Money for Teeth and Other Scams

November 13, 2018

Photo by George Bailey


EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is George Bailey's weekly report "Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch" about his and his wife's efforts to teach their kids financial freedom.


My children have eaten all of their Halloween candy, and I couldn't be happier to be rid of the stuff. Sugar has done nothing but bring chaos and disorder to our otherwise chaotic and disorderly home. The temptation to steal my children's candy was pretty fierce, though I'm proud to say that I didn't touch a single piece of it. Now to deal with its aftermath.


This aftermath came last week when Christina took three of our four kids to the dentist and discovered that one of them had gotten two cavities. I'm not sure whether that problem is on the child or on us. It's easy to shift the blame on to the child who gets the cavity, but it's not as if Christina and I have got this whole routine thing down or that we're phenomenal gatekeepers when it comes to trips to the grocery store.


Speaking of teeth, our six-year-old daughter has lost four teeth in the course of the last two weeks. I know that losing teeth is normal at this age, but I'm about to start making her wear the vampire set that she got in her Halloween goody bag so that she at least has something. All this losing of teeth is getting out of hand. It's like we're running some sort of insane teeth-losing extravaganza. At leatht her lithp ith irrethithtible! Theriouthly!


What's the most galling about the matter is that our daughter now has the nerve to ask us for money just for losing teeth. Her friends are getting money from the Tooth Fairy, and it's our turn to Fairy up. Christina and I haven't caved to our daughter's demands yet.


If teeth had some sort of value on the open market, we'd be down with this whole game. Just imagine the profit we could make on a human tooth necklace! Or this cuddly doll! Heck, we'd play Tooth Fairy for our children, our friends' children, and all the children in all the world in a heartbeat!


I've been wondering where in the world this scam originates. Who's idea was it to compensate children for reaching a physical milestone that is built into their DNA?


I'm sure some readers might think that we're being a bit too harsh by not simply slipping a quarter under the pillow and being done with it. I guess we're a little jealous that our childhoods are over and that there are no more opportunities for us to cash in on the aging of our bodies. However, before we conclude that there are no more surprises to come, we'd like to share with you a few suggestions for other fictitious creatures that we think should reward us for bodily changes that manifest themselves in time.


Hair-loss pixies. When men start noticing that their hairlines are receding, these pixies leave dollar bills behind the shampoo as well as a message of affirmation written on the back of a Bruce Willis photograph.


Stretch mark sprites. After women give birth, these mischievous creatures slip shea butter into their purses and administer caffeine pills to them each morning that their kids don't sleep through the night.


Backache gnomes. During the night after your first sincere complaints of back pain, these little guys crawl out from beneath your bed to give you a full back massage while you dream peacefully.

Denture elves. These mythical beings work under the direction of the Tooth Fairy but are not called upon until the tooth-loss process is complete. Then,  right as you sit down to your next meal, denture elves slip a denture reliner kit under your napkin.


I don't know. I'm probably being a little bit of a Tooth Fairy Scrooge. I'm sure children of past, present, and future will haunt me for my wrongdoing.

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