Some Questions Are Best Left Unanswered.

fairyTooth fairy? Are you kidding me? I still can’t believe how many people she got to swallow that. Swallow. That’s a little bit funny. What I mean is if you’ve met her you’ve got some sense of what she’s really like. If she’s a fairy I’m a towheaded rapscallion.

You do still have those, right?

I’ve been out of the game for a long time now and looking around I see things have really changed. I don’t recognize very much anymore. I’m surprised she’s still working at all, but she always was persistent. She’s a reformed harpy. She saw how things were going. We all did and tried to find our niche. She was smart, though, way ahead of the rest of us. She saw that there were fewer and fewer sailors on small ships and the whole business was going under. Going under. That’s a little bit funny, isn’t it?

We all should have known how things were going to go when the Golden Fleece turned out to be brass and they were happier about that than we thought they would be. They used it to scrub plates. Now that I look back that makes sense. What would you do with a gold fleece anyway?

I don’t know where she got the idea to start collecting children’s teeth. That was smart, though. Never ending supply. Kids keep growing. That’s one thing that never changes.

No, I don’t know what she does with them and I don’t want to know. She may be a reformed harpy but I don’t know how reformed.

If I’d been smart I would have gotten in ahead of her, but I guess everything looks clearer in hindsight. I found my niche and thought it would last. For a long time it was a good gig too. Parents would take their kids to the doctor and say, “If you’re good you’ll get a surprise from the Tonsil Sprite!” This was when it was a much simpler operation. The kids opened wide, the doctor reached back there with his blade, made a couple of strokes, and when the kids leaned forward their adenoids fell right into a bowl. Most of the time they only got out the inflamed ones, but for a while there some parents thought it would be best to go ahead and get them out early. Those were good times.

No, I didn’t want them. That’s not why I took the job. Let me be absolutely clear about that. I was there to help the doctors. At least that’s what they called themselves. I never met one who wasn’t a reformed alchemist, but I don’t know how reformed. I don’t know what they did with the things and I don’t want to know. Homunculi were very popular in those days and I just hope that’s where they went but I wouldn’t swear to it. My whole job was to encourage the kids to cooperate and if they did I’d slip them a little coin. Most of the time it was a farthing but if I felt sorry for them I’d go up to a groat.

You do still have those, right?

Anyway the whole business came to a screeching halt with mass-produced ice cream. There was no way I could compete with that. Retirement hasn’t been bad, though. We never did interact all that much in the old days but now that there’s just no call for us anymore we’ve found we’re not all that different. I’ve even gotten to be really good friends with The Appendix Nymph.

Oh yeah, formerly Medusa. Don’t know. Don’t want to know.


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  1. kdcol

    Do you think I’m the only one who looked up Tonsil Sprite? I still have my tonsils so I wouldn’t know if kids were promised a visit from a special tonsil fairy or something. 🙂 Gerald had his tonsils removed as an adult. He didn’t get a visit from the Tonsil Sprite, but he did thoroughly enjoy the mellowing side effects of the liquid painkillers.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      No. In fact I was saying to another friend this morning, “Do you think people will be scratching their heads and trying to remember if there was a Tonsil Sprite?” But it is really true that at one time doctors would just reach to the back of kids’ throats with a scalpel, cut ’em loose, and say, “Lean forward.” Roald Dahl described getting his tonsils out that way.
      I still have my tonsils too and my appendix. I guess Gerald enjoyed the painkillers more than he would have liked all the ice cream he could eat.

  2. Pointless Boob

    My older brother was a towheaded rapscallion. After puberty, he became a brown-haired miscreant.

    Now he’s just a scamp.

    And yes… “going under” was a little bit funny when referring to how the small ship market sank, or “took a plunge” if you will.

    What would I do with a gold fleece? I’d use it to fleece customers of course. I’d have the real golden one hanging out in my store’s display case, then sell Argonauts the brass ones with the gold-plating that I keep in the back. That sounds terrible, I know, but those Argonauts can dicks. Give ’em a little ambrosia and they think they’re fuckin’ immortal.

    The Tooth Fairy:

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It sounds like your brother turned out all right. Most towheaded rapscallions grow up to be spivs.
      I really like your plan for the golden fleece. Remember what Jason did to Medea? Yeah, even without ambrosia the Argonauts can be dicks.
      And thank you for that throwback to how my grandfather taught me about The Tooth Fairy. Good times.


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