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Today Grenouille had the first of several badly misaligned teeth extracted, preparatory to some heavy-duty orthodontistry. G was totally hardcore about it, dispensed with the nitrous oxide and went straight for numbing gel and cocaine solution. A quick twist-and-pull later, and a beautiful, big ivory tooth, with an even bigger ivory root, lay on the stainless steel tray.

It was subsequently transferred to a tiny envelope with a stars-and-moon design, and G spent some time after tea writing to the Tooth Fairy on a Post-It note.

G’s Papa did the bedtime routine this evening and came downstairs with a perplexed expression.
“Does that child really still believe in the tooth fairy?”
“I think so, why?”
“Because I asked about the note and was told that the Tooth Fairy has to make it a £2 coin for each of these teeth, ‘because they are big ones’. Strewth!”

I laughed myself breathless and nearly blind, but when I had sobered up a bit, I thought, ‘Crack on, kid. With the final closure this week of the ILF (not that you’d have got much out of that since it was closed to new entrants in 2010), with PIP instead of DLA looming in your future, with the cynical ‘Tory template letters’ boding ill for the passage of the LB Bill (should it ever get a sponsor), you are going to need all the wheeler-dealer negotiating skills you can muster. You go for it!’.

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