WIZR - written by Keith Wells and illustrated by Peter McMahon - Kuwait

This blog is dedicated to Keith Wells, the late Peter McMahon and their creation: Wizr - Kuwait's greatest driver. Keith Wells worked at the Arab Times in Kuwait sometime during the late 70s, early 80s. His articles about life in Kuwait have been compiled in a number of books, that are very hard to come by. As there is almost no information on WIZR on the net, this blog will endeavour to be a reference point for all WIZR fans still out there.

Thursday, September 07, 2006



By Keith Wells
Illustrated by Peter McMahon

When the Devil comes down to earth and doesn't want anyone to recognise him, he usually disguises himself as a dentist.
With great daring and skill I managed to avoid three six-monthly check-ups in a row, but last week I realised the jig was up, it was time to get my teeth fixed. But as soon as I walked into reception I knew I'd been hasty. The nurse was the type of hatchet-faced harpy who stood grim and gaunt at Torquemada's side when that gentleman used heretics to illuminate Toledo ...son et lumiere with a vengeance. Nurse Jones would frighten Lady MacBeth.
I gave her my appointment card. `Extraction?' she snapped, displaying an awesome set of stainless steel teeth. `No, no, of course not, just a checkup,' I simpered.
'How long since you've been here?'
'Only two years.'
'Probable extraction,' she murmured with a loathsome steel smile. Dentist's waiting rooms are like anterooms to Hell, places where you have time to ponder all your sins and imagine their punishments. They always have plenty of magazines but of a particularly unsoothing kind. Speaking personally, I find small solace in knitting patterns while waiting to enter the jaws of hell.
There were only two victims ahead of me, a child and an old man. The boy was about ten years old, defiantly sucking a sweet made from a chunk of sugared rainbow. I admired his spirit, I mean, sucking a sweet at the dentist's is like opening a Can-Can Night Club in Teheran: When the dread door opened he swaggered in like one unafraid of cavities, extractions and drills. But when he emerged twenty minutes later his face bore the look of one who's seen and felt THE HORROR. The nurse barely gave him a second glance before snapping 'Next "
The old man gave me a pate smile, winced at a lifetime of dental memories and staggered into the surgery.
He never came out.
I sat waiting and sweating for half an hour, but when the door finally opened and Jaws herself came and snarled 'Next!' there was no sign of the old man. Had they drilled him into oblivion? Extracted him completely? Was there another exit, was that a direct route to the morgue?
I stepped into the surgery and greeted the dentist warmly.
'Hello Dr Morris, nice Dr. I've just come for a little check-up. Nothing wrong at all.'
'I'm not a doctor,' said the worthy Morris. 'Doctors heal people, I fix teeth.'
He looked more like the sort of chap who'd fix main battle tanks, but I laughed politely, nice fellow, Morris. I gave him my most ingratiating smile to show him I'd brushed my mandibles specially ...but he was unmoved.
'Sit down,' he said, 'Open your mouth.'
I lay down on that strange Iron Maiden they call a dental chair and Morris jacked me up until I was in range of his heavy engineering. As his face loomed over me I noticed his eyes, blue as ice, fixed on my teeth and glittering, glittering. He shoved a triangular piece of rubber into my mouth that tasted as if it had been cut from the old bath plug. From the very bottom of my eyeball I saw his hand travel to his tray of weapons. He picked up the mirror. Relief! He can't hurt me with that. Then he picked up the spike hat goes with it.
Next thing I know he's got both fists inside my mouth and is muttering threats like,
'Upper 14, 13, 12, 11 extracted, 10 missing, 9 extruding..'
It didn't sound too good, so I tried a courageous smile, a mistake with a triangular bath plug, a mirror, spike and two hairy fists inside one's mouth. I nearly choked and Morris squinted in disapproval. He put the mirror aside, reached for a chrome-plated crowbar and went round my teeth like 'a railway man knocking the wheels of a train with a sledgehammer.
Abruptly he sat back and said, 'Rinse out your mouth!'
I did so, smiled with stretched lips and got up to leave. But the nurse yanked me back.
'Not so fast,' he leered, 'Just two little fillings and an extraction.'
'Extraction?' I echoed dismally.
He rammed the chrome crowbar up against a molar that had PAIN written right through it like a stick of rock.
'Rotten!' he pronounced. 'Don't worry, we'll have it out in no time. Needle please, Nurse.'
The needle in question was about a foot and a half long, filled with pink liquid, and looked as though it were usually used for rhinocerii. As he pushed it into my mouth I avoided it frantically with my tongue, but my gums couldn't duck or dodge. The pain soon changed to that numb feeling as my whole mouth froze. I was dead from nose to chin.
'Open wider,' purred the dentist, jamming bales of wool, rubber plugs and bits of wrought iron in my mouth. Then he picked up a wrench and I looked desperately at the ceiling. I felt a sudden jolt in my jaw, then a clatter of steel as he dropped the wrench into an enamel tray.
'Now the little fillings,' he murmured.
Easy, I thought, nothing to this, one out and I hardly felt a thing! But my relief was shattered by the drill. It was old, slow, blunt and plugged directly into a nerve that traveled three short inches from upper jaw to central brain and bellowed one clear message.OUCH!`Argle' I said, by way of explanation, remonstrance and plea for mercy.
The Nurse said nothing, but her stainless steel teeth shone like a row of bayonets. The dentist's eyeballs skittered around his skull like nervous snooker balls. He returned to the attack, wielding his drill like a miner at the coalface. But the nurse held my head as if in a vice and short of punching the dentist in his private practice, with the risk he'd drill a hole through my tongue by mistake, all I could do was submit.
The drill make a sound like a buzz saw searing through a block of solid glass. At last it stopped and while he reached for some filling I explored the hole with my tongue. It felt large enough to park a bus. He packed it deftly with metallic junk, smoothed it off with a small grindstone, took out the rubberware, told me to rinse out then wandered off to play with his instruments; tonguescrews, gumspikes and the like.
'Cad I go dow?' I asked through lips as numb as welly boots.
'Yes' said the nurse.
So I fled, taking my mouth with me.
Transcript by EvilSanta.


Blogger Wizrman said...

Hi, Keith wells here, alive and well in southern Queensland, Australia. I've only just found this blog and am very flattered that you have posted it after so many years ... but would prefer that you don't publish whole stories on the Net, please, as this is against my copyright of the words and pictures. If anyone is interested I still have some copies of all of the books and could sell autographed copies....
Drive safely....toot toot!

November 30, 2008 1:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Keith....
I can't believe I found this blog. I was introduced to WIZR when I moved to Kuwait in 1986. WIZR didn't make much sense at first ...BUT once I was the proud owner of a Kuwait drivers license WIZR made all the sense in the world. WIZR was my hero!!! I still talk about Kuwait but if you have never been to Kuwait, the stories can't be appreciated. I feel sorry for those who went to Kuwait after the war because it just wasn't the same. I think WIZR left the country in "90" and never came back.

Thanks so much for having WIZR teach me all I needed to know about Kuwait.

August 21, 2009 5:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keith I would like to buy the set. Are they still avaailble? if so, please email me on wjadallah@yahoo.com

September 14, 2011 10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too would like copies of the books if you have any left:


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