DENTAL EQUIPMENT SALES

I’d never been to a dentistry trade fair before, so I really had no idea what to expect. Lots of teeth and gums I suspected, but whatever it was, I was strangely excited. I guess when I would normally spend my day looking inside people’s mouths, it was nice to do something—anything—that didn’t involve spit and cavities.

I wandered around all the stores. There were all the things I’d expected to see: far out new toothbrush designs, as well as stuff that was going to make toothpaste and dental floss superfluous. Then there was just the really weird and wonderful things as well: there was a virtual reality simulator of the life of a tooth, as well as an actor doing an interpretative dance about gum disease.

But it was only as I was wandering around just after lunch, which was surprisingly unhealthy—I suppose they were trying to drum up some fresh business—that I saw the weirdest thing that I think I was going to see all day.

My attention was caught by a couple of stalls, one of which that was quite normal: it was simply one entitled ‘Dental Equipment Sales.’ It was all typical stuff that any dentist office might need to buy.

But it was the stall that was placed adjacent to it, and the juxtaposition of the two, that was completely odd. Right next to the very normal stall of ‘Dental Equipment Sales’ was one that read ‘Dental Equipment Sails.’

It was quite literally a sailboat with a sail made out of old dental equipment—floss, uniforms, gloves, napkins.

I leant in to the person standing next to me, who was seemingly as befuddled by what he was looking at as I was. “What do you think that is all about? I asked the man.

“Apparently, the guy who came up with it was a former dentist who got hooked on his own happy gas.” At that point I didn’t think I would be attending another dentistry trade fair any time soon.