Copywriter Ted ‘Mad Dog’ McTeddy is sitting in the dentist’s chair waiting for the tooth extraction procedure to begin. For a month now his wisdom tooth has been causing pain, swelling and general discomfort. A preliminary check-up last week revealed the tooth was beyond repair and needed to come out.

“Not even novocaine will numb the eternal pain of our parting Ted.” whispers a voice only Ted can hear. “Soon, too soon, we’ll part, and with you – in god awful agony”.

The dentist preps the needle as Ted grabs onto his belt buckle. The dentist smiles and tells the copywriter he’ll feel a little pinprick or two in a moment and then no pain from then on in.

“In every parting there is an image of death said George Elliot, did I tell you that one before Ted?” whispers his soon-to-be extracted wisdom tooth.

The dentist inserts two injections into Ted’s gums around the tooth to be removed, then tells the copywriter to sit comfortably while they wait for the numbing to take full effect.

“Quite why you feel the need to part with my wisdom is something I cannot understand” whispers the wisdom tooth. “Who will teach you about the teachings of Aristotle, Socrates and Plato? Who will tell you it was Manet and not Monet who pained A Bar at the Folies-Bergère? Who Ted, will educate you on what anodes, cathodes and electrodes are? Or where Kristiinankaupunki can be found on a map?”

As Ted looks up at the TV on the ceiling, he thinks about how similar a tooth extraction is to the removal of extraneous copy on a web page. A rotting tooth will in time damage the gums and surrounding teeth, just like irrelevant and poorly written sentences negatively impact the rest of the copy on the page.

“As Virgil said, trust not too much to appearances Ted. I may look worn, stained and broken, but I am the wisest of teeth you’ll ever wish for.” whispers the wisdom tooth.

Ted thinks how difficult it can be for business owners to edit and modify their own copy. They become attached to the words they write and the descriptions they give of their business. But too much inconsequential information does little to successfully sell services or products.

“You will regret the lost wisdom my absence will render, like a dark shadow weighing heavy in the pit of your soul.” laments the wisdom tooth.

It often takes an outside perspective to see where existing copy might be causing damage and how it can be improved to increase conversion rates. Just like it takes a dentist to accurately assess when a tooth needs repair or removal.

“If you only have a pair of pliers, you tend to see every problem as a tooth” mumbles the wisdom tooth. “There’s still time to change your mind Ted.”

The dentist prods the gums to check how numb they are, then smiles before announcing it is time to begin the extraction.

“The superior man blames himself Ted, the inferior man blames his teeth. You mark my words you’ll regret this” mutters the wisdom tooth.

As the dentist shoves the tooth backwards and forwards, again and again, Ted thinks of how difficult it can be to extract copy from a nicely written page. But nicely-written doesn’t always mean high-converting, and that’s what matters most when it comes to business websites.

Backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards.

“Ted … as a Bronte said … I feel … monotony and death … to be almost the same…”


The dentist extracts the wisdom tooth and places it on a tray before applying gauze to the open and bleeding socket.

Painless and all over in a matter of a few minutes.

Ted is thankful for experienced dentists.

Just like clients are thankful for experienced copywriters, when their websites and marketing materials produce results they never imagined possible before.


Like Ted in the story, I’m also a copywriter. If you’re looking to increase the number of people buying your products or hiring your services, then I can help you improve your conversion rates.

Get in touch to discuss your project.