Friday, December 26, 2008

Open Wide Inside The...Kitchen?

Fear prevents a lot of bad things from happening. In fact, fear is absolutely necessary. I see fear as being one of those things that can really help keep a person in line. If it wasn't for fear, humans would be doing all sorts of nutty stuff all the time. Jumping off of cliffs, flying kites in the rain, going to a dentist who runs his practice out of his kitchen. Wait. What?

Fresh from the pages of LoHud.com, we learn about a one Carlos Flores who "...had a dentist chair, the requisite tools and even the necessary drugs to treat dental patients in the kitchen of his Crompond Road home. The only thing he lacked was a license." Oh, sweet mother of God, WHAT?!?! The only thing he lacked was a license?! That's kind of the most important thing if you're asking me. It's right up there with a dental office out of which to run your practice of dentistry! I'm thinking an office was also lacking in this scenario in addition to the license.

(By the way, if you are susceptible to any sort of queasiness brought on my dentist/dental horror stories, you might want to stay away from this post. There are lovely pictures to accompany this tale of oral hell and they might cause that one feeling. You know, the one right before you yak all over your keyboard or pass out and whack your noggin on the mouse. Either way, not pleasant.)

If you're wondering how an out-of-kitchen dental office is discovered, "Police learned that Flores was running the practice after a man who went to him for a toothache wound up in the emergency room." You don't say? Someone who went to the Kitchen Dentist ended up in an emergency room? Now, when they say "emergency room", do they mean "emergency room" or do they mean "backyard" or perhaps "pantry"? After all, the guy was fine with "dentist's office" being in a "kitchen", so it's really hard to know.

"Flores attempted to pull his tooth and, in doing so, broke the tooth and caused further injury." Excuse me for a minute while I go and get a paper bag to breathe into so that I don't pass out. Oh. My. God. What else? "Among the equipment police seized were the dental chair, drills, orthodontic equipment and controlled substances used in dentistry. Flores claims to have been a licensed orthodontist in his native Ecuador, but police have not been able to confirm this." Um, who cares?! I don't care if he's a dentist in his native Ecuador. In case you hadn't noticed, his kitchen was in New York! I don't care if he's King of all of the dentists in Dental Land, if he's doing dentistry in his kitchen, nothing else matters! Nothing!

One of the detectives on the case, a Detective Sgt. Eric Johansen, said "It looks to be that he was catering to the poor, Hispanic population. He made indications to us that he had only done it for people who couldn't afford insurance." Well, I should hope so! I'd hate to think that someone who HAD insurance would be seeking out Gordon Ramsey, DDS over there!

But here's where it gets comical. (And I don't know about you, but I could use some amusement right about now.) "Most disturbing about the practice were the unsanitary conditions." WHAT are my other choices?! What else IS there other than the unsanitary conditions? Poor lighting? Bad taste in drapery? What else could there possibly BE?!?!

"The tools were blood-stained, and it appears as if he had no regard for any sanitary code." Wait. What? A guy practicing dentistry out of his kitchen had no regard for any sanitary code? Are you kidding me? I am shocked, just shocked, at that revelation! I mean, I would expect the practicing without a license, the questionable immigration status, the dental chair next to the stove, but no regard for any sanitary code? THAT just came from out of nowhere! Who would have ever thought THAT?! Why, this guy is starting to sound like he might not be much of a real dentist at all!

The guy was charged "...with unauthorized practice of a profession, a felony, and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor." Seventh-degree felony? What the hell is that? Seventh? Why bother? I don't get it. But you know what else I don't get? I don't get how things like this happen. Not the fact that the guy could be running a dental practice out of his kitchen, but how he would have any people to DO any dentistry ON out of his kitchen! I mean, I understand not having any cash for these sorts of things. But even still, I don't think I'd be staying in some guy's kitchen to have him work on my teeth! I just don't think I could do it. How do those people ever relax to the point where they can even open their mouth for him to peer in there (probably with his Black and Decker Snakelight and a big paper clip fashioned in the shape of a hook)?

Some stupidity is a team effort. This little story was a perfect example of one sort of stupidity. Without the people who were willing to pull themselves on up to the kitchen counter and let Dr. Dumbass there poke around in their mouth with garden implements or whatever else he had handy (spatula, meat thermometer, Bic ballpoint pen, anything really), Dr. Dumbass never would have been able to see his Dream Kitchen/Dental Office come to full fruition. A classic case of 'You scratch my back, I'll pull out your lower left molar with this hand vise.'

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