Friday, 6 September 2013


Toothache has to be one of the most bizarre phenomenons of the human body.  It serves no purpose, but to annoy the hell out of you.  If your heart starts to hurt, call the paramedics you’re about to have a coronary.  If your abdomen gives you pain, pull out your copy of ‘Appendectomies for beginners’.  If your wrists start to throb and you’re feeling hot, think twice about cheating on your girlfriend before letting her tie you to the bed and walk away with a smug smile on her face and a box of matches in her hand.  All of these pains are indicative of a life threatening problem, but toothache?  What a bunch of crap.
In fact the only grave warning toothache presents you with is that its time to make a phone call, only not to your dentist as you might have first assumed, oh no.  The initial call you make is to your bank manager checking that its ok to re-mortgage your house to meet the gargantuan bill you will be presented with at the end of the gruelling two-hour torture session you’re about to face.
I’m pretty damn sure that if reincarnation exists then all dentists’ previous lives were spent in dank dungeons fourteen floors under various medieval European castles, burning heretics or getting people who didn’t care one way or the other, to say Satan was a better shag than Christ and then burning them.  I mean look at the facts.  The dentist’s chair; stick a couple of manacles on the arms and you’re pretty much in Torquemada territory.  The tools; every item on that stainless steel tray (suspiciously only wheeled into view after you’ve sat down) would have been considered de rigueur at even the lowliest Spanish inquisition.  The mask; just a more fashionable light weight version of the more traditional black hood employed in the days before central heating and the DQ (Dentists’ Quarterly) look for summer.  Even the nurses wouldn’t seem out of place with a hump, a limp, a shovel in one hand, a brain in the other and answering to the name Igor with a somewhat rasping lisp.  Pure coincidence?  You decide.
The other thing I can’t figure out about dentists is after all that medical school training why can’t they count?  I swear, If you’ve ever been to the dentist with a dodgy tooth, he will take on the air of a troubled car mechanic, tutting, sucking his teeth and muttering things like ‘If only you’d brought it in sooner’ or ‘Well your big ends gone, annit’ (what the hells a big end, and if its so bloody big, where could it go anyway?) and the working professionals favourite ‘Its gonna cost ya’.  You go in with one, single, solitary, lone problem incisor and I guarantee you’ll leave with at least two gaps in your smile, why?  And if counting’s a problem for them, then maths as a whole is just something that happens to other people, but they must have a good handle on hypnotism.  How else can you explain the fact that if someone walked up to you in the pub and punched you full in the face you’d probably get a tad upset, but if a dentist goes at you with all manner of horrific looking tools for hours at a time, putting you through not only physical pain, but also the kind of mental anguish that has only before been seen in soldiers returning form the horrors of war with post traumatic stress disorder, you give them a pained smile and hand over the national debt of Bolivia.  It doesn’t make sense.
In fact the only payback, I feel, is that being a dentist is not going to get you very far in the love stakes, nobody would like the idea that every time you open your mouth to kiss your date, they might whip out a small pair of pliers and start tugging.  I kind of figure for pure sexual magnetism it’s got to be about on par with dating a gynaecologist.  Anyway, they deserve it, so hah!
Why we get toothache at all is, in itself, an enigma; some say it’s to redress the balance between the good and sinful feelings associated with excess (bible bashing tree huggers); some say the pains are code transmitted by the mother ship telling us when its coming back (rambling lunatic conspiracy theorists); some even go so far as to say it’s a build up of bacteria causing an infection in, around or below the tooth, triggering a reaction in the nerve endings within the gum letting our brain know a problem may have occurred (sad loser virgin scientist bods).  No, I am about to reveal to you the real reason why we get toothache and I think you’ll be amazed.
God was pissed.
Yep, that’s it I’m afraid, the almighty was out on the razzle the night before he designed teeth.  Although it’s not really his fault, you see when the big man started out on the road to making all us little people he had a plan and a schedule.  He started on the Monday and planned to have everything sorted by the Friday, because there was a big leaving party happening (some of the angels were planning on going to hell to join the Devils hoard, because they thought God was a big boring hippy who likes everyone, but he didn’t mind so much, ‘cos he’s a big boring hippy who likes everyone.).  Anyway, so the idea was that all the easy stuff (eyebrows, teeth, bellybutton fluff etc.) should be left to the end of the week, and the more time consuming stuff tackled early on, giving God a bit of a cushion on Friday should things overrun.  Now, the problem is God got a bit caught up on Wednesday when he looked at his blueprints and discovered someone had spilt their coffee on the bit about decision making and he had a bit of trouble figuring out which part of the body should do everything, the brain (hub of the body’s nervous system linking everything to everything else via a complex structure of fibres and electrical pulses) or the genitals (a strange component, he was sure the boys in design had thrown in for a laugh).  Not wanting to be laughed at for asking for a bit of assistance (well it said for ages three to infinity on the box) he just blagged it and guessed…oh well!
So before he knew it Friday had come, the party was hours away and he wasn’t finished yet, but being the conscientious deity that he is, instead of rushing it he decided to come back to work on Saturday and complete the job properly, besides he could use the overtime (that Sun thing was going to cost a fortune and he was pretty sure he’d only be able to afford to run it for half a day at a time.).  So off he shuffled to shower, stick on a new shroud and buy a case of Stella (he can afford champagne, but likes to think he’s still one of the boys…oh yeah and he’s a tight git.).
Unfortunately, when God arrived at the party he saw a cute little Angel he’d been trying to get hold of for some time and started into the traditional male mating ritual of getting absolutely out of his tree and dancing badly to various songs in the vague direction of the target of his affection, mumbling all the words he didn’t know, shouting all those he did, whilst simultaneously thinking ‘I’m bloody gorgeous I am.’ (It’s not as easy as it looks girls.).  Which is why the big lug found himself at his work bench on Saturday morning, not knowing what went wrong, but remembering enough to know the only blowing that occurred the night before was his chances of ever getting off with the cute Angel and wondering why he ever invented hangovers…oh yeah, he was drunk.
Anyway, struggling through the haze of the night’s excesses, God completed the tasks at hand.  Just not exactly to the letter of the instructions!  This is why when the blueprint called for eyebrows that would allow us to further express what we say with a delicate raise or ripple; we end up with two caterpillars who, if they’re not tamed, try to meet in the middle of our head for a quick shag.  Bellybutton fluff that was due to be a valuable source of nutrition for when we’re late for work and don’t have time for breakfast, ended up becoming a never-ending hoard of blue mystery.  And finally, to get back to the point, why instead of having incredibly useful teeth that will continually replace themselves, we ended up with a tooth ache, which is in fact the brain saying to our gums ‘Come on they’re in there somewhere, push.  Look, I’ve got the manual here and it states quite clearly; all rotten teeth will be ejected and replaced by the gums.  Look you’re not making it any easier on your self…right that’s it IN MY OFFICE NOW!’  And that, my friends, is why we have toothache.
Whilst we’re on the subject of unlikely mythological characters, what the hell are tooth fairies all about?  I mean, a tooth falls out (or is wrenched unmercilously from our bleeding flesh, by sadistic bastard dentists, hell bent on…Sorry…calm…calm.) and is placed under your pillow to be taken by a small waif-like, girlie fairy in exchange for cash.  Is it just me or does that sound strange to anyone else?  Its like, how do the little buggers lift your head, what do they want with the teeth, and where do they get the cash anyway?  You see if I was told that tooth Schwarzeneggers were on the prowl that’d make more sense.  They’d easily be able to lift your head to get at the tooth, they need the teeth to replace the one’s they lose during filming their big action movies and they obviously get the cash prostituting themselves to your mum, which is why she has a happy knowing smile on her face when you bound down the stairs in the morning waving your cash, before she whacks you round the face with a frying pan dislodging another tooth, like the previous two mornings, ‘cos she bought a three pack of vanilla chocolate fudge Jonnies and it’d be a shame to waste one.  Tooth fairies, my left one!
Anyway, I think one thing we can all agree on is that the biggest mystery concerning toothache is why does it hurt so much?  It seems to me that the size of an injured body part relates inversely to the amount of pain you experience.  For example, your leg is a big old lump of flesh, but if you’re unlucky enough to receive a bit of a bash you just hop about a bit and it goes.  However if you cut your little finger on a piece of paper drawing insufficient blood to quench a vampiric field mouse’s thirst, it hurts like mad and sends your body into spasm whilst little bubbling sobs issue form your contorted mouth, and don’t get me started on a kick in the bollocks!  Why is it that one small chunk of enamel coated calcium can cause you so much pain that you’d willingly cut your own head off with a plastic spoon, just to stop the pain?
I’m afraid even I don’t have the answer to that one.  All I can do is offer you this sage piece of advice.  Put the plastic cutlery away, take your self down the pub, get out of your mind drunk, walk up to a huge group of lads, pick on the biggest most psycho looking lump there and say at the top of your voice ‘Oi, Shrimp dick, I don’t take kindly to having cheques bounced on me, so the next time you want a little butt luvin make sure you’ve got cash.’  Then, upon finally being discharged from intensive care, toddle off to your nearest ‘bastard’ dentist and tell him you want a set of his finest false teeth made up, then leave his office, middle finger extended, in the happy knowledge that you will no longer require his services.  No teeth no toothache…QED. 
It worked for me.


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