Sinking Our Teeth into the Economy


As reported on my Facebook page Wednesday, February 20, 2013, my granddaughter’s 24d tooth came out.

This unleashed a flurry of activity on this otherwise very ordinary Wednesday evening.

“Where is my Tooth Fairy pillow?”

“I have no idea. Auntie Vanilla gave it to your mom at your baby shower, three months before you were born.”

Hayden is almost six. We contacted Mom via mobile phone. She told us where to find the pillow. and I thought all was settled.

Wrong. This granddaughter has some traits that are familiar. Uncomfortably familiar.

“I’m not using that pillow. It’s not right.”


“There’s no room for the money in the pocket.”

“Yes there is.”

“No. I’m not using it. I’m putting the tooth by itself. Under my pillow.”

“But, Auntie Vanilla gave you that pillow. The Tooth Fairy won’t be able to find your tooth. Look how small it is.”

“Sorry. I’ll use the pillow next time.”

At this point, her mother had returned from work, and calls were going out to inform the family of the event. Meanwhile, I was contacting Auntie Vanilla to have her diplomatically intercede on behalf of using the tooth pillow AS IT WAS INTENDED.

Auntie Vanilla explained the reasoning to no avail. My pal Jef in San Francisco simply said “Don’t make her use the pillow. You didn’t have a Tooth Fairy pillow and if she wants the raw tooth under her head instead of the puffy tooth, let her. She’s just as stubborn as you are!”

I let it go. I placed a ‘LIKE’ on the shot of Hayden and her tooth and waited for results. [What did we do before the Internet? I know. I got $.10 per tooth and $1 per molar but that was just after the Korean War. We’ll talk about raising the minimum wage later.]

This morning, at 5:45 am, Hayden crawls into bed with me. This is a daily event, as she watches Woody Woodpecker cartoons on my iPad before we go to breakfast. Today, however, she needed to finish writing her name at the top of the homework pages due. So, she requested music, chose the sound of crickets on Calm Radio, and went back to sleep. At 6 am, I couldn’t stand it anymore.

“Did the Tooth Fairy leave you anything?”

“I forgot.”

She ran into her room, discovered a wrinkled dollar bill under her pillow and the day of life with an excited human being began.

Tooth Fairy Calculations

In writing this, I found an App I could have used last night.  The Tooth Fairy Calculator.

As for inflation, ABC News Consumer Report states that in 2012, the average was $3 per tooth.

My teeth are costing me thousands, as I am at the ‘need a new crown of cubic zirconia and perhaps a root canal’ on the life spectrum. It’s so bad, I have to remove a substantial amount from my cash reserves. Sell my house? Maybe. If only I’d gotten more for my deciduous offerings and saved the money. After all, when I was a kid, our house in San Marino, California, cost about $50,000. I paid almost that much for a car a couple of years ago. Median price for San Marino homes clock in at more than $1million in 2010, and is the 63rd most expensive place to live in the United States.

Back to the Tooth Fairy. Maybe it’s time to re-think value. At least raise the minimum wage so that the Tooth Fairy can continue to operate. Plus, equal pay for women.

I need to go brush my teeth, er, tooth.

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