The Toothache
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Tam and Rab were bed-mates, two decent working’ men,
Were lyin’ in their beds yae nicht, the clock had lang struck ten;
Tam was sairly bothered, the toothache had him mad;
His tumbling’ an’ his tossin’ jist wasna suitin’ Rab.
Tam’s groans were maist annoyin’ an’ sleep was bein’ lost,
Tae get them oot wid solve it a’  if Rab wad bear the cost;
But lang did Tam annoy his mate, an’ lang did Rab endure it,
The only thing tae get some peace, was get them oot  an’ cure it.
So up got Rab an’ says tae Tam, “ come on get on yer claes,
We’ll gang an’ see the dentist, we’ll see what Beattie says,”
So up they got an’ dressed themsells at that unearthly oor,
Walked briskly tae the dentists an’ battered on the door.
The dentist answered it himself’ an’ drew them baith a look,
Rab said Tam had some bad teeth, an’ wad he pu’ them oot;
For Rab was quite determined that oot these teeth must come,
An’ swore he wadna lae that door until the job was done.
“But I havna got”,…starts Beattie, Says Rab “ Here get it din,”
An’ catchin’ the grup O’ silent Tam he crushed his way right in.
“ But I havna  got” says Beattie but Rab sune cut him short,
“ There’s your man noo get them oot” was Rubert’s quick retort.
Puir Tam was near demented an’ slump’d in tae the chair;
Beattie beckon’d Rab tae a room an’ left Tam sittin’ there;
When in his room he said tae Rab, “ Noo I haven’t got cocaine,
Tae pu’ a tooth without it wad cause him awful’ pain”.
“ Is that a fact “, says Rab, “ Noo let me think…I’ve got it”,
When in the lapel o’ Beatties coat a common peen  he spotted ,
“ I’ll hide ahint the chair Tams on, so that I’ll no be seen,
An’ every time you pu’ a tooth, I’ll administer the peen”.
“ I’ll jag him on his big behind so the pain will coonter-act,
He’ll never ken his teeth a-drawin’ when it penetrates the fat;”
Beattie hummed an’ hawed a while, apparently in a flap,
Went in tae Tam an’ telt the chap tae open up his yap.
Rab got settled in position jist behin’ the chair,
The seat was perforated, he could operate through there,
Then watchin’ Beatties nimble han’s, as they gaed each a wrinch,
Wi’ nae respect for puir Tams nerves, Rab jagged in half an inch.
An’ so tae Beatties stark surprise the operation proved 
Just as effective as cocaine when getting’ teeth removed.
Tam sprang briskly tae his feet, a grimace on his face,
He slipp’d his han’ aroon his back tae rub the ten’er place.
Beattie seemed tae be amused as Tam could weel observe
Wi’ baith han’s on offended pairts he tried tae soothe his nerve;
“Were they sair tae come oot ?” asked Rab,
“Aye bad enough”, says Tam,
“I never thocht the roots o’ teeth could ever be that lang.”

Poems of Arthur G. McColm

The Spooncreel's End Evacuating Doos at the Kirk Belfry Bobby and The Wartime Blackoot
An Encounter The Toothache The Glen Kirk Choir
Our Sacred Cause Lambie's Close The Ghost O'Drumley Hoose
Maybole and District The Ash Tree and The Varnished Door Burns and Splendid Isolation

Notes about these poems contributed by the author's daughter Anne McCrindle

Arthur McColmThese poems were written by my dad about Maybole and some of the characters from the town. Some poems were written for events and 'smokers' do's. Some serious some fictional and quite comical. Quite a few about Maybole in war time and his thoughts about the war. Dad was the last son born 1907 to Emily and Tom McColm. They lived in Montgomery Street till they moved to Ladyland Road, across from the school which later burned down in 1919. Dad was a slater and chimney sweep, well known in the town. He played in the Maybole burgh band for many years till it was disbanded. He later became a member of the Ayrshire Yeomanry Band. Sadly he died at the age of sixty in 1968, but has left us with many happy memories and treasures in his written words
Anne Mc Crindle (nee McColm) born in Maybole, daughter of Arthur Mc Colm and Maggie McKay.

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Copyright © Permission for display on this site granted by Anne McCrindle. You may view and download poems for personal use only. No other distribution or use of this text is authorized.