I spent a good part of my working day today at the dentist's. Bloody inlay my old quack apparently fucked up needs replacing - and a vicious, painful and time-consuming business this is.
Anyway: they have a new trick at my dentist's. Instead of letting me while away the seven minutes or so until the anaesthetic kicks in (and Doc can start wielding his manifold drill bits) with an extended meditation on the "Doors of Tuscany" poster opposite the torture chair (all German dentists have at least one of those posters in their establishments - it's a law), the assistant firmly pressed a remote control in my hand and told me to watch some TV via the computer.
I was verily flummoxed by this act, especially since as far as I am concerned, there is no need for this kind of, er, service. I can spend five minutes totally unentertained and not feel bored. I could have taken Bill Bryson's book on Shakespeare out of my bag and read a couple of pages. I could have looked at the cherry tree outside the window or watched the cloud formations drift in over the Hunsrück. I could have contemplated the unnatural sensation of feeling half of your face go numb and explored the accompanying sense of unease and latent fear.
Is it safe?
But you know what the worst thing was? I did as I was told! Patient patient that I am I obediently flicked through the channels - because that was what I was asked to do, right? Though I am proud to say that after one round through 24 or so programmes of extortionate tele-shopping and sanctimonious CNN-style reportage I was bored enough to switch back to the silent screen-saver and returned to the blooming Tuscan doors.
Still, what a weird way to start the weekend ....