Sheet of notebook paper from the 1980s.

(text of the PDF letter posted above follows, and then contemporary commentary)

Dear Tooth Fairy,

I know alot of people are loosing thier teeth, because of the Thanksgiving rush, but please give me $1.50 instead of $1.00.

P.S. If you dond have change and you only have $2.00 or twenty that will be fine.

I DON’T Have ALOT LEFT SO Depend on Nicholas, my baby cousin, he has lots!

***** original spelling and other errors preserved from original document

I still sort of remember how the P.S. was an afterthought. By this time, I knew the connections with the tooth fairy, and that being too overtly greedy would not work.  I love how I framed the option of rounding up to larger denominations as being satisfactory and convenient. But that’s after my first recall was one knowing that this was during my Monopoly-mastering stage, so I didn’t realize I was so diplomatic in the request. (I think I had another note when I was cashing in a tooth with a silver filling, but I’ve never come across that one.) The reason I didn’t have many primary teeth left had a lot to do with the missing top-front four, and another instance when I lost two teeth on the same day. Look how smart my parents were, though—they knew the teeth supply was limited, and so funded the tooth fairy trade. When it came to school, they never destroyed the intrinsic motivation of learning (or inadvertently raised the pay-off for cheating) by paying us for grades.