Friday, December 23, 2011
The tooth fairy as a slovenly bag lady
The tooth fairy was shambolic; she was more like a wrinkly old bag lady living in an beaten up car.
"Sparkle me some glitter dust on last night's beef and cheddar wrapper from Arby's will you love?"
Here I am back from another day of ever deceasing circles, orbiting around abstract meaninglessness and the shelves of a supermarket where I forgot to get half of the items texted to me on the list.
"Zara's lost a tooth - a big one at the front."
"Great. I'll check it out," I said persuading her to open her mouth and show me the gap so as I could laugh at the gap toothed effect so beloved of clowns and vagabonds the world over, peddlers of cheap mirth. (I could never see the point of Benny Hill).
"I can't believe you are laughing at her. She's been upset all day," my wife snapped at me.
"Oh." And I declined to reply that if diplomacy was my strong suit I'd probably be hosting Bill Clinton at some reception at the embassy in Laos hoping he didn't reach for the cigar box.
If the downside of losing a tooth is a disfigurement, the upside (at least for kids) is the visit of the tooth fairy. Don't ask me where this tradition came from but it's there and it doesn't seem to apply to the loss of other body parts. If Mike Tyson happens to chew off your ear there is no corresponding ear fairy to make you feel better. If Lorena Bobbit ... well you get the idea.
Zara demanded $20.
"Get out of here. I could fly to Hawaii and stay there for a week," I said somewhat insincerely. But hey - I'm cheap. If you can chase the roaches around the hotel room it saves the cost of a safari.
The morning rolled around, as it tends to round these parts, and my wife was rushing around and tearing apart my wallet. Zara had woken up and the tooth was still under her pillow. The tooth fairy was in serious big shit, banged up in some cell facing a DUI charge and getting unsettling looks from an overweight and brutal looking deputy.
We managed to salvage $3 and a mittful of quarters (which sounds like a low budget remake of a Clint Eastwood Western) that were wedged under some books on the floor. And by a somewhat shambolic sleight of hand the tooth fairy rearranged her dishevelled dress and slipped the filthy lucre under the pillow.
Zara was none the wiser and swallowed the tale that the tooth fairy leaves behind large teeth for unspecified scientific purposes, but it's to be hoped that Santa puts down the crack pipe long enough to get his act together for Christmas Eve.