"In the days beyond compare and before the Judgements"* doctors and dentists were authority figures. The first doctor I had when I moved to this place was an old navy man. He was around the age I am now, wore a blazer and handed down the law from on high. He made such an impression on those around him that they honoured him in retirement by naming the practice after him. It still bears his name, even though the present generation of doctors never had anything to do with him.
My present doctor had to ring me yesterday to give me the results of my tests. Obsequious is the wrong word, but he was very eager to please- and nervous that he might fail to do so. He was delivering what he supposed I might interpret as bad news and was quick to mollify and console. "It's nothing to be paranoid about," he suggested.
Indeed it isn't. I've got high cholestrol and he's giving me pills to bring it down.
I worry about many things- mostly involving interaction with other human beings (I don't trust the tricky, little buggers)- but not about a thing like that.
Of course he isn't to know. And I'm a well-spoken, senior gentleman. From a distance- especially when I'm wearing one of his coats- I might be mistaken for my father. So maybe this isn't about doctors losing their gravitas, but about me acquiring some. Now there's a thought.
Because like everybody else- including those mountainous doctors and dentists of yore- I'm just bluffing my way through this life, hoping not to be found out.
*R. Kipling, Dayspring Mishandled