OPINION: Last week I decided to become an anti-fluoride lobbyist.
It began on Monday. I read a well-put letter in my local newspaper arguing against the fluoridation of water, an issue about which I (shamefully) had previously known practically nothing. Suddenly, I was aware that our Government and local authorities were poisoning our water supply. I should have realised it sooner, but my rude good health and excellent teeth had made it appear as if nothing was wrong.
"Those tricky devils, " I said to myself, angrily.
I perused the internet at length. It didn't take me long to realise that the anti-fluoride campaigners were right. All over the world, courageous scientists had taken a stand against communists, the nuclear weapons industry, the heavy metal refining industry, the dental industry and the water- poisoning industries of the world to show fluoride as the vile evil it really is. Except, of course, for when it appears in water naturally. Something that occurs naturally cannot be a poison.
The internet, to be fair, also had a great deal of information suggesting that fluoridation was not harmful and was in fact immensely beneficial. But I knew better. I'd done the research. Five whole hours on Google and alternative health websites. How could anyone challenge me?
I searched the internet for what to do next. It recommended protest and vitamin A. On Tuesday, I drank a glass of vitamin A and vomited for a while, which I assume was my body purging itself of toxic fluoride.
"Those bastards!" I thought.
I went to a meeting of the Hamilton City Council, where I made friends with an enthusiastic group of fellow anti-fluoride activists. But when we got into the council chamber, all the councillors had vanished. Footsteps echoed down the corridors of power, and I thought I heard screams of "Run! Run!" and "Oh, for the love of God, not again!" The pro-fluoride people must have got to them. Mysterious.
I went home and consulted the internet. It suggested buying a water distiller, and medicinal marijuana. On Wednesday I bought a water distiller. Then I smoked a medicinal spliff and thought about some things.
Did that for a while.
Thought about setting up the water distiller, but couldn't really be bothered until I started really worrying about fluoride.
I checked the internet for ideas on what to do next. It suggested writing a letter to the local paper, and chicken juice.
On Thursday, I made myself a warm mug of chicken juice and wrote a letter to the paper. Admittedly it got incoherent half- way through, because I passed out a bit and woke up with my head in the toilet. I guess the water distiller wasn't getting all the fluoride.
"Those fiends!" I vomited.
I wiped off the letter, sent it in, then looked at the internet for ideas on what to do next. It suggested espionage, not drinking water and the natural remedy mescaline. On Friday I took a measured dose of mescaline and went out for my espionage walk, where I heard some wicked pro- fluoride people conspiring against the rest of us. I think they were dentists, or perhaps doctors. Learned people of some kind, anyway. As we all know, opinions of their kind can never be trusted, unless they support our position. Their conversation went something like this.
"Hello, Deborah! How's the baby?"
"Hi, Linda! Oh, she's doing really well. Sleeping right through the night now. We'll be starting her on solids in a couple of weeks. That's a lovely dress you're wearing, where did you get it?"
Fortunately, for someone as trained in spying as myself, this code was easy to decipher. What they really said was:
"Ha! Ha! Doctor! How's the fluoride?"
"Hail, comrade! It's doing very well! These fools know nothing, they sleep like babies! We'll be inserting it into people's bodies while they sleep in a couple of weeks. Best of all, it does nothing at all to prevent tooth decay!"
Damned health Nazis, I thought. Fight them. I would fight them on the rivers and aquifers. I would fight them on the fluoride-tainted beaches. I would go on to the end.
Then I fell over for a while and woke up in hospital with tubes going into my arm. Some clear fluid was dripping into it.
There was a cup of cool, clear water by the bedside. But I knew better than to touch it.
It might have been fluoridated.
Joshua Drummond is a Hamilton freelance writer and cartoonist. His website is cakeburger.com.