Friday, August 7, 2015

The Tooth Fairy: bitter, caustic, ready to retire

August, 2015. A boy, 11 years old, walks into a room wearing pajamas and rubbing his eyes. His mother ruffles his blond bedhead.


MOM: Did the Tooth Fairy leave money under your pillow?

BOY: Yeah, and a note. She was kind of cranky.


I have been given access to the files of The Tooth Fairy, who made multiple visits to the Scheer house over the past six years and has unofficially announced her retirement. She regularly left notes alongside the monetary reward, yet has never been spotted; it is my hope that these found artifacts will shed light on her true identity.

Let's begin with the very first letter. The content appears to indicate she had forgotten to leave money the night before, which leaves us to wonder if this was a regular occurrence necessitating, finally, written communication to express an apology. Here we see, then, the first and perhaps only evidence of vulnerability, as well as the first appearance of "Little Jimmy." There is no "Jimmy" in the Scheer family or their neighborhood, to my knowledge.


December 26, 2009

Dear Theo,

Would you believe it? My fairy mobile got caught in traffic last night. It seems fat Santa needed two lanes to travel in, and he was taking his good ol’ time flying and stopping, flying and stopping. I made it to Little Jimmy’s house to fetch his odd-shaped tooth, but I never made it to yours. So sorry.

Please accept this bonus buck with my apologies. There’s an extra dollar to share with your brother, too—it’s the giving season, after all!

Keep on brushing,

The Tooth Fairy


The next letter shows evidence of the caustic wit that will bloom and invade the tone of the correspondence over the next several years. We're laughing, but is she joking? Those exclamation points--a coverup? At this point, we still feel that The Fairy is on our side, but something tells us to watch our backs, especially when we're lying on them and she's reaching under the pillow.


March 29, 2010

Dear Simon, the Mighty Tooth Torquer,

Again? What’s next--you going to start yanking out random teeth now? Or maybe a finger? I’ll have to talk to the Finger Fairy about that.

Congrats on clearing out your mouth for the big boy teeth. I’m happy to have another reason to visit—and to help you towards your goal of filling the house with LEGO. Good thing I fly, or I’d be stubbing my toe on all those little pieces everywhere!

Keep on brushing,

The Tooth Fairy


Jumping ahead, we detect sarcasm once again in these next two letters, as extra effort was required to find said pillow, tooth, and child. "Little Jimmy" reappears, probably confusing the child, who nevertheless is surely happy for the extra cash.


August 16, 2010

Dear Simon,

Last time you people made me find you in a hotel, and now you’re up in your parents’ bedroom. You messin’ with me? Next thing I know, you and Little Jimmy will be hiding in a suspended tree house.

Here’s a buck for your efforts.

Keep on brushing,

The Tooth Fairy



November 25, 2010

Dear Simon,

You thought I wouldn’t find you in Indiana, didn’t you? It took some time to get through the cornfields and past Thanksgiving traffic, but here I am, delivering your dollar (even though you didn’t produce an actual tooth—but I’m not bitter). Good luck gobbling down turkey with one less incisor!

Keep on brushing,

The Tooth Fairy


Apparently the younger child had been worried about the state of his pillow, as found after The Fairy's visits. She is not happy about this, but tries to play it off with additional exclamation points and a chummy use of "sheesh" and "toofer."


December 9, 2010

Dear Theo,

Is your pillow all right? Should I fluff it when I’m done depositing the money?

Sheesh—I think you’re the first kid to worry about my pillow technique. I hope I passed the test. Congrats on losing another toofer!

Keep on brushing,

The Tooth Fairy


I will skip the October through December 2012 letters, which include references to the younger child misplacing the lost tooth (The Fairy questions the existence of the tooth, naturally), and also the younger child losing part of a tooth and having a dentist remove the rest. ("I thought about giving you part of a dollar, and ripping off a corner for the dentist," she writes.)

The bitterness is still evident in March of the following year. Blood is mentioned twice:


March 28, 2013

Dear Theo,

You’d think the snow would be off the ground by now, allowing me to land my FairyMobile in less mess. But no: I have to drive in the cold air and wear boots in March all because some kid lost a tooth.

Do you think there’s a connection between your toe bleeding into your boot and your bleeding tooth falling into the drain? Either way, this is the stuff of great poetry. Or at least a haiku.

Keep on brushing,

The Tooth Fairy


Even a brief mention of "Little Jimmy" would lighten the tone in that and the following letter, but she persists with themes of resentment and exhaustion.


November 20, 2013

Dear Theo,

This is the 14th letter I’ve written to your family, and to tell you the truth, I feel you’re all just a little old for this fairy business. It’s about the money, isn’t it? Money, money. My boss warned me when he hired me, but I was all like, No, there’s good kids out there, like that Theo critter. But now I’m not so sure.

Don’t mind the streaks on this paper. That’s just my tears staining the letter. I’m honestly happy for you. Really, I am. Losing a tooth is one of the many steps along the way to adulthood, where you’ll most certainly find the job of your dreams. Like I did.

Keep on brushing,

The Tooth Fairy



March 8, 2014

Dear Theo,

I go ALL THE WAY DOWNSTAIRS looking for you and the tooth, but NOOOOO, you can’t be bothered to put it under your pillow. But I bet you didn’t forget to look for the money, am I right? So here I am, hiring a tooth-sniffing dog—the ones who didn’t cut it finding drugs—to figure out where the heck your tooth is. Maybe I shoulda put your money in a different place and made YOU hunt, too. Do a little of this work for a change. Maybe I’ll go SPEND your dollar for you. Yeah.

Okay, I’m not all that bitter. It’s just that it’s been a long week of trudging through all this snow, and I don’t expect to have to trudge all the way through a house. I like to just appear where I should be, like how a tooth should be UNDER. A. PILLOW.

Keep on brushing,

The Tooth Fairy



Sept 30, 2014

Dear Theo,

I thought we were done with this a long time ago. Seriously—how many teeth could you possibly have left to lose? I believe your mother told you I’m busy. And tired. So could you perhaps consider pulling the rest out and getting this done in one fell swoop? I’ll leave a five under your pillow tonight to cover the remaining teeth. What’s that? You only found one dollar? Must be the fault of your brother. I’m sure I put it there. Despite the tiredness, the tooth fairy never forgets [insert ominous music here].

Keep on brushing,

The Tooth Fairy


And finally, what is most likely the last letter appeared this week, which I've reproduced here in its entirety:


August 4, 2015

Dear Theo,

I finally figured it out: you got that 3-D printer you always wanted, and you’ve been printing teeth. Yes, that’s got to be it, because it can’t be humanly (or fairy-ly) possible that I’ve been visiting your house and writing letters for five years. You CAN’T HAVE ANY MORE TEETH LEFT. Can you? I’ve lost count, but seriously: this is getting a bit ridiculous. Soon you’ll be, like, 30, and I’ll be using a walker, and little 3D teeth will be lying under your pillow. You will be lying on your pillow, unshaven and slovenly, awaiting the cash. Can’t a gal catch a break ever?

Enjoy this buck, because it’s sure to be the last one. Cause if there’s any more teeth, I’m retiring to Florida. See ya.

Keep on brushing,

The Tooth Fairy


It is my sincere hope that this carefully curated correspondence will benefit the children, either in the eventual writing of their memoirs, or participation in exhaustive psychotherapy. I trust that in either endeavor, they will remember me fondly.

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