How often do you floss? asked my dentist. I didn’t want to say every night, because it sounded like I hadn’t anything better to do, which I hadn’t, recently.
The following week I bumped into my old dentist outside the local cafe. I’d left her practice years before after it went private, and in any case she’d had a problem with the amalgam in my old fillings. She could sense emanations from them apparently, and suggested using hazel drops.
She joined me at my table and told me she’d been to a Lewis Carroll party that week. We dress as characters from the Alice books, like the Tenniel drawings, she explained, and woe betide anyone who makes a mistake with their costume!
Suddenly she looked intently at me as I drank my cup of tea. Have you ever, she asked, had a longing for rancid butter? Sign of mercury poisoning you see, the Mad Hatter and the mercury association of course. I remember your fillings quite distinctly. I assured her I hadn’t given much thought to rancid butter. She looked relieved. I went as the Dormouse to the party, she confided, rather wistfully.