There seems to be a certain collection of patients that tip me, as a dentist, by telling me a joke. It always cheers me up but also amuses me that it is definitely from a very specific group of patients, almost always male and a very specific age group. I occasionally get a box of chocolates or biscuits at Christmas and, if I’m very lucky, I might get something a little more special. Very occasionally, I get a bottle of whisky (although this happened more often when I lived and worked in Glasgow); this is normally a bottle of Teacher’s, Ballantine’s or the infamous Grouse.
Last week, I received a present from a patient that made me really quite emotional. She gave me a small bottle of whisky that had been her father’s. He had worked for Black and White Whisky when they lived in Stepps; he had been given a variety of bottles when he retired and my patient thinks this bottle is around 26 years old. She wanted to give it to me because she needed it to go to someone that would appreciate it. She also said that since I had given her a smile, she thought she would return the favour.
She has insisted that I am to open and appreciate the whisky and I will but, for now, I shall wait until the right moment and keep and appreciate the thought and memory behind the gift.