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Practical Joker Admits To Faking Story of Dentures From The Deep

December 16, 1994

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) _ The saga of the fishy false teeth - the best sea yarn to hit Holland since the boy stuck his finger in the dike - was exposed Friday as just as big a hoax.

It all began when fishing enthusiast Cor Stoop lost his upper plate when he leaned overboard during a spell of seasickness while sailing on a North Sea charter boat in September.

On Nov. 27, Hugo Slamat, a tackle shop owner who had organized the charter, found a set of choppers while gutting a 19-pound cod he caught on a fishing excursion. The charter skipper then recalled that Stoop had lost his teeth during the trip in September.

The teeth were eventually given to Stoop at a handover splashed across Dutch media.

But something about the story began to seem fishy.

″They fit all right,″ Stoop told The Associated Press on Friday. ″But I began to have doubts, so I got my dentist to investigate and he told me the top and bottom didn’t go together.″

Then taxi driver Roel Pool, an amateur fisherman and practical joker, revealed what had really happened.

″When we go fishing on the sea we always make jokes. I took the teeth from my wife and put them in the day’s biggest cod,″ Pool said Friday, after the hoax was revealed in the Dutch media.

Slamat found the teeth when he gutted the cod 30 minutes later.

Pool’s wife, Janet, said the couple had a good laugh the night after the practical joke. ″We didn’t realize it was going to get into the papers,″ she said.

Slamat was not amused. He said he has consulted a lawyer about possible legal action and planned to toss the false teeth off an Amsterdam ferry.

Pool said he wasn’t concerned. ″It’s no problem, my wife has another set of teeth.″

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