Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Nothing reminds you of your own mortality like being forced to look at pictures of terrible teeth. Dentists know this. They know that the quickest way to get past your rationalizations is to bust out the pictures of your present condition, left untreated and gone horribly wrong.

I had barely uttered the phrase "Does my insurance cover this so-called 'bite guard'?" when the man gleefully opened up his photo album of horror. He hummed a little to himself, flipping past various gaping maws full of bones and pus, before alighting on my particular condition. "Ah yes!"

The truth is, dentists love to share their passion for your present condition left untreated and gone horribly wrong. This is how they spread the gospel -- unlike Christ, who preferred thoughtful parables.

So, I now am the proud owner of a bite guard. Contrary to popular belief, wearing this bite guard at night in no way interfers with my masculinity.

By the way, I photographed the statue fragment above in Granada, Nicaragua.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Get yer own wood

Adventures in cultural anthropology #37: this is how you secure your housing materials in rural New Hampshire. Genius!