People nowadays have an obsession with teeth, particularly so in America where the whole thing has gotten completely ridiculous. The only people benefiting are the dentists, or orthodontists as the braces branch like to call themselves, who are making an absolute fortune on the vanity of others.
There’s the usual drilling and filling too, but the main work nowadays is straightening and whitening and so forth. Nearly every unfortunate kid has to undergo months of a hideous looking steel grid in their gobs otherwise they think that they will stand out from their friends, and of course individuality is out of the question, conformity is king!
Their beleaguered parents, who seem to have lost the ability to say “no” to their children, go along with it and hand over their wallets like it’s the normal thing to do.
America, my friends, is fast becoming the land of the Stepford grin and nobody seems to find it at all the least bit odd. And just like baseball caps, the fashion is spreading throughout the world.
But it wasn’t always this way. A few decades ago dentistry was, let’s say, a lot more primitive. There was still the drilling and filling bit and in a pre-fluoride environment there were more cavities than there were people. There were also a lot of teeth that, whilst they could be easily saved and repaired today, in those days had to be extracted. Therefore many people ended up requiring dentures.
John was a case in point. He got to the stage where all his teeth were gone and his dentist was taking moulds and measuring him up for a new set of dentures.
After spending some time toothless, which made eating some of his favorite foods difficult and frustrating, John was anxious to get his new teeth. The day arrived and off he went to the dentist who fitted them and adjusted them.
All seemed to go well. They felt like a bit of a mouthful but John put that down to the fact that they were new and probably needed a few hours to bed down properly in his mouth. He was happy enough.
Until he got home that is.
His daughter met him at the door and immediately let out a loud shriek and fell on to the floor laughing uncontrollably.
Then his wife walked in.
“Oh my good God, John” she exclaimed, “Whatever have they done to you?” And with that she too started to laugh.
John protested vigorously. He tried to ask them what was wrong, why was everyone laughing. But he hadn’t gotten used to the teeth in his mouth and he sounded as if he had a mouthful of pebbles. Naturally this made the others laugh all the harder.
He went into an adjoining room where there was a mirror.
“Fos hate, way awen’t wat bad,” he protested from the other room.
But the more he talked with his mouthful of teeth the more they laughed and the more they laughed the more irritated he became. After a while they got themselves calmed down and decided they would review the situation in the morning.
The next morning John’s wife was first up as usual. She went downstairs to prepare breakfast for the family while he washed, shaved and got dressed. When the breakfast was ready she shouted on the others and they all assembled at the kitchen table.
For a few minutes all went peacefully, everybody keeping their heads down and studying their eggs and bacon intently. But curiosity eventually got the better of them. First John’s daughter looked up. She couldn’t control herself and immediately returned her concentration to the scrambled egg on her plate, but shaking noticeably with more laughter.
Then John’s wife looked across the table at him. Again she burst out into fits of laughter.
“It was like sitting there looking at a horse smiling at you across the breakfast table,” she would tell me later when recounting the story.
This time it was all too much for John. He angrily stomped off to the garage and set to work on his new teeth with an electric grinding stone.
But it was a lost cause. All he did was grind away a good part of the teeth, which obviously did make them smaller, but now he was left with more gum than teeth. If anything, this looked even funnier than the original, as his wife and daughter confirmed by again falling about the place in more fits of laughter.
After that those teeth, or what was left of them, were never seen again.
The next time John would go to another dentist, one who made teeth for people and not horses.