Income from the tooth fairy was my last financial windfall. It was a whole quarter, shiny and solid found beneath my pillow one Sunday morning in the second grade. That year, with my extra quarter in my piggy bank, my school picture looked like a jagged-tooth wolf in pigtails.
Then with inflationary tooth fairies of the time, my next windfall was in the third grade with a fifty cent piece. That was big money then, with its etched eagle and solid silver promise. A half dollar weighed heavily in your pocket and went far at the dime store.
That was my last real income that meant meaningful profit. Unless you count, of course, the 50 cents-per-hour babysitting income here and there in high school. But expenses kept up at the same time because there was always a new shade of white lipstick to buy.
I got my first job, and it’s been down hill ever since.
These days, financial profit still requires the banking services of the tooth fairy. She flies past, invisible, with imaginary money whipping around in the imaginary e-atmosphere creating assets in your mind only. And there are no coins under the pillow to prove that you actually have physical money.
I think I heard a tooth fairy flit past the other day. I was going to tell her that I was out of the losing teeth business but would be happy to have her services later when they fall out. She waved her wand and said, “Sell.”
So I propped my feet up on the desk and phoned my broker. He also had his shiny shoes on the desk and leaned back with his designer three-piece suit and conservative tie. His costume and glass desk meant that I would be instantly rich along with all his other clients that believe pigs fly.
I had a slick look on my face and talked from the side of my mouth. I, too, was dressed to get rich. I had on my thread-bare sweat pants with holes in the back, seedy tee-shirt that read the name of the last dead end job I had and worn sneakers, green with grass stain.
“Sell,” I said with a sophisticated tone that meant great things in my bank investments.
“Sell what?” he was aghast. Oh, whoops. How do you define “assets” again? He carefully explained that in order to sell something, you have to have something.
I forgot about that. I went through the list of my assets and was prepared to have the upper hand. What does a goofy broker know, anyway?
“I’ll have you know,” my head swiveled, “I have more leftover knitting yarn in six different baby colors than the nearest yarn shop.” I looked around for more assets. “Furthermore,” I continued, “the contents of every room in this house is worth all the king’s men on E-bay with a clawed tub thrown in.”
I was on a roll now. “If I sold all my out-of-print books about nineteenth century operas and Mrs. O’Leary’s cow in Chicago, someone in this country would pay premium for these finds. Even my tooth flossers are high-end quality. Sell!”
I guess my broker hung up. Even the tooth fairy flew away.
One of these days, maybe I’ll actually have some of those flush funds, toilet securities or striped tube stocks to brag about. Then I can sell my irresponsible debt and have more money than I can find.
Meantime, I am waiting for the tooth fairy to flit back into my life when my teeth fall out again.