Minimal Tears

Brother MBrother M, Musings 2 Comments

The adage claims trouble comes in threes. They lied.

My work wanted me to go to the Philippines to train a couple of staff in a specialised scripting language to automate form letters. All well and good, got my shots, renewed my passport (appointment was on the day that most of Brisbane shut down because of heavy rain and winds, a premonition to trouble ahead? Lucky the Queensland government have plenty of people applying for government jobs so losing a few in the floods doesn’t matter). Rain, hail or drop bears nothing is too much to serve the people of Queensland. A frantic day running around dealing with bureaucracy. A choice of crawling across broken glass and fire ants with my fly open or dealing with the government would be a hard decision to make. *Looks down* Sorry little fella. I had forgotten my passport had expired and I needed to renew it, so I only had myself to blame or rather Siri who forgot to remind me. Note to self: replace Siri with an assistant that doesn’t suffer from amnesia.

The first sign came in booking my car into a car park next to the airport (cheaper than the cost of two taxi fares). The first sign came in booking my car into a car park next to the airport (cheaper than the cost of two taxi fares). I mentioned my destination, forgetting to specify the domestic leg to Sydney, which led to a 6am arrival for a 9:05am flight—overkill by any standard.

Sleepwalking at 4:30am, I showered, dressed, shaved and shoved off. I only had 2 bags so what would be the chance that I would forget one? Yup 100%. Halfway to the airport, and it’s at least a 30-minute journey and I realised I only had one bag. Panicking a little, I had just passed an exit and the next one was three or four minutes away; not a trend of bad luck, just a coincidence, I reassured myself. I raced back home to get the other bag and started again for the airport.

It was only when I had returned to the parking building outside of the airport, sighing with relief, that I realised I could still be asleep; it was only 30 minutes for domestic flights at the airport, not international flights. It was that time a sense of unease was seeping into my unconsciousness.

Lounging around the Brisbane airport, because I was 3 hours early, *mutters darkly*, there was plenty of time for some healthy breakfast. Seafood subway yum! (okay I was still young and naïve and thought subway was supremely healthy, I blame Jarrod). Chew, chew, chew, swallow, chew, chew, swallow, chew, scream!

Sitting on the plane to Sydney, wanting to pass out I endured bravely, swimming in a small wading pool of self-pity, filled from my own salty tears. But this had to be the last surprise, right? HA! The day had just started.

Still with the idea in my head that I had 3 hours before my flight took off, I wasn’t too concerned about getting to the boarding area to fly to the Philippines. I swear I must have been on medication that day. I wandered over to the transfer bus to the international terminal., missing the first one by about fifteen seconds, not worried, plenty of time, and I grabbed the next. This took about 30 minutes, no big deal, plenty of time. I stopped at the souvenir shop to get something for the guys over there for another lazy 15minutes, I bought a pen to fill out my form for customs. I went through customs, was pulled aside to get a whole-body scan, three times, stupid sneaky hidey pockets. After getting through and walking towards the gate I thought I really should have my boarding pass ready. I went through every paper, four times, on me, no boarding pass. If I was religious, I would be starting to think something was taking the piss or was pissed at me. I raced back, slowly, plenty of time, to customs. I found my pass; I left in one of those boxes you put your stuff in, senile IT guy is not just a fun nickname. Another 15mins lost. No big deal, plenty of time.
So happy now, albeit with a throbbing mouth; from the split tooth, not the custom guys, I moved finally towards the gate. A little bored, I checked the boarding time on the pass, 11:15, checked my phone, 11:45, hmm that can’t be right. Checked twice more, OMFG!

Started jogging towards the gate, listening to the PA paging Brother M for flight QF19 to the Philippines, oh shit! I am panting now, starting to get red in the face. You see, the thing about the Sydney gate layout is that its shapes like a T with the top bar in a crescent shape. I was at the bottom of the T and the gate written on the boarding pass was on the very far right of the top bar of the T. Another summons over the PA. Had to stop jogging before I passed out, firmly ignoring that voice in my head that said, you know, you could have exercised more, prick, something I firmly ignored. I started jogging again, panting a little more heavily. I finally get to the gate at least 10 minutes later. All locked up, WTF?!

Looking around wildly in another panic attack. I spied a lone lady at a desk, I ran, ok, fast walked, ok staggered, back to a lady and asked what was going on? She said, oh didn’t you know, they changed the gate. *pant* Ok *pant* what is the right gate? The gate that is in the far-left side of the top T bar. I think I stared at her for a minute blankly, silently whimpering, thinking this a plot to kill me. A monologue running through my brain shocked even me and primly reprimanded me for language. I had to go most the way back, to the top of the T plus the same again on the other side.

“Last call for Brother M at gate #36. Again”. I could hear the PA lady getting irritated. Jogging, fast walking, stagger walking, panting, wheezing, occasional sobs, I make my way. I am not going to make it, I am not going to make it, I am going to die in the airport, and they are going to have to carry my corpse out. Serves them right. I am almost there and come near a security guard who looks a little uneasy at my appearance, and he asks if I am Brother M. It took 3 syllables for me to say yes. And he walkie talkies the gate holding them from taking off. I finally get there, and they are putting away a wheelchair, I wheezed out, “I may need that”. They looked at me strangely, but I get that a lot. I board and sit, ignoring all the malevolent stares directed my way. It took about an hour to get my heart rate back to normal which is a healthy one hundred and twenty beats a minute. Hey, it was down from two hundred and forty!

You would think fate would be satisfied it had taken the right piss out of me and was done. Well, no, fate is a bitch and not shy at showing it. I must have killed puppies in a previously lifetime or been a politician.

I get there to the Philippines, make my way outside to try to find the driver of the car to the hotel. No guy. I go down the ramp underground to the pickup place, wait 20mins, no guy, go back up, no guy, talk to other driver guys, they said, ah he went down there! My bottom lip almost trembled. Finally, we meet up, both looking for each other in the opposite area. What were the odds? Today? 110% maybe 120. We take off, with me semi drooling drowsily against the window, eventually arriving at the hotel. I get to my room, about 9pm, from a 4:30am start. Yay, long days are awesome. Mouth is still throbbing.
Still every tooth has a silver lining, um cloud, something, crap, I was in pain, give me a break. I went to the local dentist; she said my tooth was cracked in two and would have to come out. *gulp* But I am a grown man, I didn’t cry the day before, I can handle this.

After some confusing talk about paperwork. I get usured in.

“Lie back Mr M, remember to breathe. I really did try too as she raised sized 49 pliers and put it back down. Quick slightly panicky pants are normal right?

“Ok, the first needle to numb the gums”

Not scary at all, a large needle into the roof of my mouth is not scary. And I barely felt it, I must have a high tolerance to pain. *I preen slightly*.

“Ok second needle, this one may hurt a little”.

I didn’t scream exactly, but I did whimper very loudly. Since the tooth was cracked in two it came out in pieces over 13 hours, fine it was probably closer to 30mins, but YOU weren’t there. The first fifteen minutes didn’t hurt, just pressure and a few large clicks, snaps and grinding noises that make you jump a few inches every time. EVERY time.

Then the next fifteen minutes were near the exposed root. She kept asking pressure? pressure? I said in a high-pitched voice “Pain! Pain!”, but it was a little mumbled, perhaps she heard, “I love it, hurt me more”. Eyes rolling a little, she gave me more needles to numb the pain, didn’t help, but I am a manly man; I didn’t urinate once.

Finally, all bits of teeth were out. As I lay there numb both in mouth and mind, relieved it was all over, I thought at least I didn’t sob like a baby, I mean there were no actual tears.

Fate finally laughed out, and probably out of pity decide to release me.

The silvered tooth on the cloud? The consultation, the x-rays, the extraction and her not laughing at me too much, it cost $25 AUD. Now in a few months I MAY appreciate that, but right now… *growls*

You know, in the future, if my boss even hints at an overseas trip, I’ll be preparing for bail—not boarding.

Comments 2

  1. Sorry, but I can’t stop myself from laughing. Why is it pleasurable for someone else to be in distress? Just very happy it is not me.
    Great story.

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