And no, this is not a new WoW class. It’s well established, at least in the UK, that if a child’s tooth falls out then that tooth properly belongs to the child but that this is a limited right of ownership that, by tradition, is subject to a RMT transaction with tooth fairies. I’m not quite sure what the current exchange rate is, I think that teeth are roughly pegged to inflation, Dr C probably has a paper on it somewhere.
According to this story from the BBC, these rights and transactions are subject to interference from state actors in given contexts. No. Really! In the reported case the child had a number of teeth taken out at a UK hospital. In this context the objects deemed no longer to be ‘teeth’ or physical items with a fairy based RMT value, but ‘body parts’ as such they fell under regulations concerning the disposal of said items.
As anyone who has read Boyle’s Shamans, Software & Spleens or has looked into the history of the relationship between bodies and property knows, this is complex and contentious area. What is interesting about this case is a clash between a procedural view of the world and, if a dare say it, a magic circle.
Can anyone remember their teeth falling out as a child? It’s a significant moment about which I’m sure that there is a lot of psychology written, the involvement of fairies must I’m sure have deep cultural roots.
Here we have a straight out clash. If one looks unimaginatively at laws and procedures that cover bits of humans I’m sure that one will find all manor of prohibitions. Organ donation law in the UK for instance states that such a transaction must be gratuitous i.e. not for money, but in certain circumstances other values trump the black and white.
In this case - I’m with the fairies.