Perilly Whites – a 100-word story

This week’s photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers made me think of the ‘dental tourism’ craze that existed in Ireland for a while during the boom years. I think common sense has since prevailed, but I can’t be sure…

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Friday Fictioneers prompt for 13/06/2013 ©Ted Strutz

Perilly Whites

Who could resist the offer of a sun holiday while getting necessary dental work done? And for half the cost of the same procedure back in Ireland.

The fact that Bernardo was English-speaking helped, as did his professional website.

He took care to deliver the type of service his Irish customers were familiar with, like asking about their holidays while their mouths were wedged wide open by his latex-clad fingers.

Bernardo watched the ferry arrive and wondered which disembarking tourist was his client.

In a bowl on his desk, chemicals were turning fine beach sand white. In another, glue from the art shop was slowly becoming a gummy pink.

 ©Siobhán McNamara

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37 Responses to Perilly Whites – a 100-word story

  1. Will just take the holiday thanks 😉


  2. It’s a weird combination of circumstances


  3. Siobhan, Well-written story. I think I’d need references and time to verify them. That’s scary. O_o Well done. 🙂 —Susan


  4. ha. aloha Siobhan. an unscrupulously humorous account of surprise dentistry. i’m grinning. aloha.


  5. elappleby says:

    Might have been better to stay in Ireland! I love the description of him asking about their holidays while he had his fingers in their mouth – why do dentists do that? Fun take on the prompt 🙂


  6. draliman says:

    Yup, I’ve heard about this whole “going abroad for some cheap medical work” business. I guess you get what you pay for.
    Love the title – “Perilly Whites” 🙂


  7. No wonder so many people don’t like to go to the dentist! Nicely building suspense.


  8. Thank you Perry 🙂


  9. rgayer55 says:

    I loved the title. It sounds like he doesn’t order supplies from the same source as other dentist, but just picks up some stuff from Hobby Lobby and makes do. No wonder his rates are cheap.


  10. Amy Reese says:

    Sounds a bit risky! Don’t you just love having a conversation with someone’s hands in your mouth? 🙂


  11. Strange thin is dentists and hygienists can actually understand you when you talk with their hands in your mouth. Great Story. Loved the sand and art paste.


    • Thanks Alicia, and you could be right about them actually understanding. I hadn’t thought about that before. Next time I go to the dentist I might ‘Argh argh argh’ something completely random just to see what happens 🙂


  12. Ha.. yes there is always more than one reason for low cost…


  13. Eek! It’s hard to believe that people would go to such lengths, to save some money! Well done, Siobhan.


  14. Your Bernado is a man with initiative (as well as a basic chemistry set). I think this tourism still exists!


  15. Lucy says:

    How bizarre !!!!! How creepy!!!! Well done. I was drinking my coffee when I read it. Nearly choked. These days harms way is every way. I lived in New Mexico for many years. You could cross the border into Mexico and have cheap dental work done; get your medications cheap–all kinds of cheap. Never tried it. But a lot of senior citizens do it because of their limited incomes. You get what you pay for, buyer beware, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. These are adages that are out there for a reason. Well done. Very well done. Lucy


    • Thanks Lucy, lots of people here too picking up cheap meds in Spain, especially things like antibiotics that are only available on prescription in Ireland but are available over the counter in some other parts of Europe. People were stocking up while on holiday and then taking them without going to a doctor – and without being able to understand what was written on the box!


      • Lucy says:

        That’s not good. Here the US has a free trade agreement with Mexico so we’d never stop anyone from buying drugs there. When I lived in Peru I could get anything at the pharmacy without a prescription. That was scary. Lucy


  16. Dear Siobhán,

    I feel like I’ve received a bit of an education with this story and in the comments. I never would’ve known. Well written story as well.




  17. Great take on the prompt. A humorous warning.


  18. Very clever title, and I never heard of such a practice until this post. I suppose some of us are desperate enough to cut corners, but I certainly would never do so with my mouth! I loved the overall tone of this story! 🙂


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