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Dr. Ptah Bes to a Patient, c. 3150 BCE

By the Mighty Arms of Horus, I’ve never seen such plaque!

Dear Wakhashem,

Having completed my analysis of the sketches of your teeth, I’ve come to some interesting conclusions. First, congratulations on having 21 teeth left. Most people who get hit in the face with a pyramid capstone don’t end up so lucky. At first, I thought your toothache was due to getting smashed with a giant slab of limestone, but looking deeper, it may be something else entirely. The holy dentists I’ve consulted with believe that either your tooth has been cursed by the snake goddess Unut, or that one of your enemies has sicked Petbe, God of Revenge, on you for not returning that shovel.

Since these are two completely different situations, there are two different cures. For a standard snake goddess curse, you have to bath your sore tooth in the holy waters of the Nile under the supervision of a high priest at dawn. Then, you’ll need to bath with just a dab of crocodile blood before dumping a pile of sand of your head. As always, make sure no women have touched the sand you’re using!

If it’s a curse of Petbe, you’ll need to come back to my office in the temple. The cure for this one is a bit weird. Basically, you’ll sit in a chair, while i jab at your teeth and gums with sharp instruments. First, I’ll just be scraping the teeth with sharpened reeds, then I’ll move on to stabbing between your teeth with a fishhook at the end of a stick. When you start to bleed (and believe me, you’re going to bleed like a stuck hippo), we will ritually rinse your mouth out with water and mint leaves. Then you’ll split into a bowl. After about 5 minutes, you’ll be covered in blood and spit. I know it sounds barbaric, but that’s what the scrolls say.

Obviously, if you haven’t borrowed a shovel recently, you’ll need to start hunting for some crocodile blood. Otherwise, please contact my receptionist to set an appointment. I’ll be blessing my pointed sticks.


Dr. Ptah Bes, D.A.E.D.S


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