-or- I'm Not Simply Making Up Excuses
THE SIMPLE IF UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH
or I’m Not Simply Making up Excuses
By The Tooth Angel
There have been rumors afloat that people in your household are beginning to doubt my existence, since I have not made an appearance in all this time. Some people seem to think that three family members loosing a total of five teeth with no official recognition is a national scandal. I really think it rather unfair to blame me for that unfortunate state of affairs. I gave quite specific and formal notice that I would NEVER accept an assignment at your house again. I returned each of the tooth notices to Central Dispatch with copies of my original Notice of Intent, by registered mail even. So... don’t blame me that it’s been so long (again) since a Tooth Angel visited you. It is not my fault!
That said, I thought I should let you know that in the end it was I... Me... Moi...that finally recognized your tooth accomplishments, not some other member of the Tooth Angel Division. My loving, compassionate nature couldn’t bear to see you disappointed any longer, and it was obvious that Central Dispatch is too mired down in bureaucratic red-tape to understand the tender emotional needs of young people when they are losing the vestiges of their childhood. I also could mention that a three-month stint on the belly button squad did make me reconsider my refusal of the assignment to your family. Do you know what we have to do with those little black belly buttons that fall off of newborns???!! Never mind- I don’t want to traumatize you. And yes... it is official: I am to be your own personal Tooth Angel for as long as your family doth lose its teeth. I have made the supreme sacrifice and agreed to take on that burden once again, despite danger to my own health and well-being. I hope you all develop a healthy sense of gratitude.
Anyway, that brings me to the beginning of this tale, because, believe it or not, there is much more than all this to explain the sad tardiness of my arrival at your house since Sara and Becca each lost two more teeth, and Andrew lost his first one. (Jolly good show, Andrew! You lost it with bravery and honor!) So sit back and try not to be too astonished and impressed with my courage and fortitude in the midst of dire straits and mortal dangers.
The night I once again set out for your house, I really thought things might be different this time. I had no mishaps while gathering my supplies. Of course, I had reinforced the shelf where I keep my money jar with steel rods (at considerable personal expense, I might add!) so that I wouldn’t be delayed by any blows to the head or such, like happened last time. My time in the belly button squad had resulted in a rather drastic weight loss (the job does ruin one’s appetite, you know!) and so my lovely Tooth Angel gown fit more like a tent than a gown. That proved unfortunate because as I tried to slip through the hole in the front screen door on your house (left conveniently accessible this particular night) the gown caught on the rough screen and I found myself hanging there, swinging dangerously close to the fan that was stationed just inside the door. I frantically thrashed about as I found myself being sucked toward the deadly fan blades spinning before me, and only saved my neck by ripping the gown entirely down the front and dropping naked to the floor. Now, you didn’t honestly expect me to finish the job in the nude, did you? My modesty required that I duck under the flowered chair by the door. I wrapped myself in an old Kleenex that I found under there, but discovered too late that it was full of... well ... never mind. It became obvious that I would need a bath to get that old Kleenex off of me, and I would still need something else to wear besides. I crept out from under the chair to find myself nose to nose with a great hairy beast!!!
I let out a deafening screech, then clapped my hands over mouth. Fortunately, your father sleeps very soundly, even when there is shrill screaming right in his face. Yes, it was your father that I encountered, napping on the living room floor. He was snoring loudly, with his furry upper lip sort of flapping each time he exhaled, and his nostrils whistling as he inhaled, which is how I mistook him for a beast. I tiptoed around him (quite a hike, too- he was stretched full-length across the whole room) only to find your mother towering over me in the Lazy Boy.
She blinked three times.
I had the urge to pee my pants (if I had been wearing any).
Her eyes drooped closed again and she dropped the book that was resting on her lap. Dropped it on me. When I came to, I had a huge knot on my head, a badly bruised arm, and the corner of a large book pinning me to a rather gritty carpet, with the used Kleenex sort of gluing me to the book. I had no idea what time it was.
It took a great deal of struggling, sweating, huffing and puffing to edge myself out from under that book (The Return of the King by Tolkien- used to be one of my favorites!). I had very little Kleenex left covering me by that time, so I ran as fast as I could into the toy room to see what sort of clothing I could find in there. Fortunately, you guys still aren’t too hot at picking up; there was plenty of debris around the edge of the room to choose from. In fact, I found a lovely piece of gold fabric and a shiny scarlet cord to belt it with so that I could continue my duties with some sense of modesty.
I decided to fly directly up the stairs, instead of using the usual heat duct route, since I have discovered that I have a severe dust allergy and didn’t want to risk a noisy sneezing attack. I had forgotten the state of housekeeping at your place, but I'll get to that in a moment.
As I flew up the dark stairway I landed smack in Sara’s face, as she was staggering down on her way to the bathroom. I was the “bug” in your face the night you fell screaming down the stairs, Sara. I fell stunned onto a corner of a stair, after you squashed me against the wall, only just managing to slip under a dirty sock before your father turned on the light. The uproar woke up everyone in the house, so I had to remain hidden under that stinky old sock for a long time until everyone went back to bed. If I still have a slightly distasteful aroma about me, that is the reason. In the meantime, I only got stepped on three times.
Finally it was safe (I thought, silly me!) to come out from under the sock and get on with my duties. I limped out, and slowly winged my way up the stairs. Landing at the top, I made my way toward Andrew's room. He had been waiting a very long time for the money for his first lost tooth. I discovered that no one had dusted his room, perhaps in this century, which sent me into a rather loud sneezing fit.
Two little bright eyes peeped over the end of the crib.
He certainly has grown since my last excursion to your house. And he can talk, too! Before I knew what was happening, he had flipped out of the crib, grabbed me in his sweaty little hand and squealed, ‘Teeny, tiny guy!”
He held me up close to his face trying to see me better in the dim light of the night light I got very squished while he climbed back into the crib to get his “Thomas”, a rather cramped little metal train. Not big enough to stuff me into, but he didn’t seem to notice. I found myself crammed in the window and being driven up and down the crib rails, dropped over the side (while he climbed back out) and then carried in his hot little hand to wherever he goes when his feet go "thump, thump, thump" real fast. Somewhere enroute your Mom picked him (and me) up, mumbling something about it being "sleepy time”. She deposited him (and me) back in the crib.
You know, I may be part of the Heavenly Host, but I am not indestructible. Thank goodness I don't need oxygen to breathe, though it is more comfortable when it’s available. It wasn't. Timothy held that dumb train in his hand (with me stuffed inside, remember) and shoved his hand snuggly under that disgustingly dirty white bear he sleeps on top of. It was one LOOOOONG night.
Well, when I saw the light of day, it was when Tim climbed out of the crib, Thomas train clutched in his hand (I had a throttle imprint in my face for days!). He giggled and tossed it over the railing at the top of your stairs. "Thomas fall down!” he sang.
My scream was drowned out by the crashing of the train against the walls and steps. Lucky me. It wasn’t until later, while you all were eating breakfast in the kitchen, that I managed to creep out of the train. Creep is a pretty good word for it, too. I certainly wasn't walking upright! At that point, it became obvious to me that I was going to have to forget about cutesy notes to you all. I would be lucky to be able to leave your money and get out alive. I decided to put the money on Andrew’s desk (it wasn't buried as deeply as the others) and scram. I would write to you later, in the safety of my own home.
Unfortunately, my wings were useless, thanks to being scrunched up in the train all night, and the fall and all, so I had to climb the desk leg. Not an easy task for someone my age! I was halfway up, sweating like a hog, when Timothy came running into the room, with Hannah and Andrew not far behind him. Couldn’t you guys eat a leisurely breakfast just once??? Anyway, there was nothing I could do except cling there and hope no one looked under the desk. Wouldn’t you know it, Andrew chose that moment to sit and draw one of his famous spaceship pictures. It only took him 1 1/2 hours, by which time the rest of you had finished your morning chores and sat down at your desks to do school. Figures. It turned into one of those days where you took kajillion years to finish your math and your Mom fed the little kids before you, so that by the time you left the room, they were back by the desks. What was I supposed to do? Walk up to Hannah and say, "Excuse me, but I'm the Tooth Angel, and would you mind delivering this money to your older brother and sisters.”??!?
So... I spent the rest of the day hugging a desk leg, cramps in my arms and legs, waiting for dinnertime when no one was in the room. By that time, I couldn’t move my arms and legs enough to climb all the way up.
So... it is not my fault that your money didn’t even make it onto anyone’s desk. If you want it, you’ll find it taped to Andrew’s desk leg. Fetch it yourself! This letter is your official notice; you’ll not receive another.
Oh- one last thing. When I got back to Central Dispatch, after five months of walking, mind you (My wings are still out of commission!), they informed me that Andrew lost three more teeth! Oh, my. I'm afraid, Andrew, that you will have to wait until I recover before I (*shudder*)
The Tooth Angel