...is toothache, as Thomas de Quincey or someone like that possibly said some time in history. I can dig it; a miniature molar is currently forcing its way through Brit Jnr’s infant gumline. That tooth is a terrible strain on us all.
De Quincey’s estimation also tallies with the Study of Human Misery I’ve been conducting on behalf of Gallup. My survey showed that 25% of human misery is indeed dentistry-related. 13% is airport security, 11% is Tuesday and 6% is the feeling that it’s getting too late to catch up with contemporaries who appear to have been more successful than you. Christmas accounts for 4% of human misery, the Go Compare adverts for 3% and the remaining 38% is Paris Hilton.
This last seems grossly unfair. Few realise that beneath Paris Hilton’s veneer of Slutty Attention-Seeking beats a sold gold heart of Exhibitionist Promiscuity, and I for one would gladly don helm, visor, comb, gorget, pauldron, breastplate, plackart, fauld, rerebrace, couter, vambrace, gauntlet, greave, cuisse, fan-plates and sabaton, mount my charger and, with flamberge and spetum slay any number of Black Knights or dragons to defend whatever paltry scraps remain of what we might laughingly call "Paris Hilton’s honour".