Earlier this week I was saved by Ena Sharples.
I was heading to the vets to spend another day (the vet theme will stop soon, promise) and I was reading the notes I had been given about what we were going to be seeing that day.
Unfortunately I was two lines in when I read, ‘This is usually a problem which happens to older dogs, because their sphincter doesn’t work as well as it used to.’
‘Ooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh no!’ I hung my head, shaking it and sighed, ‘We’re in deep trouble.’
‘What’s wrong?’ Asked the woman I was travelling with.
‘I can’t do this.’
‘It says sphincter!’
‘I can’t keep a straight face when anyone says sphincter!’
This woman looked at me like I was about twelve, ‘What on earth do you mean?’
‘I DON’T KNOW!’ I miserably tried to explain myself, ‘But if anyone attempts to use the word sphincter seriously, I will get the giggles.’
‘I don’t know, but the word sphincter just makes me laugh.’
It was like when God was inventing me he ticked the boxes: short, handwriting that looks like drunken spider walking across the page, a love of hot weather and cold beer, bad back, inability to tell left from right, left handed, a yearning for wings and the total inability to take the word sphincter seriously.
And believe me I have tried to. But it just doesn’t work.
‘Oh look, you’ll be fine,’ said the woman I was driving there with.
‘Yeah, but if she says sphincter, I am fully screwed.’
We got there and things were going pretty well. A corgi was having its teeth cleaned. It had been sent to sleep since the vet needed to use weapons of mass destruction in order to carry out the job. When she got in to the back of the mouth, she discovered a wiggly tooth that was going to need extraction. She reached over and picked up a tool that looked it was a prop from the film Misery and I started nervously looking around the room for Kathie Bates.
I thought it would be best if I didn’t rely on my legs to keep me upright for the rest of the procedure so gently slid down the wall. Unfortunately, once I got to the ground I came face to face with the clear plastic bag that was slowly filling up with everything that was being sucked out of the corgi’s mouth.
You would have been really pleased you weren’t be me at that stage.
Then it was the old dog’s turn.
I could feel it coming. I really could. The s word. And I was desperate to disguise my inevitable reaction to it. I’m sorry, but I just didn’t want to have answer the ‘Why-are-you-laughing-Kate?’ question.
Despite all appearances to the contrary, I do try my best to appear professional, and I didn’t think confessing ‘Cause you just said sphincter!’ was going to do me any favours, with anyone. And I knew there was a smirk coming which was going to be chased up with an inappropriate smile which would inevitably turn into the dreaded giggles.
The old dog with the s problem was a pug and I was thinking she looked like an austere matriarch from the Eastern Block who should be smoking a pipe and drinking whiskey.
My saviour came when one of team I was there with said, ‘Hey, it’s Ena Sharples,’ and the room promptly erupted in laughter.
Hallelujah sister. I got to camouflage my giggles with an Ena Sharples comparison. Ena saved my bacon. You have no idea how eternally grateful I will remain to the grand old dame of Cornation Street for looking like that pug and preventing me from making a complete idiot of myself.