Posted tagged ‘unlikely heroes’

Dentists Where Not Expected…

June 7, 2017

It’s said that the most terrifying thing that you could find on your doorstep after midnight is a clown, simply because they don’t belong there. Wouldn’t you find it equally creepy to be broken down on a desert road, and have a dentist approach to render aid, clad in a crisp professional white jacket? How about being lost on a wooded trail, and have a dentist appear to lead you to safety, again wearing his white clinical coat? How about being stuck in an elevator, to have a dentist appear prying the doors open?

These are the scenarios in three recent commercials for Aspen Dental, featuring dentists as the proverbial fish out of water, appearing unexpectedly in all kinds of atypical places to render help. Supposedly this is because Aspen is a different kind of dental clinic with different kinds of dentists. But for me, this is all strangely unnatural, someone terribly out of place who we aren’t happy to see even in their proper domain. Steven King could have dreamed these scenarios up for one of his horror stories.

“Open wide,” says the dentist as he pries apart the elevator doors. Conditioned from times in the dental chair, two of three elevator occupants gape their mouths open: how quickly we are trained!  In yet another commercial of the series, a dentist foils a bank robbery, only to have bank patrons throw their wallets at his feet as if he were in on the heist.  Come to think of it, I’ve surrendered more than a little of my money at dental offices, although voluntarily and under legal circumstances.

I’m more accustomed to see dentists portrayed as villains: the ex-Nazi dentist of Marathon Man, for example, or the sadistic dental practitioner of Little Shop of Horrors. If dentists continue to crop up portrayed as unlikely heroes, perhaps “Molar Man” will eventually join the Marvel or DC universes.  I shudder at the thought…

 


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