David Rabbitborough's A to Z of Australian Species
THE DENTIST AND THE DOCTOR
Every species has its weaknesses and in humans it is the teeth. Today's high sugar diet makes teeth especially vulnerable to attack from opportunistic organisms such as Dentists. Being a large, white creature, one might think that a Dentist, compared to - say - a bacterium, might have difficulty entering the human mouth but the dentist manages this feat by a subtle trick. It lures its prey into a room containing magazines which are so stupefyingly boring that the human is numbed into a catatonic state. The Dentist then easily subdues them and forces the mouth open to gain access to the oral cavity.
Once inside the creature quickly locates any place where the enamel is weakened, anaesthetises the area with a sting - much like as a mosquito does, and proceeds to excavate the area furiously with a high speed drill. When finished, it stops other organisms colonising the same site by sealing the hole with a sort of metallic paste. Thus it can come back later to drill some more.
The only way for humans to prevent this happening again and again is to pay the Dentist a large amount of money which pacifies the creature for up to six months. But should the visits and the payments stop, the Dentist is likely to extract their teeth in lieu of cash.
Once upon a time doctors were relatively common creatures that could be found throughout the suburbs. Some were even tame enough to come into the home. Today however, they rarely leave their own environment and people must make quite long journeys if they wish to see them first hand. Most of the time they inhabit special wildlife parks, large reserves with much natural vegetation and sandy burrows. These are called golf courses.
In order to see a doctor up close you will need patience - in fact people who attempt to make contact with doctors are called "patients" for this reason. The first step is to enter the creature's waiting room as it is called, and wait. After two or three hours, if you are lucky, one of them animals may eventually approach you whereupon you will then be able to follow it into its cave.
On entry it is wise to divest yourself of any clothes, as these unsettle the creatures and make them nervous. Once you have stripped off, the creatures seem to realise that you are not unlike one of them and will approach and may prod you gently to see if you are friendly. It may even play a game with you where it asks you to cough. Then, suddenly, it will retreat again, and commence an odd compulsive ritual; washing its hands, mumbling to itself and making strange illegible marks on a piece of paper. Some subspecies called Specialists may only be seen for a few seconds at a time, and only in areas called hospitals. The concern for the survival of all these species is so great that every year the community spends millions of dollars just to keep these rare and beautiful creatures alive.
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