Oct 10, 2014

A Riddle Nestled in a Mystery Hidden Within an Enigma

I'm reasonably confident that Eloise won't acquire the digital nouse to discover this before her disillusion is complete; I would need to be, otherwise, well who knows what the consequences might be. I suppose I should, in the unlikely event that young children are reading this, warn that the content is strictly adult-rated and that if Mummy or Daddy find out you've been reading about this kind of stuff then you'll be in deep doggy doo doos.

So find something else to do. Now.

This particular little item concerns the Tooth Fairy, bless her little gossamer wings, and belief, and the lengths to which we will, or won't or should, but didn't go.

The story goes a little something like this: Eloise has had a marginally wobbly tooth for a while and the other day it became sore while we were watching some crap film or other (possibly Tarzan) on a school holiday night. She mysteriously departed for the bathroom after the film was over, and reappeared a little later, very pleased with herself, having performed some unspecified procedure upon herself which left her one tooth better off.

Being tired, I thought no further of it, until the next morning when a perplexed Eloise came into bed for the morning loll complaining that the Tooth Fairy hadn't been. Well, the tooth came out late, didn't it, Eloise, I opined. Probably too late for her to work it into her Logistical Management System. She'll come tomorrow.

Time passed.

Being a Good Dad, that evening I reminded her to put the tooth out again. Eloise promptly prepared her tooth box, a little bejewelled box which sits inside a slightly larger gem-encrusted box which in turn fits within an even bigger box, all glittery red and tastelessly plastered with the cheapest possible paste (or maybe not, depending on who got those boxes for her).

Anyway, the Tooth Fairy is expected to work her way through these three boxes, having obviously detected the tooth inside, remove the tooth, provide a modest recompense, admittedly earned in this case, what with Eloise actually having (presumably) pulled the thing out of her bleeding gum. The cold hard cash must be inserted into the innermost chamber of the three-stage glory box, replacing the entire thing wherever it was that Eloise placed it.

So I said to Eloise: Eloise, where are you going to put the tooth box? And she said: Dad, I'm going to hide it under my pillows on the top bunk. And I asked: Why make it difficult for her? She's got lots of teeth to collect and she can't be wasting time searching out teeth underneath your head and pillows with three levels of security to penetrate, four or five depending on how may pillows you put it under. And she just gave me one of those looks where the eyebrows function independently and almost certainly sarcastically and said: Dad, she's a Fairy.

In the still watches of that night, Eloise gently slumbering (and not sucking her thumb, incidentally), Nicole and I tried in vain to reach up to that top bunk and get our hands underneath those pillows. I don't need to remind you I'm sure about, you know, the bones and my still slightly restricted bandit range, or that Nicole is ever so slightly on the, um, diminutive side, but without wishing to explete: Could we found that box? We blimping well could not.

I don't think it an understatement to say that we were surprised, shocked, flabbergasted and frankly amazed when Eloise came in in the morning and announced that the Tooth Fairy had been! And left her money! Nicole and I, we exchanged looks. One of Nicole's eyebrows moved independently of the other, a feat I still find impossible. Could the Tooth Fairy actually be real?!

A little faux-nonchalant not-quite-interrogation revealed that if she had indeed visited, she had failed to perform her most basic mission, having left the tooth behind, and soon Nicole remembered putting some money in there, for what reason I do not know. Eloise was understandably confused (obviously Nicole's recollection was kept from her in the interests of perpetuating the living lie of naive childhood illusion). We suggested that even though the Tooth Fairy is indeed a Fairy,  she must use her magic economically in order for the fundament of the Universe to remain internally referentially consistent, otherwise a black hole might spontaneously instantiate in Switzerland, and then where would the Milka Cows be? So excessive obstacles to the barter of teeth for money might be just too time-consuming for Old Toothy; why don't you just put the box next to your pillows and make life easier for everyone. I mean, her.

Clearly things are not going according to plan, but Faith in the Tooth Fairy seems intact: so far, so so-so. That night Fairy Operations proceed flawlessly, although I almost forgot to procure the necessary Australian coinage, narrowly avoiding an Ecunemical Castrophe.

But Oh No! As Lyra would say. Oh Dear! Eloise has left an additional note in the box requesting a special favour! She wants some Fairy Dust! But not just Fairy Dust, no: she wants Fairy Dust, packaged in a stoppered bottle which must be attached to a necklace!

The Tooth Fairy, it transpires in the morning, was unable to fulfil Eloise's request.

You might think that my little story ends there, but no because not two days later another tooth drops out of Eloise's mouth, this time unassisted, and once again I forget completely about the Tooth Fairy.

It seems though, back at school, pennies or dropping. Someone has been telling Eloise stories. Dad, she says, is the Tooth Fairy actually you and Mum? 

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