Caveman Dentistry Insults My Intelligence

Barely illuminated by a smoldering fire, a large cave sheltered the exploits of Dr. Orin, the man generally recognized as the father of dental phonetics. His reputation is still unmatched and his life story has even been adapted to a modern setting:

But back to the real history.  Dressed in the prehistoric equivalent of a toga, he surveyed his office with great pride. The cave walls abounded with the standard pictures of wildlife, cheaply drawn and scattered liberally above the uncomfortable rocks people sat in as they awaited the dentist. The rocks were made of galena and they sliced into people’s butts. Orin saw no need to trouble himself with supplying furniture made from more comfortable stones because he didn’t want people arriving early and sharing their worries with one another. Business ran more smoothly when people remained in the dark.

Therefore, the tiny fire. It prevented people from seeing the far side of the cave where Orin worked on his patients. Sure, the echoes carried but no one could ever know for sure whether Orin or the everpresent cockroachasaurs were terrifying the patients.

And so one day Mr. Ugg arrived at his appointed time to get a few teeth pulled. Orin called him to the back and let him lie on the giant slab that functioned as a dentist’s chair. After exchanging pleasantries, Orin told Ugg to say ahhh.

Unfortunately for Ugg, Orin didn’t wait for him to say anything. Instead, Orin immediately smashed Ugg’s mouth with his caveman club.

“Ahhh!!!” said Ugg.

Since then, doctors have told patients to say “ahhh” as a way of disguising the subsequent shrieks of anguish.

Blogger’s note: This post was written in response to kokkieh’s Song Title Challenge.  However, I’m the one who recommended the song title and literary genre.  So… to avoid accusations of cheating, this post also functions as a response to the Weekly Writing Challenge.  It had not yet been released when I made my suggestions to Mr. Kok.  (Incidentally, the song title was “Ahhh!!!,” not “I am the Dentist.”)

Writing Rules Insult My Intelligence

If you read my blog regularly, you know that I like to participate in the weekly writing challenges that WordPress sponsors.  This week, they want bloggers to eliminate all unnecessary verbiage from some old writing, thereby enlivening it.

They’ve centered the challenge around a classic piece of writing advice and I would never say anything negative about the folks who will choose whether I’ll become freshly pressed one day.  However, I also want to have fun.  With that in mind, I present a new version of my longest post to date: “The New ‘Teen Spirit’ Insults My Intelligence.”  I based the original on an observation I’d had: how interesting that we have an iconic song about teenagers that starts with the words “load up on guns and bring your friends.”  The original post integrated the song’s complete lyrics to discuss school shootings and irresponsible sexual behavior.  This time, the condensed style will amplify the message… in a manner of speaking.

Caveman writing

Me write like caveman. Me write good. (Image credit: PositiveDope)

They asked us to “be brutal,” so here we go:

Shooter: Me loser.  Me find friends.  We get guns.

Shooter: Horny girl stupid.  Me no like horny girl.  She no use condom.  Boyfriends stupid too.  Want “entertainment.”

Shooter: Life hard.  People give me hard time.  Me no deserve.

Shooter: Me horny too.  Me want horny girl. Me no need condom.

Horny Girl:  Me no loser.  Me get laid before 40.  Boys stupid.

Boys: We stupid.  We popular.  We no happy.

Shooter: We attack.  They sad.

Boys: Entertain us.  Now.  Always.

Sick boy: Me see nurse.  Balls hurt.

Teacher: Me no like kids.  Me want drink.

Narrator: Shooter shoots.  Shooter tackled.  Shooter crushed.

Shooter: Waaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Horny girl: Me no like sex no more.  Me no stop.

Sick boy (to nurse): Me sick.

Nurse: You be OK.

Sick boy: Me sick.  ME SICK!!!!!!!

Nurse: You be OK, me think.  Maybe you die.

Horny girl: Me stupid.  Me not important.  Guidance counselors suck.

Sick boy: Me miss childhood.

Community: Old people innocent.

Community: We no worry.  Kurt Cobain not sick.

Community: Culture sick.

Community: No can stop shootings.

Community: Why no stop shootings?

Community: We low.  No way up.

Community: No can ruin life.

Community: All teenagers stupid.

Moral of the story #1: Cavemen aren’t always entertaining.

Moral of the story #2: There’s more to writing than conveying meaning efficiently.  Do what best addresses your unique audience and purpose in a given situation.  Don’t go overboard with concision.