My nine year old son Ian had a rough time at the dentist on Monday; he had two teeth pulled-- or, as his pediatric dentist euphemistically put it, "wiggled out"-- and though he was brave during the procedure, by the time he got home he was crying from the pain, clutching the little orange container which held his two extracted teeth . . . but once he recovered, he realized that he was definitely going to receive some sympathy in the form of pecuniary renumeration . . . i.e. the tooth fairy, and he asked his brother for some advice on whether he should put one tooth under his pillow per night, or stick them both under at the same time, but Alex didn't know what to tell him, and so he asked me . . . though he knows full well that I know that he knows that mom is the tooth-fairy and that teeth aren't fungible currency, and so I told him he'd have to make that decision on his own, and he was laboring over it, because he has an acquisitive nature and couldn't help speculating on which strategy would net him the greater gain . . . but then when it finally came time for bed, it turned out that he misplaced his little orange container full of teeth-- the container he desperately needed in order to get in the money-- and so I helped him look for a few minutes because I wanted to get him to get to bed so that I could watch The Guild, but we couldn't find it, and so I told him not to worry about it and go to bed, that the tooth fairy would still come-- but now he was concerned that he needed to leave something else under his pillow (once he drew a tooth on a sheet of paper and exchanged that for cash, because he wanted to keep his tooth) and then my wife got involved in the search-- she started stomping around the house, angrily looking for Ian's teeth, complaining that he couldn't be trusted with anything of value-- and I was smart enough not to remind her that the teeth actually had no value on any modern commodity or currency market, because she was in some kind of mood and she was using the teeth as a metaphor for all the things that my kids lose on a daily basis (and I don't think that my wife reads this blog very often, so I'll be frank here . . . the whole incident seemed kind of insane to me, especially when she told me that it was "nice to be you, since you don't give a shit" which was totally true, I was fine with giving Ian some coin, even if he didn't have the teeth, as there was plenty of evidence that he lost them: there were two holes in his gums, I saw the teeth earlier in the day, and there were several credible witnesses to the dental procedure) and by the time Catherine finally gave up on the search for the teeth, she was so annoyed that she didn't even want to watch The Guild because she said she "wouldn't enjoy it" and so she just went to bed (and part of this had to do with me not cleaning up any of my mess from dinner, which I meant to do, but I got really engrossed in my book about U.S. interventions in Latin America, so I may have been part of the reason that my wife was annoyed about irresponsible men in our household) and then early the next morning, I found the orange container of teeth amidst some Lego vehicles on the counter in the basement, leading to a paradoxical ending to this mystery; Ian received cash money for the teeth, or for the idea of the teeth, without actually exchanging the teeth, but now the teeth are back in play-- though they have no value in our household-- so Ian's best bet to parlay this into an even greater financial windfall is to sell them to a friend on the black market.