nothing much happened for a long time. or I found other things to occupy my mind. and in spite of assurances to contrary I felt hopelessly pathetic complaining about a common human lot – if you live long enough. too embaressed to continue.
but now my buttons have been pressed. firstly last week, it may have started sooner but last week is the first time I noticed them, but last week the bastards (The Dental Profession, hereafter generally referred to as ‘the bastards’) started advertising on TV. Cheesy grins, assurances that your miserable life will never be the same, you too can eat an apple again, smile in family photo ops and maybe, just maybe, someone will fall in love with you. Head over heels. I really do prefer the lawyers ads, particular the local franchise of the Erin Brockavitch crew where the admirable Major (finally retired as a Colonel and may I offer congrats) Mori has come to work and stay with us.
Then, barely had I been fired up by these constant reminders of the bastards, than the wretches start to leaflet us. I kid you not. Bright, glossy, double postcard size intros to some new lot of the bastards setting up in our area, offering 50% off to us, and everyone else of course. Off what? you might ask, as did I. 50% off what they used to charge multiplied by 2? I doubt it. Its a far cry from the old days when you went when the pain was unendurable and paid what they demanded or got into a fight.
Now who wouldn’t jump at these inducements? Just about everybody otherwise they wouldn’t bother to leaflet by hand door to door and spend $whatever on advertising. We’ll just have to wait and see how low they will go, because lower they will go. They are clearly just trying to catch as many sprats as they can before the government comes back from its summer vacation and puts the new Denticare system into place by the side of the Medicare system. Which has served us moderately well since about 1972 wasn’t it? Though funny thing is in those bad old days when I was a student living on the ‘smell of an oily rag ‘ as one of my lecturers described it (no John, I never worked as an escort, call girl or any variant of the above, too squeamish, way too finicky and not even that compassionate in those days.) but oily rag or not I did used to go to the doctor from time to time, and I had to pay the usual fee, ($12 I think)and the usual cost of pills or whatever it was, and I never felt it was something I couldn’t possibly afford, I never once thought about it. Till now. I suppose (gee whiz, how slow am I? I shouldn’t be writing this stuff, I should be learning…something) it was only after the introduction of medicare that doctors’ fees became something you would take issue with. Howquickly they multiplied by 5 and have kept going. I suppose when you can be certain the government/Medicare is going to pick up the tab you will feel no compunction in screwing them for all you can get. I don’t know what that ex-doctor of mine was talking about when he said they advised their dentist mates to stay out of the scheme if they could because they could make out like bandits privately. I guess its the difference between common greed (the doctors) and mega bandit greed (dentists.)
But, gratifyingly, though too late for me, just like in an Aesop’s fable their mega greed was their downfall. We just had to wait for a generation or two of the high-fee-paying-students from south-east Asia who have been subsidizing our tertiary education system, and not unreasonably under the circumstances, hogging most of the places in high-pay-professional courses, to get back to their countries of origin and set up in competition. So that now all the ‘cashed-up bogans’ could have a holiday in Thailand and a great set of new teeth for a fraction the price they’d pay at home for just half the teeth. So now the dentists have to drop leaflets door to door like the jim-jam who’s setting up the new pizza shop or the new salon for people who are too lazy or too fat to cut and polish their own toenails.