I don’t really remember many things about my very early years except … for one thing. I distinctly remember the Tooth Fairy. The arrangement was pretty straight forward; You lose a tooth. You put it under your pillow. You find money under your pillow in the morning. So, here was this innocent tooth. For as long as I could remember, it seemed to be doing a yeoman’s job of chomping down on my Captain Crunch cereal in the morning and an equally good job of sawing through that concrete cookie/cracker my Aunt Anna called mandel bread. My tooth also managed to grind down Mom’s extra crunchy kugel. And, best .. or, worst of all … it always successfully got stuck in her honey and gooey taiglach (a small mountain of Jewish honey dough).
My sweet and innocent tooth seemed to work well for as many years as I could remember (being about 6 years old, I didn’t have a long history). My little tooth had many uses. It added to my smile so I didn’t look like a dork. And I could bite my sister for no apparent reason. But, then, one day it got pushed out of my mouth and banned forever. It was suddenly like an orphan that never had a home.
And then I start to hear musings about the Tooth Fairy. What could anyone want to do with my tooth? It was such an odd item. I guess it could be made into a cufflink. Or, a strange ornament attached to a gold chain. Maybe someone could save up a few and trade them for Green Stamps? Surely, some Grandmother would find this to be a wonderful keepsake.
But, I didn’t really need it anymore. It was kind of small. And a funny shape. It couldn’t fit back into the slot from where it came from. That’s kind of true about most things that the body tosses out. So, go ahead. Write me a check. Or, leave a Money Order or, a bank transfer (but, they didn’t do those kinds of things back in the late 1940s) . This arrangement was my first introduction to a trade for money and I didn’t want to screw it up.
You left a dollar? What would I do with a dollar? I didn’t even know what money was used for. How ‘bout a toy? Or, some “psghetti”? That’s what I called my favorite food when I was little. Maybe this dollar thing wasn’t such a great deal. Maybe I should have read that book, The Art of the Deal. Oops .. I almost broke the rules about avoiding political commentary.
So, just what is a Tooth Fairy?
“You’ve got your basic Tinkerbell-type Tooth Fairy with the wings, wand, a little older and whatnot. Then you have some people who think of the tooth fairy as a man, or a bunny rabbit or a mouse.” One review of published children’s books and popular artwork found the Tooth Fairy to also be depicted as a child with wings, a pixie, a dragon, a blue mother-figure, a flying ballerina, two little old men, a dental hygienist, a potbellied flying man smoking a cigar, a bat or, a bear.”
/from a study by Rosemary Wells
The Tooth Fairy is just one of those old Methusalah stories that seem to be carried along from culture to culture and generation to generation. Kind of like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.
Parents who don’t want to break the chain and kids just eat up the sweet fantasy.
Now, if I was a smart and savvy kid I would have invested that dollar in a high interest bearing account. And, I would have met up with Jeff Bezos of Bill Gates to parlay the proceeds into a Tooth Fairy Class A Stock?