The Green Tooth Fairy

I went to the dentist a while back.

“So,” she said, “do you floss every day?”

“Of course I bloody don’t. I floss whenever I think of it, which isn’t often, and then frantically twice a day in the weeks before I visit you, in the hopes that you won’t see through me. I know it, you know it, so let’s stop lying and get this over with.”

I didn’t say that, of course. I mumbled “more or less” and opened wider.

But after that visit I decided to get serious about fluoride rinsing. I bought a bottle of the nice minty stuff the dentist recommended, but as I had an old half-empty bottle of Listerine knocking around, I decided I would use that up first.

And fucking hell it hurt. It burned. After thirty seconds of Listerine gargling I was red-eyed and gasping. But I kept at it, looking forward to the day I’d empty the damn bottle and get to use mouthwash that didn’t cause pain. And finally that day came.


I started on the nice minty stuff. And it was fine, but it felt oddly unsatisfying. And after a while it dawned on me why – I missed the Listerine. More precisely, I missed the pain. So a few days later I bought a new bottle and cracked it open, dribbling with anticipation.

I don’t know if Listerine works any better than the minty stuff. In fact, I doubt it. But now I’ve trained my brain to associate a burning sensation with freshness, and from there there’s no going back.

Next stop – wasabi toilet paper. Who’s with me?

/ paddy

3 thoughts on “The Green Tooth Fairy

  1. Hi, Paddy. Welcome to the pleasure dome. You are now a bona fide real man. :-)

    Frankly, this is a very old tradition. It has been like this for at least as long as I have been alive. After shave, yucky medicine, whatever, if it didn’t hurt, we knew we were no real men. It’s only in the last few years that the tradition has begun to abate.

    There are vibes of protesting contrariness in your posting. If this goes on, what will you do next? I mean, wasabi toilet paper? Hmf. When I was a child we used medium grade sand paper. So there. :-)


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