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Enamelly Yours: The Collected Tooth Fairy Letters

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Editor’s note: many of these recently discovered missives appear to be cleverly worded IOUs.

May 7, 1983

Tobin—
This is the tooth fairy speaking. I borrowed the typewriter in the other room for a few minutes, and I put a silencer on it so I wouldn’t wake anybody up. It’s very late. In fact, it’s the hour of the wolf, but I didn’t see any on my way in. I work very quietly you see. I have to, and I think you know why. I have a secret to protect. I’ve been keeping it for a long, long time.
I was on my way to Seattle, Washington from New Orleans, where a kid lost his tooth whistling for his dog yesterday. It must have been very loose, don’t you think? I heard about your tooth—don’t bother trying to find out how; that’s another secret—and I thought I’d stop by to check out the story.
I’m proud to report that I found a handsome specimen of a tooth, one juvenile incisor, under your pillow. That’s a tooth that leaves a noticeable gap in your face and lets a lot of air in. But not to worry. Having a bigger, better one coming in is your real prize. Don’t forget that.
I took the liberty of tucking your tooth in my (overflowing) bag so that I might take it back to my hidden lab for proper weighing and procedure. My lab is not in Seattle, as you might think. I’m going to Seattle to see an orca I know about a molar for my collection. When I have had a chance to shine up and file your tooth, I will send you a little something as a memento of that tooth that was such a famous cracker biter in your younger days. What it will be I can’t say. I like to surprise my friends.

Good luck in all you do, Tobin, and take care of your ivories so I have more beauties to come and collect.

Your friend,

Tooth Fairy

——-
Dear Tobin,

This is the Tooth Fairy again. This time I’m on my way to visit a tribe along the Amazon River in Brazil. I’ve heard these people have an interesting cure for toothaches and I want to find out more about it (even though I already know that the best cure for a toothache is to take EXCELLENT care of your teeth; we’re not like sharks, who can lose all the teeth they want without a care in the world because they have an endless supply of them).
I was very surprised to learn that you had lost another incisor! That makes two in one month. That’s not a record, but you are replacing those baby teeth at a pretty good clip. I had promised you a small bonus for your first one (make that the second one, I almost forgot the one I had to go to Baltimore to pick up) and here it is. I peeked in your mouth while you were asleep and that’s how I found out about this latest one. I’ll go ahead and leave your bonus for that one too. That makes 50¢ for each tooth but Tobin, what in the world did you do with it? You know I must have that tooth for my permanent collection.
Here’s what you do: when you find it, leave it under your pillow, and some night after I get back from my trip to South America I’ll fly by and pick it up. And I’ll tell you about that toothache cure if you’re interested.
In the meantime remember to eat a lot, sleep a lot, and brush ‘em like crazy.

Love from your friend,

Tooth Fairy

——-

Dear Tobin,

This is your old friend the tooth fairy. You sure have kept me busy lately, losing all your baby chompers. It’s part of growing up you know. Do you feel any different? I’m sure you do. You’re becoming a big boy, in a lot of ways. One of the ways your body shows that is to push the little teeth out of the way to make room for the teeth you’ll have for the rest of your life…but I told you all that before and I’m sure you remember. Especially the part about how important it is to take care of your new teeth. Treat ‘em right, and they’ll be good friends for a long time. That means brushing, of course, and watching how much sugar you eat. Ask your Pop-Pop about that. I tell all my dentist friends to tell their patients “Only brush the teeth you want to keep.” Kind of a joke, but one with an important message. Your Grandma can explain that one.
Well, since I last left you a note, I’ve been around the world at least six times. My wings are really tired, and they really needed a change of dust. That’s what keeps me flying, you know. Especially after my last trip to Alaska; there was a little Inuit boy up there who lost four teeth all at once. Usually I don’t have to worry too much about Inuit kids because their diets have hardly any sugar (I’m talking about teeth that fall out from cavities, not the ones that come out naturally like yours just did). But this kid was sneaking Twinkies all the time and, well, his mouth got into trouble. It was a shame. I don’t leave rewards for cavities under the pillow.
cAnyway, the trip up there made me very tired, because on the way back I was chased by GIANT mosquitoes—they were almost as big as I am! The mosquitoes in Alaska in the summertime are the only creatures that can make a grizzly bear run for his life, and they chased me all the way to Vancouver. I had to spend an extra day resting before I flew on to Gettysburg, and that’s why I was late getting here. You know how it is. My job covers a lot of territory for one small fairy. I’m looking for an apprentice to help me out, but so far no luck. Good fairies are hard to find. I think too many of them go to Hollywood to get famous, and not enough of them want to fly long distances for a living any more. So anyway, sometimes I’m a little behind schedule, but I never forget my friends. And you are one of my friends, Tobin, even though we’ve never been introduced.
I hope you and your Dad have a great time during your vacation. This is pretty country around here, and I thought about hanging around for a couple of days myself but rain takes the dust off my wings faster than escaping from mosquitoes does, and besides, I have loads more work to do in other places.
Take good care of yourself—and your teeth—and the next time you need me I’ll be around. Remember:
Eat a lot
Sleep a lot
Brush ‘em like crazy
Run a lot
Do a lot
Never be lazy…

Love,

Tooth Fairy

——-
Tobin—
Oops! I goofed. It happens every once in a while. (Humans like to say “Well, I’m only human” sometimes, after making a mistake. I like to say “Well, I’m only magical”).
I heard about your tooth-in-a-jar. The problem was I took off for the flight from Bermuda—I was on vacation, believe it or not—to Santa Fe without enough sleep. I stayed up way too late the night before moon surfing with some new friends of mine over on that lovely island. To stay awake as I was flying over west Texas, which is a big challenge to both humans and fairies, I turned up the volume on my Walkman. I was playing a Pointer Sisters album, and “Neutron Dance “ came on. Well, that song just makes me gonzo nutty. It put me in a dance trance, which for a fairy at 8,000 feet is quite a sight to see.
Next thing I knew, I was in Japan.
And Kojihama, the greatest sumo wrestler in the land, had a toothache. Unfortunately for him, it had to be pulled, and all the dentists were in Tokyo for a convention. Unfortunately for me, it took six days to pull. But fortunately for you, Tobin, I made it here tonight.
It’s a good tooth, very clean, and I’m pleased with the way you’re taking care of your mouth. Keep up the good work, and maybe brush a little longer in the morning before school. I’ll see you next time, but you won’t see me.

Your old friend,

Tooth Fairy

——-

Dear Tobin,

I caught a ride on the president’s helicopter, because I wanted to check out this New Mexican restaurant in Santa Barbara. It’s not cheating because I wasn’t on official business. So I’m zooming along, and I caught a glimpse of that tooth of yours out of the corner of my eye on the way by. Off the bus, Tooth Fairy!
Once again, it was a pleasure doing business with you. I could start a museum with all the baby teeth I’ve gotten from you. And I just might.
Are you done yet?
And are you keeping the big-time chompers in good shape? Remember, what you see now is what you get. Brush low and slow, bro.

Your eternal pal,

Tooth Fairy

——-

December 2, 1996

Dear Jake,

Even though I was flying at mach two on my way back from Sarawak (where I had gone to search for the Lost Hygienist, but that’s a story for another time) I had no trouble finding 6654 Sunnyslope. It doesn’t matter if everything is a blur down below. When a kid loses his first tooth, the energy beam that comes out of the hole where the tooth used to be is a special mix of electrons, dreams, and memories, and once he falls asleep with his mouth slightly open it shines so brightly that my senses can detect it from two states away. In your case, that was all the way from Colorado.
And so it is not so necessary to present that tooth to me. I know you lost it, and even if I wasn’t sure, which never happens to the Tooth Fairy, all I would have to do would be to look in your mouth. Which I did, but only to check on your other loose one, and to see how well you’ve been brushing.
It was a beautiful sight, that pink little bed in your gums, the former home of that snow-white little chiclet of yours, the haven of that intrepid incisor that gave itself up so that you could grow. I got all choked up and almost woke you up. But if anybody wonders why I’m still doing this job after all these (hundreds of? thousands of?) years, that’s the reason why. Ahh, me. Thank you Jake. You made it a pleasure.
I had a whole speech on taking care of your permanent teeth ready to give you, but…I’ll save it for later. You know that stuff.
Brush ‘em, boy!

Love,

Tooth Fairy

p.s. you have a very friendly dog;
he didn’t bark once at me.

——-

Jake Oldach, you are a surprising young man. I didn’t think I’d be passing this way again quite so soon, but you and your dental anomalies (if you think that word means “small furry creatures” you’d better look it up) had other plans for me!

I hope you took a good look at that tooth. It was, as we say in the business, totally smoked…blown up…caved in…sacked. The poor tooth didn’t have a chance, and it was probably due to something that happened in your body’s tooth factory before you were even born. The silver cap helped for a while, but…

That kind of damage can also occur when kids don’t take care of their teeth. Now that you know first hand what it feels like to have a rotten tooth fall out of your mouth, you want to make sure it never happens for the latter reason. I bet you won’t.

Love,

T. Fairy

p.s. now I’m off to Cleveland; there’s a lot of tooth gnashing going on there!

——-

Dear Jake,

You know what it is called when a tooth parts company with the gums as cleanly and quietly as your upper left incisor did?
A bloodless coup. (The “p” is silent).
I’m always very impressed when I come across one. Congratulations!
But don’t let any of the rest of your teeth develop any of those brown spots. They always mean trouble by and by. Keep brushing!

Love,

Tooth Fairy

——-

Jake,
As we sometimes say down at the tooth exchange:
This really bites!!
Make that past tense, old buddy. Nice looking tooth.

Dependably yours,

Tooth Fairy

——-

Dear Jake,

Roses are red
Violets are blue
You lost a tooth
So I owe you…
A. A new car?
B. A week in Barbados?
C. A year’s supply of Snickers bars?
D. A funky golf hat?
E. A dollar?
(If you answered A, B,C or D then go back to sleep and dream on. If you
answered E, then look on top of your television…)

Love,

T. Fairy

——-

Dear Jake,

You know, every time I come by here (slipping in and out so quietly that your dog has no idea there is a FAIRY IN THE HOUSE) I am amazed at what I find. I look at you sleeping so sweetly, so peacefully in your bed, and then I unfold the paper that holds your freshly discharged tooth and look at it, and I say to myself…whoa. Your tooth always looks like something that might have been left behind on the battlefield at Gettysburg, or after a duel between a couple of hopped up mastodons, or maybe after a heavyweight title fight between Mike Tyson and some guy with a stainless steel ear! All bloody, jagged, chipped and streaked, with a little piece of…what is that?…steak and chocolate wedged into one little crevice! It’s always hard to believe that such a souvenir could come out of a mouth so gentle and so sublime.
Then again, I only see you when you’re sound asleep, so I suppose it could be argued that I don’t really know you all that well. All I know is that teeth tell an interesting story. So keep taking care of yours.

Love,

Tooth Fairy

 

——-

August 11, 1999


Dear Nash,

I’ve been keeping my eye on you, kid. Many trips to your house have made me about as familiar with it as the guys who built it, but through them all you’ve been a sleeping spectator, a mumbling dream chaser, the boy in the other bed with most of the covers kicked off. Well, guess what? You’re not on deck anymore; you’re up. Welcome to the club, little brother!
We’ll make it official: Received by The Tooth Fairy, one (1) deciduous (baby) incisor (front) from the upper mandible (top), in used condition, from Nash David Oldach. Tooth very well preserved, despite having been used extensively for scraping Oreo cookie filling off of chocolate bisquits, and submerged for unnaturally long periods in the upper slopes of large ice cream cones. Tooth meets all requirements for material renumeration.
There, that takes care of the legal stuff. By now I’m sure you found your reward. Spend it wisely.
I have to say that it has always been a pleasure to come to your house. Your older brothers have kept me very busy, but in a good way. They are interesting and colorful guys who seem well on their way to still having all their own teeth when they’re 50. I have great confidence that you will follow in their footsteps dentally, scholastically, athletically, and PlayStationally.
In the meantime, of course, you know the drill. Wait! I mean, you don’t know the drill. The dentist’s drill, that is, and you don’t want to know it. It’s no fun, but it is totally avoidable. I notice you have not broken your legs by jumping from the top of the tallest tree in your front yard. Good choice of things to avoid—bravo! Dentist’s drill, same deal. Brush your teeth with gusto (but not too hard, and going especially easy on the part of your tooth where it goes into your gums) a couple of times a day, and drink lots of milk, and see Dr. Lasky on a regular basis, and you will successfully avoid the drill.
I can almost guarantee that, Nash, and you know I know what I’m talking about. I have been around for a while. And now that you’re spittin’ pearls, I’ll be around a little bit longer. ‘Til next time,

Your friend,

Tooth Fairy

——-

Dear Nash,
Yup. I got it. A good one!
I think, besides helping you keep your smile working for all its obvious benefits in life, the best thing I can teach you is to appreciate the little things. Kind of like the tooth I just found under your pillow. It means you’ve got to pay attention and be alert. And constantly try to see things from another point of view.
That’s it. A little lesson.
See you next time, little brother.

Love,

Tooth Fairy

——-

Dear Nash,

Question: Do you offer frequent flyer miles? I am making many trips to your address lately. But that’s a good thing. Because old pajamas and baseball jerseys are not the only things you outgrow. Your body is busy rebuilding itself cell by cell, all the time. It’s a magnificent feat performed by nature. A lot of it happens quietly and below the surface. But your teeth get a lot of publicity because they can really change how you look, and also because (yeah, even I have to admit this) it can get bloody, and that’s kind of cool and gross at the same time.
Don’t worry that you lost that tooth and couldn’t put it under your pillow. I’ll bet there’s a good story behind that. That gap in your jaw line is all the proof I need. Ipso facto. That tiny little wind tunnel tells the whole story. If you find your tooth later, make a wish for peace and common sense and throw it into a garden.
Chomp chomp!

Your devoted friend,

Tooth Fairy

——-

Dear Nash,

You are wearing me out, dude. You’re ejecting your juniors faster than popcorn pops in a microwave. I’m beginning to think that maybe you are a biological wonder with a blueprint for many more teeth then the average Joe.
But I’m not complaining. I signed up for this a lo-o-o-ong time ago and I’m not about to quit. I just get a little lightheaded from spending so much time in the thinner atmosphere up there. Some nights are harder than others, and that’s just the way it is. This is true for kids and fairies, and you know what I’m talking about.
So far tonight I’ve been to London, Athens, Thule, Ft. Jones, Buenos Aires, Cincinnati, Key West, Moscow, Guam, Osaka, and Ouagadougou. No stopping allowed; I have to keep going. I can get a little tired…all those teeth, that big sack, these little wings (sometimes I think I’ll never get out of a size six). But then I come to a street like Sunnyslope, a house like your house, a room like your room, and I see a kid like you lying there dreaming your dreams with a charming new hole in your smile, a perfect little tooth resting peacefully under your pillow, and I think to myself “T-Fairy, you have the best job in the world. The best!”
Nash, that tooth is as pretty a specimen as I’ve collected in a long time—maybe since the last time I came to your house. Way to go! Thanks for making my night.

Enamelly Yours,

Tooth Fairy

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