Today I want to give shout out for three unsung heroes who day in, day out, fulfil professional obligations which go far and beyond the call of duty.
Of course it is only right that we should praise our firemen, policemen, nurses, doctors etc for all the sterling work they do every day to ensure our safety and good health. However, I want to highlight three professions which remain under the praise radar but for which as far as I am concerned being in the line of fire is all in a day’s work: chiropodists, children’s party entertainers and dental hygienists.
Now I actually quite like my feet as body parts go – not that I spend much time contemplating their loveliness. However, as much as I like my own feet, I can categorically say that I don’t like anyone else’s feet and that there are a lot of feet out there which could have their own starring role in a horror movie (“Psych -toe”, “The Toe -men”. “The Exorblist(er)”. This brings me to the very underrated occupation of chiropody. These people selflessly put themselves in close proximity to other people’s feet every hour of every day. They not only have to look at other people’s feet but they have to touch them too. In fact it is a job with sensory overload – seeing, touching, smelling (but not tasting – thank god for small mercies!). Imagine a job where bunions, verrucas, and ingrowing toenails are your bread and butter (as it were). These are the unsung heroes that keep the nation on its feet.
I guess dental hygienists fall into a similar bracket in some ways – looking after the health of a nation. There are some differences though which perhaps make them even more heroic than our chiropodists. Firstly, whereas a chiropodist might come across a well-kept pair of feet may be once a day, I do not believe that one could ever say that the mouth and teeth of anyone over 35 is pleasant to survey. Secondly, although chiropodists do inflict a level of pain which may make a visit a little uncomfortable, no-one likes going to the dental hygienist. How depressing it must be to be viewed with such horror and fear by everyone you see, knowing that you will almost certainly encounter blood, shrieks and swearing at every appointment. But dental hygienists are tough types – they are working for the higher good of mankind (or at least for their teeth). Yes, they too are, in my opinion, unsung heroes.
So to my third group of people – children’s party entertainers. My eldest son had his birthday party last weekend and all things considered it was a bearable affair – definitely better than two years ago which nearly resulted in an extended stay in The Priory for his mother. The thing is I only have to suffer the birthday party once a year – I get 364 recovery days in between parties. Not so the children’s party entertainer. No, these courageous people willingly put themselves in a room of up to 30 children every single day and attempt at best to entertain them, at worst to maintain some semblance of control. Have you ever encountered a more unappreciative audience than a bunch of kids? How on earth do they put up with the noise levels? How do they pretend to be happy the whole time? How do they manage to pretend for 2 hours that even the most charmless children are a joy to be with? I take my hat off to them – this is a herculean task which they carry out uncomplainingly and for the most part dressed in ridiculous costumes.
So let’s hear a bit shout for my unsung heroes of the day. I’m sure there are many other unsung heroes out there – do let me know who your unsung heroes are.
I feel a bit sorry for those people who have to hold the “Stop” and “Slow” signs during road work. One at one end, and one at the other. All day long. Stop, slow, stop, slow. Their only recognition they get is an occasional raised hands from drivers as they pass by…
Still, I’d rather do that than be a dental hygienist. Or a chiropodist. I think I’d quite enjoy being a children’s party entertainer though, as long as I didn’t have to make the cake. The cake is always what gets me…