“English Teeth, English Teeth!
Shining in the sun
A part of British heritage
Aye, each and every one.
English Teeth, Happy Teeth!
Always having fun
Clamping down on bits of fish
And sausages half done.
English Teeth! HEROES’ Teeth!
Hear them click! and clack!
Let’s sing a song of praise to them –
Three Cheers for the Brown Grey and Black.
– Spike Milligan

British teeth have something of a bad reputation, particularly in America where our gnashers are frequently the butt of a joke. One does wonder whether our colonial cousins have chosen this particular target because it’s the sole area in which they feel superior. But no! Americans can also claim superiority in the field of torture, even if that fool of a Bush thinks that waterboarding isn’t torture.

Yesterday I discovered that Thai people are pretty adept at torture, too. I was forced into an uncomfortable position, blindfolded, injected with drugs, repeatedly found myself choking and struggling for breath, and had my teeth drilled à la Marathon Man by a non-communicative masked woman. Of course, here in Thailand we call it “a trip to the dentist”.

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