A dentist in the county has warned that unless dental health in Tyrone improves, he will move from the area and set up elsewhere.
Stephen McAdam, a dentist who has been operating a dental surgery in Strabane since 1998, said that he has had enough of dealing with diseased gums, decayed teeth, and morning-after breath.
“And that’s just the children”, complained McAdam. “The adults are even worse. You should see some of the ones coming into the surgery here in Strabane. They look like they’ve been eating coal their teeth are that bad. It would give you the heave. One boy who was in last week made Shane McGowan out the Pogues looks like the Colgate Kid. It’s a disgrace. I’ve had enough. Does no-one use a toothbrush these days? I’m fed up with picking bits of turkey out that have been there since last Christmas”.
The stressed dentist went on,
“It’s not just the teeth. I could contend with that. But it’s the breath as well. Has no-one heard of mouthwash? Some of the time I have to wear one of thon bio-suits like they wear when someone’s been slaughtered off the TV. I’m feckin’ swelterin’ in it. It’s beyond a joke. I had this wemin in last week from Edendork and she hit me with the worse halitosis I’ve ever smelt. And that was before she even got out her car. It was like something had died in her mouth. My eyes are waterin’ just thinking about it. I told her to go home and eat as much garlic, out-of-date eggs and fish as she could. It won’t cure the bad breath, but it might calm it down a bit. What are these people eating?”
McAdam claims he is virtually at breaking point.
“I had a lad in the chair from Sion Mills last week. I could hardly face it. I’ve never seen crooked teeth like it. He could have eaten a sandwich through a letterbox. Has no-one got decent gnashers or dental implants round here? I’ve heard them ones in Donaghmore have got lovely gobs, like the Americans. I’ve had enough. Much more of this and I’m going to start charging by the tooth”.
One of Benburb’s most colourful characters, Jessie Jordan, has publicly denounced Hallowe’en as a ‘load of balls’ and has refused to partake in any ghoulish festivities around the spookingly week-long festivities in the sleepy hamlet. Driving along Benburb’s ‘Golden Mile’, Jordan’s Butchers is conspicuous with its lack of frightening decorations which adorn businesses such as Mackle’s Craftware and Mullan’s Alternative Medicine Shop on the same road.
“Let me get this out of the road straight away. If any child even thinks about knocking on my premises on Wednesday they’ll be met with a black pudding to the gob. Trick or treat? The trick will be for the accompanying parents dislodging the lamb chops from their backsides. The treat will be all mine watching their tearful retreat. It’s a pile of dung. I’ve already sabotaged five bonfires around the Moy and Eglish. Apple-bobbing? Think I want to dip my bake in a bowl full of the slabbers and snatters of cousins and the like? I’d rather ate a pig’s arse through an electric fence.”
Jordan’s vehement refusal to celebrate the pagan festival seems to date back to an unfortunate incident in 1977 when his mother baked an apple tart for consumption after the bonfire. His sister, Denise, explained:
“Jessie never really forgave my ma for that. He thought he’d play a practical joke whilst everyone was out dancing around the bonfire, half naked. He snuck in and attempted to ate the apple pie and then blame it on the dog. He didn’t know my ma had put the traditional 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p and 50p inside it. She was a generous woman and usually splattered a rake of each coin amongst it so everyone would win a good bit. Poor Jessie threw the whole thing into his mouth. We found him on the floor spitting the last of his teeth onto the floor. It was a bloody sight. He was called Gummy Jordan for years.”
Benburb holds its breath.