Wild Child

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.

Squirrel was one of my many nicknames from when I was a kid.

It wasn’t because I was fast or had protruding teeth.

(I was actually missing my top four front teeth for many years, and the gums had gotten so tough that they eventually had to be cut open to allow my adult ones to drop through; and there are more stories with that experience and ones preceding it, but right now I realize how funny it is that I was called squirrel considering my teeth situation and years of ridiculously singing, “All I want for Christmas are my FOUR FRONT teeth…”, even though I actually enjoyed them missing because everyone thought I was cute without them, and I didn’t mind the whole “speech class,” gig or the supposed stigma of visiting a “special” educator during first and second grades, although I can see now that my speech may have given the impression I wasn’t as bright as I was at the time — or is it just that I wasn’t even that bright, and I was always just going the extra because that’s the example I saw in my parents?)

Or maybe I was fast back then?! (No, I really don’t think I was ever fast. Sometimes people assumed I was fast because I was short, but then they learned better after seeing me run… But not to worry, I made up for lack of speed in other ways. Shhh… don’t tell anyone, but I suspect part of my penchant towards becoming a point guard, aside from role models and such, had to do with not wanting to have to run the whole length of the floor all the time. Maybe. That was before I learned of fast breaks and all that. And then — I knew how key the pump fake could be in basketball . . . More recently, I’ve noticed some really great ones in football.)

I was kind of awkward and reckless in some of the stuff I did as a kid. And then I never really cared for dresses — and I’m guessing female squirrels don’t much care for dresses either. (I don’t mind them so much now, occasionally, and I bet that’s why people don’t call me squirrel so much anymore.)

Davy Crack-it

Davy Crack-it

My dwelling receives 8 9 10 TV stations. (I just discovered an extra local station that plays old Batman and other reruns just like a station did when I was in primary school complete with nostalgic commercials… , then there’s the obligatory religious programming stations, public/free air network stations, and then QVC. (For some reason, one of my nephews likes QVC, so I keep that in the channel list especially for him, and then also for the sake of telling my mom that I have close to the same number of channels we had when we had the UHF/VHF manual dial tuner TV for all those years.))

The benefit of having access to QVC, and yes, you could achieve the same (with more effort) on-line, but it’s more fun when things pass in an non-deliberate way… (WHOA! Wait up here: you can even watch, and this is certainly, “weird, wild stuff!“, right from your computer. This is not an official endorsement or anything (I’ve never ordered anything, other than Picture Pages, from a televised merchant or products offered in Info-mercial style.) This was just an observation and accidental discovery. Just now. Well, just a few moments ago. Dad–if you’re reading this, don’t follow the second link; it will cause you great discomfort to try catching a stream via your dial-up connection, since that certain mega-corporation continues to tease you that DSL may be coming soon and all that.)

well, just even knowing that something like this exists. It’s beautiful, isn’t it?

Mom or Aunt C., if you’re reading this, I’m not trying to say here that this would be a great gift for me. (If they do come out with the frog version or something… well, you be the judge.)

Rachel.Allison and Jenny against me had a fight Because Rachel called me a name.

I took down the tree.

I saw Rachel, Adam an Alison.

My sister broke a coffee pot.

[2006: fighting was part of events of the day, but keep in mind that I did not break anything or dig my nails into anyone’s skin.]

I watched cartoons.

I wached Annie.

(add in 2006)  Not only did I watch “Annie,” I also taped it on a poor-quality audio cassette, and then replayed it, while acting out the orphanage scenes. I wasn’t a good singer, but that sure didn’t stop me from dreaming!

That was around the same time I had a fondness for tap dancing. (I could not really dance, and wasn’t all-that-serious about wanting lessons, but I’d turn my black patent leather dress shoes into tap shoes, throw a dismembered chalkboard on the floor, and do a little number to, “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” I don’t remember if I pulled out the shiny red baton for that one, or not, but I know the baton was a key part of my, “Milli Vanilli,” routines–perfect for searching high and low!)

I Got to take showerIn the new shower down stairs.

I cleaned my Basement.  My Dad hooked the pipes for the sink and shower.

It was my Dad’s birthday and so we had cake and ice cream.

I had Music.

I had Computers. I had Brownies.

I had gym.

I stayed home from school Because I was tired.

(7/2006) I am assuming I was actually sick, but not throwing up.  I don’t know what the status of the Atari 2600 was at that time, but I know for a fact that my parents, and especially my mom, would not have allowed me to stay home from school to pretend I was sick.  Plus I loved school.

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