Sign Up: Writer | Buyer
Contact Us

Empire State Building
350 Fifth Ave, Suite 7313
New York, NY 10118
phone: (800) 704-6512

Price: $20.00
Minor modifications of this article are permitted to adjust to the available space or to the publication’s editorial style.
Retribution: The Tooth Fairy
by Leon Baxter
TheSyndicatedNews columnist

All traditions start somewhere, sometime, with a someone. People plant the seeds that time waters which eventually grows into legends. And, what legends they become, many the backbone to the innocence of childhood.

There was a time when the world felt less complicated, a time when our most vexing issue was to choose either plain or chocolate milk in the lunch line. What symbolizes youth like nothing else are the magical beliefs our worlds revolved around during the holidays. Nothing in our adult lives can conjure those fluttery, tickling butterfly wing touches in our tummies that we felt lying in bed on December 24th pleading with ourselves, “Please fall asleep so Christmas will come faster.” Why? To see what Santa leaves us, of course.

Or, how about the thrill of finding a basket on Easter Sunday morning filled with delicious, hollow, chocolate delights molded into your favorite animals of the season. From who? The Easter Bunny.
These imaginative pieces of lore were all created by people, from the creative minds of mankind. Wonderful traditions. Magical memories. What incredible gifts we offer our children when we play into these fantastic myths: assembling a bicycle at 11:00 pm the night before Christmas, tossing a few eggs on the lawn Easter morning before the kids wake up. As a father, I’m glad someone, eons ago, decided to start these traditions I now share with my children.

One question, though: Who was the genius that spearheaded the whole Tooth Fairy debacle? Because I wouldn’t mind knocking a few of his teeth under a pillow some night.I’ve done a bit of research and it appears this guy wants to remain incognito. No one seems to know who he is. So, for the sake of this discussion I’ve chosen to call him "Calvin." My guess is that Calvin either never had children of his own or had a dreadfully dysfunctional relationship with his parents and is seeking retribution by punishing the moms and dads of this world today with his Tooth Fairy fable.

If you’ve never had the privilege of bringing Calvin’s legend to life, you’re probably wondering what’s got my dental floss all in knots. See, the Santa and Easter Bunny legends do not require direct physical contact with a sleeping child in order to pull off the charade. Yet, our friend, Calvin, somehow convinced the parents of this world that, for this story to get past the suspicious minds of clever first graders, they needed to put their teeth somewhere so the poor fairy wouldn’t have to spend the entire night searching the whole house for the popcorn kernel-size tooth.

Makes sense. Santa gets the tree. The Bunny gets the basket. So, for the Fairy, what do we do? Stick the tooth in a shoe? The refrigerator? Maybe the bathtub? Of course not. Don’t be silly. The logical answer that not only makes sense, but would convince the kids that this is no sham. Would be to stick the enamel nuggets as close to their unconscious faces under their pillows as they slept.

Doesn’t sound so bad until you discover that you, as the parent, are expected to be said fairy! Try to imagine the stress a father has to endure the night after his daughter yanks a tooth from her gumline. He’s expected to creep into her room and stick his massive, calloused hand beneath her pillow in the dead silence of the night in the hopes of switching the tooth for a two-dollar bill, a la Indiana Jones. All the while attempting to keep the sanctity of Calvin’s string-tying, door knob slamming, toothless grinning lie afloat.

However, we still make the switch, don’t we? We’ve bought into Calvin’s deception one hundred percent. With hearts pounding in our throats, each night thousands of us parents across this land force ourselves to become virtual middle-aged Ninjas making the silent exchange by the light of a waning moon.

And, what of Calvin? I’m sure he’s long since left this world he’s scarred so deeply (someone probably discovered he was the elusive legend maker and ordered him a pair of cement boots). But, his fraud lives on as he looks upon us, ours knees knocking, hearts pounding, brows beading, holding our breaths as we try not to disturb the absurd legend he fabricated for us all.

With every six year old’s tooth that falls, Calvin adds another notch to his belt. And we, the parents of mankind, continue to pay for the sins of his parents, the parents of Calvin, the legend maker.


Leon Scott Baxter is a West Coast writer who lives with his wife and two daughters in California. To see more of his work, go to

Published: Nov 29,2008 17:14
Bookmark and Share
You may flag this article with care.


Featured Authors
Andy Cowan
Andy Cowan, an award-winning writer, whose credits include Cheers and Seinfeld, regularly contributes humor pieces to the Los Angeles Times and the CBS Jack FM Radio Network.
Paul M. J. Suchecki
Paul M. J. Suchecki has more than 30 years of experience as an award winning writer, producer, and cameraman. He's written numerous newspaper and magazine articles. Currently he writes, produces and shoots for LA CityView Channel 35 and his more than 250 articles for are approaching half a million readers.
Coby Kindles
Coby Kindles is a freelance journalist, screenplay writer and essayist. She has been a staff writer at Knight Ridder and a regular contributor to The Associated Press.
Debbie Milam
Debbie Milam is a syndicated columnist for United Press International, an occupational therapist, family success consultant, and motivational speaker with more than 20 years experience. Her work on stress management, spirituality, parenting, and special-needs children has been featured in over 300 media outlets including First for Women, The Miami Herald, Elle, Ladies Home Journal, The Hallmark Channel, PBS and WebMD.
Dan Rafter
Dan Rafter has covered the residential real estate industry for more than 15 years. He has contributed real estate stories to the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Business 2.0 Magazine, Home Magazine, Smart HomeOwner Magazine and many others.
Jack Nargundkar
Jack Nargundkar has been repeatedly published in Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. He is also an author of "The Bush Diaries" published in July 2005.