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I have three children. That's a lot of milk teeth right there, and experience has taught me that it's not good to get caught short without a pound coin floating around the house - apparently the tooth fairy doesn't 'forget' or make weekly rounds, she comes on the day the tooth was lost - silly mummy.
My eldest child losing his first tooth was an event not easily forgotten. An adventurous child at the best of times, he fidgets in the car like you wouldn't believe. This particular day through a healthy dollop of serendipity we were en route to the dentist. Being a rainy day this meant that he was wearing a kagoule, and the fidget in him was playing with whatever he could get his hands on.
I drive a 'family' car, aka a minibus. Glancing in the rear view mirror I saw the boy sat in the back row quite happily mulling over his day so far. A second later this scene changed completely, a silent scream emerging from a bloodied mouth and complete panic ensued as his younger sibling, picking up on the major hullabaloo, joined in the (by now) not so silent screaming.
Lurching into a layby I discovered the source of the blood-flow. The boy had been running the cord of his cagoule through his mouth, somehow wrapping it around a bottom tooth in the process before conducting an unexpected extraction.
Stemming the bleeding as well as I could I raced on to the dentist where I was informed that my arrival was not quite so serendipitous - I'd come on the wrong day. Fortunately they saw us anyway and the dentist made her best attempt to 're-seat' the tooth. It came out later that day in an ice cream from a popular fast food outlet *ahem*.
Placing the misappropriated tooth under his pillow that night, the boy pondered on how much he'd get - the pain and trauma long since forgotten. He received an inflated £2, a figure that set the bar far too high for future pearly whites. How do you get down from £2 to the much more realistic 20p that should surely be enough?!
These days we've settled on £1 for a normal loss. The £2 remains in place when any element of trauma is involved - she's a sympathetic soul that Tooth Fairy. I often wonder how that figure differs between families. Maybe I'll do a little survey and a follow up post with some comparisons…
Monday, 24th January 2011