Thanks to the Internet, many of us have become our own travel agents, mail carriers, stockbrokers and newspaper editors. So maybe it’s time for us to become our own dentists.

Today we bring you, via Gayle Snyder of Cuyahoga Falls, the DentiDrill, “the world’s first professional dental drill for personal use.”

According to the advertisements, “filling cavities has never been easier, cheaper, faster and more convenient. The DentiDrill puts professional cavity care in your hands. ...”

“Your whole family will love it.”

The drill comes with Lidocaine, two composite fillings and a tutorial DVD.

Snyder’s son, Kevin, a 2001 graduate of Falls High, is no doubt kicking himself for spending all that money to get a degree from the Ohio State University College of Dentistry.

Kevin specializes in dental implant surgery in Columbus. He sent his mom a link to the ad with this note:

“Who needs training? How hard could it be? Inject, drill and fill!

“All at home, provided by Mom. Genius.”

Almost sounds like a spoof, doesn’t it?

Fortunately, it is.

Although not immediately apparent (especially given some of the other products for sale online these days), the DentiDrill is a bogus ad campaign mounted by a Dutch firm that promotes accident and dental insurance. The point, of course, is that some things are better left to professionals.

Now that’s an effective ad.

Eclectic crime

A recent crime report from the Wayne County sheriff involved the theft of three items from a house in East Union Township. The stolen items — appraised at $286 (not $285, and not $287) — were:

“A bag of tobacco, a sex toy and a set of false teeth.”

Sounds like one of Johnny Carson’s old Carnac routines:

“What is a smoke ... a poke ... and a choke?”

All keyed up

Even Ryan Bingham, the road warrior with 10 million frequent-flier miles in George Clooney’s film Up in the Air, probably never worried about a travel issue that is bothering reader Bill Ellis.

“Every time I rent a car, they give me two keys fastened together and tell me I’m not allowed to separate them,” he says. “That makes as much sense as taking two tires off the car and saying it saves wear on the tires.”

Well, actually, it makes considerably more sense than that. But I’m not sure exactly how much sense it makes.

Why hand a customer two keys if they are linked with something that requires a heavy-duty cutting tool to separate?

Still, Bill, with all the small stuff we could be sweating, why are we sweating this? Why would a harried traveler want to be responsible for keeping track of two separate keys, rather than just one key ring?

“It’s just useless if you’d lock them in your car, because they’re both there,” he responds. “Plus, if my wife is the other driver — well, you figure it out.”

(Note to Bill Ellis’ wife: The name “Bill Ellis” is extremely common, and the “Bill Ellis” talking to me quite likely is not the “Bill Ellis” to whom you are married.)

Given his insistence, I figured I’d better get some answers.

Our first comes from Paula Rivera, manager of public affairs for Hertz, the nation’s second-largest car rental company (behind Enterprise Holdings, the Alamo/ National/Enterprise troika). She laid it out this way:

“At the end of a car’s life cycle in the rental fleet, it is removed and sold. At this time, both sets of keys must be with the vehicle.

“As Hertz’s fleet migrates all over the country, with approximately 500,000 cars, it is logistically very difficult to store and secure the second set somewhere and match it up with the original car at the end of its rental life.”

Over at Enterprise Holdings, spokesman Ned Maniscalco takes the explanation a step further, laying most of the blame on the complex security measures involved in today’s car keys.

“Over the last several years,” he writes, “more sophisticated key technology has led to significant increases in the cost of replacing keys and their related fobs or remotes.

“Gone are the days of going to the local hardware store and getting your keys cut for $25. With push-button starts and keys integrated into the fobs, it often costs us several hundreds of dollars to replace lost keys.”

He certainly has that right.

A couple of months ago, when my father lost a key to his 2011 vehicle, he discovered that replacing it would cost a whopping $405 — $126 for the key itself, $161 for the transmitter and $118 for one hour of shop time to reprogram the car’s computer.

Fortunately, he found the key before pulling the trigger on a replacement — thereby preserving my inheritance.

Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or bdyer@thebeaconjournal.com.