Saturday, April 14, 2007
More on the Evil Dentist
I never know which blog entries are going to draw attention. Part of the problem is, I really don't know who reads this thing. I used to have a hit counter on it so I know there are such people, but for the most part, other than the ones I email, I don't know who the readers are. And another strange thing: most blogs I read draw tons of comments. This one doesn't; everyone just emails me instead. This could be because most of the people who read this blog don't read other blogs; I just don't know.
Anyway, except for Ms. Johnson, who's always popular, usually what draws emails is some secondary thing which was not the main topic or point of the post, and that's true of the last one. My mention of the dentist who did unnecessary drilling is my teeth when I was a young man drew several emails from childhood friends who had had the same experience, or had heard of the man's incompetence. The pattern was the same: lots of "cavities" while using the bastard dentist, none after leaving him, and then a lifetime of bad teeth from all the unnecessary and poorly done fillings.
However, it got more interesting. There were several dentists in my hometown, but everyone who emailed me knew immediately who I was talking about. In my response to one old friend, I noted that the bastard was probably dead by now. My friend responded, somewhat to my embarrassment, that I was right, he had died just a few weeks before. This led me to some online research, and to my amazement, a discovery of a raving eulogy. Allegedly the man was a co-founder of a major scientific research institution, as well as a state political figure. Why he would need to be hanging about in Manchester, TN, putting unnecessary metal in kids' mouths, if he was in fact such a saint and a pioneer, is beyond me. This is the crap you read when people die.
I really wanted to out the dentist here and publish the obituary as well as his name, so that his heirs would have to live in as much embarrasment as possible, but my legal background convinced me otherwise. Truth is a complete defense to a defamation suit, but trying to prove dental malpractice from thirty years ago is more trouble than I want to take on. Not that I'm much of a target financially, but you never know. I do wish I'd known how widespread and well-known this slimeball's activities were, or there would have been a class-action suit many years ago.
I don't know what the universal truth behind this post is; I just thought it was interesting. Perhaps it's just a sad commentary on the human condition that a person who was lasting accomplishments in his personal history, as well as a modicum of social prominence, could still be knowingly damaging the health and futures of children while fleecing their parents for money. I could blame the decline of modern culture, but this is a story that sounds like it could have been written at any point in human history; I imagine the ancient Egyptians had similar problems.
Meanwhile, I'm still avoiding doctors. Eat right, exercise, and die when your time comes. At this moment that seems prudent to me.