By Chuck Woodbury
Quartzsite, Arizona, is the RV Snowbird Capital of the World. Although only a few thousand folks live there year-round, the population can swell to 20 times that at any one time during the winter, when the weather is mild and RVer snowbirds arrive in hordes.
They camp for free on thousands of acres of government lands that surround the small, dusty town. For a little fun, ride a bike or walk through Quartzsite’s residential neighborhoods and see how many grass lawns you can find. You’ll find plenty of dirt and lots of cactus, but that’s about it.
Okay, now here’s where I will get in trouble. I am going to say something about teeth. About the teeth of the local population.
But first, a little background: There is no dentist in town. I don’t think so anyway. And for other medical care, Phoenix is probably the place to go, but it’s a two-hour drive each direction – not convenient.
But back to the subject of teeth. Without a local dentist, tooth care isn’t . . . well, it’s not good. If you doubt what I say, visit Quartzsite and pretend for an afternoon that you’re a cultural anthropologist. Or just imagine you are a person who loves to admire people’s teeth. If you have been in England, for example, you know that, as a whole, the Brits have dreadful (a popular word there) teeth. I know they have dentists, but I guess they don’t think much of them, or they don’t care much about their choppers.
I recall meeting a man in London once who noted just by looking at me that I was American. “How did you know I was an American?” I asked. “Easy,” he said. “You have nice teeth.”
BUT BACK TO QUARTZSITE. The Brits’ teeth look absolutely stunning compared to the Quartzsite crowd. I don’t have any actual stats, but I’d say the average Quartzsiter has about a third of his or her natural teeth. A full set of choppers, with a few exceptions, is as rare as a pine forest.
The tooth situation is so bad that I’m told the most successful pickup line in the Quartzsite Yacht Club, which is the happening place in town (where Bud Lite is King) goes like this:
A guy walks up a woman that he wants to get to know, looks her straight in the eye, and instead of saying “Nice eyes,” or “nice hair,” or maybe, “What’s a nice girl like you doing in here?” he simply says. . .
And she beams with pleasure at the recognition of her last remaining tooth. And the two end up partying the night away as the coyotes howl in the distance!