We were wandering through a flea market and I was telling my mom about a classroom conversation involving “tooth art.” As a class we were discussing Meyer Wolfsheim in The Great Gatsby. There are many indicators that Meyer is not on the up and up, but my favorite is his cufflinks made out of human molars. “What does this suggest about Wolfsheim, children?” asks their all-wise and insightful teacher pulling teeth to get ideas rather than cufflinks.
This sparked a story about some t.v. show that one of them saw sometime about someone who had a whole closet full of teeth that they made “tooth art” out of or something. (I love the specifics.) HOW WEIRD!
This made me pause in class to take a mental inventory of all the things in my house that would qualify as “WEIRD” on the level of a closet full of teeth. It was a long-ish list. Then I showed them pictures of Maury because I had just installed him in the kitchen and who wouldn’t be excited about a bear head! ***side note: not teenagers. My mom, however, was inspired to create her own tooth art out of my baby teeth. This is what the tooth fairy really does. (I don’t think you’ll find this on Pinterest until I put it there.)
As this story concluded, we happened upon a vendor who had made art out of a variety of things: teeth, hair, dead bees, antique postcards etc… They also had a taxidermied wiggly something on what looked like a sprig of mistletoe. They called it a “noodle rat” which is creative weirdo for “stoat.” I already had a dead squirrel in a bag, so much as I wanted a noodle rat Christmas ornament I did not inquire as to the pricing.
The conversation went like this:
MomBert: “Look! A squirrel on a log!”
Me: “Yeeeeaaaaaaaa,that’s kind of a big log.”
MomBert: “That’s a good looking squirrel. It’s $35. Ask him if he’ll take $30.”
MomBert: “If you don’t buy it, you’re just going to cry about it later. ‘Oh, I wish I had bought that squirrel.'”
She knows me.
I should have bought that noodle rat.