Thursday, February 23, 2012

Recession Trends: We're all Cheapskate Tooth Fairies Now

Next Tuesday is National Tooth Fairy Day. Yeah, I didn't know this either, but now we learn that the average tooth fairy is ripping off the kids so let's talk about it, shall we?

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll from the Delta Dental Plans Association (again, who knew) tells us that the Great Recession has taken a bite out of the dimes left underneath the pillow of many a newly-toothless child. In fact, tooth fairy handouts dropped by 42 cents on average to $2.10 between 2010 and 2011. Don't spend it all in one place, kids.

Actually, this sounds like a pretty good payout per tooth compared to my Great Depression-era parents, who would tell me to put my tooth in a small glass of water and the next morning there would be four bits (about 50 cents) submerged alongside it. Why did my parents have me put my tooth in a glass of water and then throw in a few quarters when I wasn't looking? I have absolutely no idea; it must be a World War II thing or an old tradition from the Finnish backcountry. Well, that and my mom insisting that no waiter or waitress ever deserves a tip larger than four bits. The Greatest Generation wasn't always the greatest at tipping.

Anyway, today's 6-or-7-year-old doesn't really know the difference between $2.10 and $2.52 and thinks it will buy pretty much any $24.99 item they want. Plus, they're still young enough to get excited about getting paid to lose body parts. If only we could all have been losing teeth like sharks in this recession we wouldn't be in the red, right?

No, it's good that our kids learn the value of a dollar and that they can't just look all cute and gapless to get what they want. Even Newt Gingrich would agree. Oh, and your surgeon is probably a drunk. Have a great day!

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