The citizens of Quartzsite will kill me for this

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By Chuck Woodbury
ROADSIDE JOURNAL
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. . .

“Nice tooth!”

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!

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Steven Pederson

Looks like You bit off a little more than you can chew on this one Chuck. So I guess that Quartsite is where the tooth brush was invented, any place else it would have been called a teeth brush.

John P Macatee

Omg! I laughed so hard I’ve got stomach cramps! This was hilarious.

Steve Kight

Most of them migrated from West Virginia years ago.

Joel and Betty Hagler

I would be a star in Quartzite……just had my 11th implant and crowns. I could buy a lot of gems for the cost of my teeth.

Sink Jaxon

WOW!!! all i can say is wow…all of the detractors here have ZERO sense of humor, the offended here have offended ME ! y’all need to go to bed tonight, and pray that your heart be softened and your mind opened to humor. If what you read is not humorous to you…move on! write your own jokes, on your own blog, on your own website! Quit destroying it for the rest of us! Pollack jokes, redneck jokes, jew jokes, black jokes, blonde jokes, asian jokes, leisure suit jokes, freckle jokes, fat jokes, skinny jokes who cares??? EVERYONE has been joked about, and will forever… JUST GET OVER IT…and get over your self righteousness.

David Hagen

Chuck, I can’t believe an RV’er like you didn’t know about Algodones, Mexico. A dentist in Quartszite would go broke really quick. Partly because of the lack of population in the summer but mostly because of Algodones, AKA Molar City. The dentists there are nearly 1/3 cost of US dentists and even have more modern offices and equipment that I ever saw in Phoenix.

TR Kelley

Judgemental, rude article.

TR Kelley

Pretty rude article. Judge much?

Carson Axtell

Interesting… Even closer than Phoenix, AZ, is Algodones, Mexico, right up against the fence with Yuma, AZ, and which has dozens of dentists and doctors who cater to snowbird American tourists with their ridiculously inexpensive, but good, services. Folks can get their teeth taken care of there, or prescriptions filled, for a half to a third of what it would cost in Phoenix…

T Edwards

Chomping at the bit for this one. I have roughly half my “real teeth”. The rest are caps & crowns. They were half missing that way until two decades ago when 1) got a good dental plan, 2) decided to do something about it, and 3) most important discovered Gentle Dentistry. You see, Novacane doesn’t numb me. Once I was told there are different pain killers, the dentist went to town fixing up my new to me choppers. My parents had all their teeth pulled and wore dentures. Fixing teeth are expensive. I’m much more fortunate than my folks. If it weren’t for that dental plan, I’m sure I would have put my money towards a good RV and not my teeth.

bob weed

BWL…. Chuck, oh Chuck… Some will laugh, some will sneer. I want to believe this is NOT your finest hour. If it is, Rvtravel may be on the same road as Camping World and their demise. Come on Chuck, start writing positive articles, we can all enjoy and learn.

bwodom

I am not quite sure what to say about this one, except that is could have easily (and wisely) been omitted.

Gray

All of which shows that poor people in the United States had best keep their mouths shut.

Greg

I was hoping Chuck was going to suggest something positive. Bet there’s a few retired dental professionals in the snowbird crowd, how about a dental/medical clinic staffed by volunteer snowbirds? When you’re in town, throw in a couple of bucks to support it financially. Otherwise, this doesn’t seem like humor or anything close to good taste.

New to RV Travel, but this is kind of a negative surprise … on a number of levels.

Mark B

Was on London a few months ago, and before and before. I saw nice teeth, but many RUDE Americans. Across Europe and elsewhere we are not well liked, especially with new Presidential tweets and diplomacy. Maybe if get a foothold in Greenland? How is that for a stereotype. Take a hint.

Rick

OOPS……Stand by Chuck. The haters are gonna hate on this one.

Joe Azzara

Another so called article poorly written because no research was done. If you need dental work in Quartzsite you travel 95 miles south to Algodones, Mexico where dental care is provided by Mexican dentists educated the the US or Europe at minimal cost compared to US dentists. I’m sure dentists in Quartzsite went out of business because of this. Do your research before obligating.

Jay

I always enjoy your dissertations,mand I’m not offended by this, but really, it was unnecessary. Why go after a whole town of pretty nice people when you normally come up with such good topics?

walt

As I get older, I uses bourbon for mouthwash. the ole swish and swallow. keeps me focused

Wayne Caldwell

Chuck, looking at some of the comments, you just can’t win for losing. When I was stationed in Spain back in the mid 70s, I had a really large overbite. I saw a young boy with a puppy and stopped to play with the dog. The boy looked up and said, “You have buck teeth, don’t you. ” Instead of getting upset, I just said, “Yeah, but I’m here to look at your dog.” The boy didn’t mean to offend me, he was showing the innocence of a child.