we can get the information transmitted to us quicker. Therefore, even though there wasn’t actually a droning wining plane sound occurring, my brain had presumably processed that sound for so long that it was still presenting it to me, assuming it to still be present. Similarly, I could also feel sensations of movement, even though I was lying motionless on the bed. It felt as if I was still on a plane experiencing turbulence. I could feel myself rising and falling. I focused with more intensity on my actual surroundings, the feel of the bed beneath me and the birds outside, and after a few minutes the droning and wining and sensations of movement began to dissipate. But it was an odd experience while it lasted.
I got back home last night about 8pm. The first thing I did was go upstairs to the bathroom in order to brush my teeth. I hadn’t brushed them for 44 hours. I’d brushed them upon waking up on Tuesday morning, before checking out of the hotel. In my rush to leave the hotel I left my toothpaste behind. I suppose I could have bought a mini tooth paste at the airport, but with all the hassle making sure that we were in the right place at the right time, I never got around to it. So as soon as I got into my house I went upstairs to give my teeth a good brush, which I’d been looking forward to doing, as my teeth were hurting due to the lack of cleaning. I rinsed the tooth brush under the tap, and reached out for the tooth paste, but it wasn’t there.
Ben and Elsa had decided to go on a mini-break to Spain for five days, and had seemingly taken the toothpaste with them. I appreciate that the way that I’ve structured that last sentence makes it seem as if I’m suggesting they’d brought the tooth paste along on the holiday as a companion, rather than merely as an item of luggage. Perhaps you read that sentence and jumped to that assumption, maybe thinking that this was just another quirky thing that the French do. So there was no tooth paste. I’d only just got back home after over 30 hours of traveling, and I really needed a shower and to brush my teeth before I went to the shops. It’s not as if I could just walk into a shop, pick up the toothpaste and leave without exchanging a word with anyone. Being blind I’d need to interact with the people in sainsbury’s (the nearest shop to me) in order to get help finding the toothpaste. I dreaded to think what my teeth must look like and how my breath must smell after almost two days without being brushed, plus I hadn’t had a shower for about 60 hours, two and a half days. I’d planned on getting in the shower when I woke up on the Tuesday morning, but I didn’t wake until five minutes before we had to check out of the hotel, and I still needed to pack, so I just hurridly brushed my teeth, packed and left. I really didn’t like the idea of going to my local shop and interacting with the staff, who know me, without first having a good wash and brushing my teeth. But I couldn’t brush my teeth until I went to sainsbury’s and got some tooth paste.
I considered my options. I wondered whether I should put a bit of soap or shower jell on the tooth brush, give my teeth a quick brush, before spitting and thoroughly rincing. Was that better than not brushing them at all? I didn’t know how safe it was to stick shower jell in my mouth. I figured it would be absolutely fine, so long as I didn’t swallow it, and I’d only use a little bit. But would that even make a difference? In theory it should, I reasoned. If there are any dentists reading, or dilettante teeth enthusiasts, let me know your thoughts on this. In the end I just used the tooth brush and water, and did as thorough a brush as I could without tooth paste. I then checked Sainsbury’s opening times and realised that by the time I’d had a shower and got out, the shop would be closed, so I’d have to go tomorrow morning, meaning that by that point I’d have gone for 60 hours without having given my teeth a proper brush.
I’m sure many of you who are reading this are now getting quite excited at the prospect that finally, after weeks of waiting, I’m about to impart another story from Sainsbury’s, but unfortunately I knew that I was going to have to minimise my interaction as much as possible, as I really didn’t want anyone to smell my breath. Before heading out, I gave my teeth another toothpasteless brush. I searched the house for mints, but there was nothing to be found.
I went into Sainsbury’s and asked for assistance, only to be greeted enthusiastically by my usual lady, now infamous to David’s Daily Digital Dollop regulars. This was the very thing I was dreading.
“Hi, welcome back, how was Australia? You’ll have to tell me all about it,” she excitedly declared. I tried to answer her many questions as succinctly as I could, while also making sure not to face her or open my mouth too much. On the plus side, this meant that she wouldn’t be able to smell my breath or see my discoloured teeth, but it probably made me seem very weird, not facing her and speaking with my mouth barely open. I’ve made this woman out to be a bit eccentric and odd, maybe even a bit unintelligent and ignorant about a lot of things, but to her, I probably seemed really unusual with my weird way of talking and my refusal to face her. For all I know, she might have her own blog, where readers are being treated to stories about the weird halitosis-ridden blind man who comes into the shop, buying pretentious vegetables that no one has ever heard of before, who’s not clever enough to have realised that one of the key principles of talking is to open your mouth.
I got the toothpaste, jogged back home and had the best teeth brushing experience of my life, and that’s really saying something, because I’ve had some bloody incredible teeth brushing experiences in my time. But I’ll save those stories for another day and another blog, or possibly I’ll wait until the book comes out and make you pay for them. It would be a shame to give them away for free and squander the financial potential of those brilliant stories. I’ll have a chat with my branding and marketing team about all that when I’ve recovered from the jetlag.