Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Iran's 5200-year-old Dirtly Little Secret

An 12-year excavation project concluded last week, uncovering the mysteries of Iran's "Burnt City." Of particular interest to the Dental Ninja is the discovery of rampant PARAFUNCTION among inhabitants of the Burnt City.

For you anti-dentites, "function" refers to the use of teeth for the purposes for which teeth were intended (i.e. chewing, speaking, smiling, and let's not forget scaring your enemies). "Parafunction" refers to the use of teeth for anything else, such as biting through fishing line or fingernails, opening a package, or holding your wife while flying high above the ground swinging from a trapeze.


Anthropologists discovered various wear patterns in the dentition of the Burnt City inhabitants which lead them to conclude that the mouth was regarded as a "fifth hand."

The Tehran Times explains that teeth were helpful for "weaving wicker, nets and textiles, and in creating artwork with ornamental stones."

What the article won't tell you, however, is something the archeologists don't know: the cause of the Burnt City's downfall. Let us consider a society where all the artists and textile workers spend their lives using their teeth as hands. My theory is that competition drove them to work harder and harder, eventually wearing grooves and holes all through the enamel into the dentin and approximating the pulp, causing EXTREME sensitivity. Eventually there was a breaking point, and half of the city went INSANE from the DENTAL PAIN. (Wow, that sounds like a song title - watch for it on my next album). From this point on, the city imploded on itself. All order was lost and chaos prevailed. My friends, this was indeed a grim demise. Had the ancient inhabitants left us a record, I'm convinced they would have warned us of the dangers of parafunction.

1 comment:

Julie said...

I watched the Seinfeld episode tonight where Kramer accuses Jerry of being an anti-dentite. Good times.