It's National Tooth Fairy Day, and as a tribute, I recently interviewed the Tooth Fairy.
I was lucky enough to catch him/her before sunrise just as the Cuspid Cafe was opening its doors. Frequented by late night fairies who flutter in for a quick bite, the tiny pixies were consuming large amounts of fresh milk and magic-dusted danish before clocking out for the day.
I respectfully held the interview within the outdoor garden area, as several local fairies agreed to answer questions concerning their line of work. I towered over them, but yet they seemed as ease as they reclined upon dandelion leaves and rose petals.
Note: Contrary to popular belief, there is not just one Tooth Fairy. Because there are many tooth fairies in order to service the vast area of the Earth, I simply let them speak as a whole.
Q: I was very surprised when I first saw your attire. I was under the impression that you all wore little pink tutu's and carried star-topped wands.
A: (Laughter) " Well, you did happen to catch us on casual Friday! But, yeah- it's a tradition that we've tried to carry on. However, the male species have gradually turned to tights and boxers to avoid any unnecessary stereotyping. You know how cruel some humans can be. We've gotten a bad rap for years."
Q: How did this whole tooth fairy idea originate?
A: " History isn't exact, but our ancestors claim to have started this business in ancient times. Children who lost their teeth placed them under the pillow to keep witches from acquiring them. Because you know- back then- any body parts such as teeth, fingernails and hair could be used to conjure up curses against you.
Q: About how many teeth do you collect in a good night's work?
A: "If we're lucky, we'll get twenty- maybe thirty. You have to realize there is a lot of down time involved. We have to wait till the child is actually asleep before we can start riffling around under their pillows. Sometimes it will be after midnight before we can enter the room."
Q: What's the going rate nowadays for a good baby tooth?
A: "We are all seasoned fairies here, and we can remember when a dime or a quarter would satisfy a toothless child. But, with inflation and the selfish greed of some youngsters, the average price paid for a single tooth is almost three dollars today.
In fact, some of the new fairies are leaving Visa cards."
Q: I've always wondered what you do with the teeth that you collect. Is there really any value to those molars and incisors?
A: "You may not realize it, but this entire Tooth Fairy Village is composed of teeth. We've perfected a type of glazing- similar to adobe- that covers and protects the teeth from the elements. But yet it makes for a strong base for our homes and factories. Even the streets are paved with millions of little teeth."
Q: Has there ever been a client that you refuse to visit?
A: (Nervous laughter.) "Of course! Vampires are the very worst! They never sleep! And dragging those giant baby fangs off in our little felt pouches is a pain in the *** ! Plus, those vampire parents expect us to leave ten or twenty dollars per tooth just because they're larger. We earn our keep, for sure. You take your life in your own hands when doing business with those blood suckers."
Q: What is the worst situation you've encountered while collecting teeth?
A discussion ensues. ("Herb- you could probably answer that one.")
A: "Even though we are working with baby teeth here, there is still the occasional tooth that has gone bad. Those renegade teeth lay there under the pillow with machine guns, ready to ambush us. We simply hate collecting bad teeth. In fact, I refuse to do it anymore. See this scar?"
Q: What seems to be the future of Tooth Fairies? Do you have any type of job security?
A: "Every single day fifty-five tooth fairies are forced into retirement, sixteen die from job related injuries, twelve go off to be garden gnomes, and two join the Fairy Godmothers Union. We are gradually becoming an endangered species. Kids just don't care anymore. They just don't believe in us."
Q: It's been a pleasure speaking with you today. In closing- what is the best advice you can give children concerning their teeth?
A: "Our national motto is: Be true to your teeth or they'll be false to you. That pretty much says it all."
As a gesture of kindness, a few of the tooth fairies dusted my brow with magic dust and presented me with a vampire fang on a golden chain. The Tooth Fairies were one of the most interesting legends I have ever had the privilege to interview.
Honestly-this is the tooth, the whole tooth,and nothing but the tooth.
Keep flossing! And have a great Tooth Fairy Day!