My entire world view is a tooth

I HAVE toothache.

You can’t write a column when you’ve got toothache. The most you can manage in creative thinking when you have toothache is going to the lavatory. And I’ve done that.

Explain to me, if you can, how using the muscles in your bum can increase the pain in your head… the thigh bone’s connected to the hipbone, as they say.

Now there’s no alternative but to sit here while my entire worldview becomes a tooth, or the rotting remains of one.

Indeed, if anyone were stupid enough to try to find a positive side to toothache it would be that the mystery of life, the universe and everything is rendered as significant as a fart, in the face of the festering throb of dying teeth.

I wish I’d listened to my parents. They urged me to brush my teeth twice a day, but I didn’t listen. I cheated them by licking the toothpaste every night and morning so I smelled right when they came sniffing up to me – but I never realised you can’t cheat dental rot.

It’s as inevitable as death, but much more painful. Someone out there will say that death can be painful, too, and they will be right. But at least it’s final.

I don’t understand why we’re so proud of civilisation. What’s the point in eliminating smallpox and bubonic plague but hanging on to toothache?

And how come we haven’t been able to do anything about the cost. It only costs a few billion dollars to fly space probes to Mars, but I could buy the entire planet and have it shipped back home, with the money I’ve spent on my teeth!

I’m sure the dental fraternity has done significant studies on teeth, but they haven’t answered any of the really tricky questions.

Like why toothache attacks your wallet as well as your teeth.

And how it recognises when the weekend is approaching, or that the dentist is off for a week’s golf.

And there should be a warning on every box of painkillers on the market that alerts you to their worthlessness for toothache. I’ve never tried morphine for anything, but I’ll bet it’s useless against toothache.

And don’t let anyone fool you with the old jokes about a bottle of scotch. It doesn’t work. And when the hangover kicks in – you still have the toothache.

I actually lost my four front teeth when I at school. Got kicked in the head by a rugby prop who tried to run over me. Who did run over me. Left bits of hair and skin scattered across the field. And four teeth.

And it was a lot less painful for a lot less time than the slow decay I’m suffering now.

I’ve had a denture since then, which used to be embarrassing when you wanted to kiss someone new, but that hasn’t been a problem for years. Come to think of it, it’s a shame I didn’t get them all taken out when I was kid. I used to suggest it to my parents, but they just went off about brushing regularly.

I’ve thought about walking down to the Cowboys club and finding someone to insult. Someone two metres tall with jettied eyebrows and no sinuses who would knock out this tooth.

But it’s at the back. I’d get a split lip and a broken nose and I’d still have the bloody tooth.

It’s a wisdom tooth, which is a joke, because if I’d been smarter I’d have had the damn thing removed when it was the size of a pea. If I’d been smarter I’d have brushed my teeth.

If I’d been smarter I’d have been a bloody dentist.