Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

October 9, 2012

Random Thoughts: Tooth Fairy faces rising costs

CROSSVILLE — The Tooth Fairy must have hired a press agent because a number of items have appeared this month about that sweet fantasy. It all started when Visa did a survey on the going price of kids’ lost teeth. The average going rate for a lost tooth today is $3! It has been many years since I replaced a tooth tucked under a pillow with a coin. Yes, I did say coin because in those long ago days it was coins, not bills.

This survey brought warnings from child psychologists that excessive monetary rewards would give a child the wrong view of the value of things. There is a TV commercial presently that sends that very message. A young woman finds problems with her computer and immediately tells her dad, “Let’s go get a new one.” The wise dad shows her the problem can be fixed very simply.

Teachers also added another problem. They said it was common for children to boast about the price their lost tooth brought. This was repeated at home and soon the exercise became a game for parents trying to outdo each other.

One mother of an adult son wrote Dear Abby asking her advice on what she, the Tooth Fairy, should do with all his baby teeth she had saved these many years. Abby suggested making them into a charm bracelet, sell them back to son or put the teeth, a curl of hair and his baby shoes in a box to be opened much later.

Last week the Tooth Fairy was featured in a USA Snapshot. A graph showed that in 2000 the average gift was $1.48 and by 2011 it had risen to $2.10. Now, in one year ,it has gone up to $3.  Someone researched the prices paid in the period from 1900 to 1980 and found the amounts kept up with inflation. What does that say about the effect of the economy on citizens?

Lost teeth in youngsters has been of interest since ancient times and different cultures observed the event in different ways. The tooth might be thrown into the sky, buried, burned, hidden, even swallowed.

Eventually both a mouse and or a fairy entered the scene. In the l8th century, different countries introduced these characters. A French tale told of a fairy that turned into a “tooth mouse” to help a good queen fight an evil king. The mouse hides under the king’s pillow and bothers him. Finally the mouse is victorious by knocking out all the king’s teeth.     

Just why lost teeth became so interesting very early remains a question. At one time, while people believed in witches, it was believed witches used pieces of human bodies to direct their magic or curses at specific people. Thus the effort to quickly dispose of such things as fingernails, hair or teeth.

Later it was recognized that losing teeth was a normal part of “growing up” for youngsters around the ages of five to ten. This rite of passage could be painful and distressing, so began the myth of the Tooth Fairy and a gift.

Much later in life, the loss of teeth enters the picture once more. In this scenario it is the aging person who pays to have the tooth or teeth removed and then replaced. 

• • •

Dorothy Copus Brush is a Fairfield Glade resident and Crossville Chronicle staffwriter whose column is published each Wednesday. She may be reached at dcb1@frontiernet.net.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • We the People: The last dance

    Charlie Hayden’s last recording session with his early partner, Keith Jarrett, was in 2007.  The songs they played were mostly melancholy.  The second album coming from that session includes Weil’s “My Ship” and Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The dark ballad “Goodbye,” by Gordon Jenkins, was the final track.

    July 22, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Living in a pressure cooker

    The Gaza Strip, a small Palestinian territory about the size of Washington, D.C., has been in the news almost every day.  Its key location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has attracted a number of occupying powers over the years, and it has  been at the center of much Middle East history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

  • Tidbits: Make the best of your road trip

    I didn’t care for road trips when I was young. It was so confining to have to sit in the back seat, staring out the window for hour after hour, hayfield after hayfield. And when you’re a kid, time doesn’t pass like it does when you get a little older. Just the trip from Jamestown, TN, to Crossville, roughly 30 miles, felt like an eternity!

    July 14, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Biased climate agenda will cost trillions

    For anyone who has been educated in the history of science and scientific method, this whole issue of “Global Warming” or “Climate Change” is an embarrassing and painful exercise.

    July 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Time for an oil change

    The land of Iraq, earlier known as Mesopotamia, has a long history going back to Neanderthal times some 60,000 years ago. Later, around 10,000 years ago, it became the site for some of the most important developments in human history: the invention of the wheel, planting of cereal crops, the development of cursive script, mathematics, astronomy and agriculture. Today it is recognized as one of the cradles of civilization.

    July 8, 2014

  • We the People: American women, be informed and vote

    Voting for today’s Republican Party and its Tea Party members, means you are voting against more than most realize.  This is especially true for women.

    July 8, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014