Why did dentists give brave kids a lollipop? – Susan Morrison

Susan Morrison recalls a slightly odd practice among dentists of the 1960s as she sips a cup of NHS tea during chemotherapy.

Friday, 11th October 2019, 6:00 am
The only thing keeping this little girl in the dentist's chair is the prospect of a lollopop

When I used to go and see the school dentist, they usually gave us a lollipop to congratulate us on being brave children. Well, anyone who survived that deserved a treat of some kind.

School Dentist sounds like a horror film franchise waiting to happen. I can see the posters now. School Dentist 2 – The Drilling Begins.

At least half of you flinched there as the long-buried memory of the sound of that high-pitched whine broke the surface of your mind like Nessie emerging from the depths for a particularly grim close-up shot.

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And they wonder why school photos of the 60s and 70s had that particular tight-lipped grimace on the kids’ faces?

Anyway, if you made it out without chucking up or splattering blood or kept your screaming to a minimum, you got handed a sugar-laden treat to stuff into a jaw that had a gaping hole in it. Obviously, it was to keep them in business. Perhaps they were worried that Scottish children were not consuming enough sugar off the premises.

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Lest we forget, this is the nation that brought the world Kola Cubes, Soor Plooms and the mighty Pan Drop, all weapons of mass destruction ready to crush the toughest tooth enamel and keep the Tooth Fairy busy for decades.

I was wondering what my chances were of a lollipop as I trundled back to the chemotherapy ward again this week.

My chemo had been going tickety boo, and I had rather expected at the very least a congratulatory glittery sticker.

However, the last treatment got kiboshed when my unbroken record of “being a brave little soldier” was blown out of the water as my platelets let me down and all decided to naff off when they were needed.

Well, I thought, not having this. One job fellas, that’s all you have to do. Clot up the blood and we’re talking again.

The tough love must have worked, since this week the renegade platelets stepped up to the mark and hit a historic high in the blood count. I was positively awash with platelets.

Hurrah, said I, so we can continue with the chemo? Yes, they said. Well, I said, do I get a sticker or a lollipop for getting those pesky little terrors well telt, as my mother would have said?

No, they said. Have a cup of NHS tea. And let’s stick some needles in your arm. I would have preferred a lollipop.

Me or the wonga?

The gods of chance have once again smiled upon me, people. I can exclusively reveal here that I won the Lottery this week. Yes, I know that jackpot of £170 million looked tempting, but I’ll bet my personal God of Luck thought, yeah, well, what’s she going to do with that? Buy a load of platelets? It’ll just go to her head, then settled on a more reasonable winning figure of £2.90.

Well, as I said to the Grumpy Yorkshireman, money isn’t everything. Look at those nice Weirs. They won £168 million, and now they’re divorcing. So, I said, imagine that choice of winning £170 million but then we split up. Simple choice, mate, me or the wonga?

He said, ‘Oh, you, of course, my dear.’

But I had to count to 25 before he said it. Too long, my friend.

Festive broccoli

Come on John Lewis! I know you like to be on the cutting edge every Christmas with your innovative tree decorations range, but you’ve taken it too far now. A festive bunch of broccoli to hang on the tree? It doesn’t matter that it’s a shiny bunch of broccoli topped with glitter, mate, it’s still broccoli, that vegetable that kids push around their plates whilst mums yell at them to eat because Jamie Oliver says it’s good for you.

Who needs to be reminded of healthy options at the Christmas dinner table? Who can shovel down the roast potatoes and the chipolatas and the trifle with a glittery bunch of broccoli gazing balefully at them from the branches of the Christmas tree? Nope. Not in this house.