We crossed several times during the course of conducting the shop, and several times I pondered what the letters might mean. The LC could have stood for ‘Ladies Club,’ but I had no ideas at all for the SM. Eventually it occurred to me that she might have noticed my taking a disproportionate interest in the area of her chest, and when we landed on adjoining checkouts I decided to set her mind easy. I crossed the short distance:
‘Excuse me. I’ve been puzzling over what the letters might mean.’
‘The ones on your sweater.’
She looked down.
‘Oh, those. I’ve no idea. They were there when I bought it.’
‘Needn’t have bothered puzzling, then, need I?’ I said.
‘Maybe I should make something up in case anyone else enquires,’ she replied.
‘I think you should.’
I accosted her again as we were leaving:
‘Have you thought of anything yet?’
She was a lot friendlier than I make her sound.
* * *
I also paid a visit to my Transylvanian dentist today, the incomparable Medeea whose exalted reputation should be well established by now. I pointed out the tooth with a hole at the back where a piece broke off when I bit something hard a couple of months ago.
‘There are three things I could do,’ she offered. ‘I could put an additional filling in there, but it would probably collapse eventually. I could file the sharp edges down to stop them scratching your tongue. Or I could put a crown on it.’
A crown? That sound posh, doesn’t it? I’ve never had a crown. Peasants generally don’t, you know.
‘How much would a crown cost?’ I asked, masking my excitement with a natural show of nonchalance.
‘!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ll take the sandpaper.’
She did a good job, as ever. It doesn’t scratch now, and it cost me £18.50.
I remember reading once that the inhabitants of some Pacific island used to file their teeth to a point in order to better facilitate the eating of human flesh. I reckon it was a load of colonial baloney. I gather human flesh is very similar to pork when cooked, and people who eat pork don’t need to file their teeth, do they?
Transylvanians, on the other hand, have an entirely different reason.