Lucy lost her 5th tooth last night. This particular one was long overdue to come out. She had been carefully brushing around the little loose Chicklet for what seems like months now, lest she draw any blood or dislodge it prematurely. She was very excited. She called me in the car to share the good news that she had pulled it out all by herself. My brave little future dentist!
I know why she was so enthusiastic. Missing teeth meant that she had hit the Tooth Fairy lottery. We all know the drill. Tooth is placed under the victim’s pillow, and in the morning, the tooth is magically gone, replaced with a gift, usually cash. It’s not fair, really. She loses a tooth and gets paid. My shower drain is filling up with hair from my head every morning, and I don’t see any shiny coins under my pillow. The older we get the more important it is that we get some compensation for all the stuff falling off of us. I guess Hair Fairy doesn’t sounds as cool and innocent as Tooth Fairy.
I’ve been thinking that the continuing legend of the Tooth Fairy is just another example of us 21st century parents perpetuating a generation of lazy rabble with their hands out all day. Let’s be honest, teeth fall out without a lot of work or effort on the child’s part, so should we reward kids for a bodily function? Maybe they need to learn early that when things fall off of them or out of them, it is rarely a cause for celebration and presents.
If parents stopped compensating kids for lost teeth, I think it would be awesome if the Almighty Federal Government stepped into the void. It might help their overall approval ratings, at least among the young. Of course, each political persuasion would handle the role of Tooth Fairy differently, but that kind of diversity is what makes America great, isn’t it?
Proposed Message from the Democratic Tooth Fairy
You are growing up so fast, and rest assured, the Government Tooth Fairy will be with you along your journey, from teething rings to braces to whitening strips to dentures. We will never leave your side.
As an entitlement for losing your 5th tooth, please find 6 shiny new quarters under your pillow. Don’t ask how we gained access to your room. That’s a national security secret. Since we equate your Tooth Fairy windfall with a gambling winning, you now owe us 3 quarters in tax. These quarters will help us feed your grandparents today, so please don’t cry. Next time, if you buy a nice new electric vehicle from GM, you may be able to keep one of those quarters, but only if I am reelected. Tell your Mommy and Daddy to vote for me and they’ll be able to keep the change!
Do not worry about any painful complications that may arise from your recent dental misfortune. Thanks to my health care reform bill, passed over the objections of our Republican fiends, your missing tooth will never be considered a pre-existing condition by the evil insurance companies, and you will enjoy the option of remaining safely on your parent’s health care plan up until age 26. Of course, if I am not reelected, your remaining teeth will be at risk of decay, and degenerative gum disease will be a real possibility.
Congratulations again, and remember, Lucy, these quarters represent a hand up – not a hand out.
Your Uncle Barry
Recess-Appointed as National Tooth Fairy, 2011
Proposed Message from the Republican Tooth Fairy
This note is your gift today. Don’t ask how we gained access to your room. That’s a national security secret. I want you to have the incentive to continue to work hard on your oral hygiene, so there will be no hand outs from the Tooth Man* during my administration or your youth; however, you should be advised that you can earn 6 shiny quarters by:
· Starting a small business;
· Trading in the risky yet lucrative dental default swaps marketplace;
· Charging other children a nominal fee in order to look inside your mouth;
· Selling your remaining teeth to those less fortunate for a hefty profit.
This exercise in self-reliance may seem mean to you today, but believe me – the longer we Republicans are in office, the more these kinds of financial survival skills will be important to you. Once you have earned those 6 shiny new quarters, you may choose what to do with YOUR money. Choice is good. You may save it towards college, retirement, or use all 6 quarters to purchase health and dental insurance coverage from a local provider who may or may not offer coverage to children with a history of teeth loss. You may even use YOUR money to buy candy and ice cream, but if you grow obese and diabetic, it’s on you, sister!
Remember, we don’t give a hand up and enable your weakness and dependency – we give you the space to stand up all by yourself and be alone. Again, congratulations on your newly found independence from government interference!
Uncle Mitt (formerly Uncle Sam)
* - "Tooth Man” – New title after DADT policy among Tooth Fairy Services reinstated under Executive Order by President Romney on January 20, 2013. Too many Fairies were considered to have a negative impact on unit cohesion.