Biting recession a dentist's crowning glory

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 September, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 September, 1998, 12:00am

Where there is economic turmoil, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Unfortunately, teeth-gnashing is an expensive affair.

The waiting rooms of local dentists are fast becoming cluttered with brokers, bankers and businessmen, suffering from self-inflicted injuries.

Some have jaw pain, some have broken teeth.

And most of them did it in their sleep.

It appears that when the recession begins to bite, so do they.

'It's stress that's causing them to grind their teeth in the night,' said a downtown dentist.

'There's a definite increase in these cases and it's related to the economic situation.

'In some instances I give them a device that fits between the teeth called a 'night guard' so that they stop hurting themselves.' Sufferers of 'temporo-mandibular joint disorder' experience strange jaw pains and discover that it hurts to chew.

'In some cases they can't even open their mouths,' the dentist said.

Undoing the damage can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

As sharks have several sets of teeth, some of Hong Kong's more colourful traders won't be troubled by this malady of the molar.

Lai See has been inundated with mail from readers eager to find out what's going on in the rough and tumble world of toilet technology.

Well okay, not really.

But we did see a commercial for a new device that we thought was worth a mention.

The ad starts by showing a toilet lost in a chaos of rumpled papers, alerting viewers to the perils of disposable seat covers.

Next, we see a pair of loafer-clad feet doing a dangerous balancing act atop a toilet seat.

And finally the solution: A miraculous rectangular device that attaches to the base of your tank.

It emits a jet of water that makes a circular journey around the seat's circumference, purging it of unwanted filth.


Now all we need is a device to dry the seat off between rinses.

Remember the Long-Time Hong Kong Resident who challenged currency tipster Michael Taylor to put his money where his peg prediction was? He's just returned from a business trip with this advice for the WI Carr Securities chief economist: Hire a PR firm.

Here's why.

'On October 4, the first month after Mr Taylor forecast that the Hong Kong dollar peg would go within three months, he could issue, through the PR company, a stern denial that he would change his forecast,' the Long-Time Resident writes.

'On November 4, Mr Taylor could issue another press release, stating that he did not say the Hong Kong dollar would de-peg within the legally defined meaning of 'de-peg'.

'On December 4, Mr Taylor could go on coast-to-coast live telecast, admitting that his forecast was 'inappropriate', and agree to take his pay from then on in Hong Kong dollars only.' Merchant bank Dresdner Kleinwort Benson has offered Lai See an illuminating glimpse at the inner workings of the currency market.

Director of treasury services Rob Hollonds tells us the Australian dollar is expected to trade in a range between 59.5 US cents and 60 cents.

He informs that '60 cents is an important psychological range because sellers think the currency looks better with a six in front of it than it does with a five.' A fax from Schroders has hit our desk, featuring a one page interview with a company luminary.

Across the top, the Schroders slogan proclaimed the firm to be 'Asia's world-class investment house'.

Immediately below this was written the following: 'Please kindly disregard yesterday's weekly interview which contained a number of inaccuracies.' Makes us wonder if the slogan wasn't one of them.

We were bemused by this report carried by news agency Agence France-Presse.

'In Russia, President Boris Clinton finally ended the political impasse which had dogged his country since August 23 by naming former deputy foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov as prime minister, a choice confirmed Friday by the State Duma.' We hear that his counterpart, President Bill Yeltsin, is in trouble over his affair with intern Natasha Lewinsky.