Wandering around the corridors of televisual power this morning, I found a tabloid newspaper–the Daily Mirror–from October 31st. Being mildly interested in who was allegedly giving it to whom and which drugs they were allegedly taking at the time, I picked it up. Scandal, scandal, woe, misery, fear and crime fill the first dozen pages. Speculation, pessimism, coke and sex.
Then we get to the first full colour advert in the paper–this for cheap beer–and on to more crucial matters of what the media dahlings are wearing this week (big yawn) followed by a spectacular NASA image of the plume of smoke from Mount Etna drifting 350 miles across the Mediterranean. That’s a lot of poison soot going up. Surely more devastating to the ozone layer than all the SUV’s in Italy.
Next, two pages of computer adverts tell me I could have a laptop for the price my PC originally cost me over four years ago and it will be nearly six times faster. Then there’s some more starving/sex/death/crime plus a few entrepreneurial success stories sprinkled in like a spoonful of sugar.
‘Car Crime Rises’, ‘Free DVD’ and ‘Teacher Put My Girl’s Face On A Sexy Model’ all clamour for my attention but I ignore this nonsense, turn the pages, blackening my hands in the process, skipping the partially- informed editorials and opinion pieces until I arrive at the features. Today’s topic: teeth.
Soft and dental ‘At last! A painless dental treatment that uses a whiff of ozone to beat tooth decay and banish fear of the dentist’s chair’ promises the headline. I hate getting fillings and want an everlasting mouth full of gleaming white enamel–bleam bleam–so I read. And it’s generating ozone–that stuff we’re always destroying–so it must be good.
The idea appears to be that squirting in high pressure ozone–which is actually highly toxic–can kill off bacteria. A rubber cap fits tightly around each tooth and the gas penetrates decaying tissue, killing 99 percent of bacteria. After treatment, mineral mouthwash and saliva remineralise the tooth and it repairs itself. £300 for a full mouth treatment, £35 for a single tooth. Sign me up right away!
Of course, it’s too good to be true. Never mind the fact that, of course, this won’t regenerate the Earth’s ozone layer, the process is still experimental and a caveat on the next page reads ‘But ozone gas is not without its risks’. Dr Julian Holmes, pioneer of the treatment, warns that breathing too much ozone can tear your lungs and the British Dental Association is calling for more research. Plus you can’t get into tight gaps between the teeth.
Bah. Oh, well. It will come. One day the next generation will look back on us getting dental treatment involving drillings and fillings and think we were living through some kind of dark ages. “They injected you with a needle? How positively medieval!” Until then, I guess we’ll have to wait or take part in an experimental trial.
Now, just a few pages on, the Mirror proclaims ‘Chocolate As Health Food’. Not only does it contain the same chemicals that make you feel good after sex, it can protect your heart, thin the blood, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure–oh, the list is endless… Got me again, I expect, but I’ve seen Chocolat and I’m already a convert.
Now here’s the website you didn’t know you really needed. Okay, so it’s a website operated by Mars Incorporated, a very large candy bar manufacturer, but those people who fill us up with sugar are seriously interested in our health, aren’t they? Really? Please! Too late, I hear it calling… Mmmm… Chocolate.
On to the funny pages…