Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Tooth Fairy

In the arena of movies based on supernatural childhood icons, there were only two titles that I would consider “unforgettable:” Tim Allen's stern and unforgiving interpretation of Santa in The Santa Clause and Chloe Sevigny's unforgettable portrayal of the Easter Bunny in The Brown Bunny. I can finally add a third title to my list, as Dwayne “Alcatraz” Johnson's moving performance in The Tooth Fairy will certainly be the talk of the town for months to come.

For those unfamiliar with Tooth Fairy lore, I will briefly summarize it here.

In some families, parents tell their children to save any tooth that falls out of their mouths, and hide it under their pillow. The Tooth Fairy will visit the lucky child while they are asleep, recover the tooth, and place a monetary reward in return.

This incentive, as you might imagine, causes many children to “expedite” the natural tooth-losing process. They will give extra attention to loose teeth, and even agitate non-loose teeth until they are ready to fall out. Many children have also been known to create fake teeth. The market for fakies or white wickers as they are commonly referred to, has been steadily growing for many years. Common techniques include painting a dried kernel of corn, or using a small piece of chalk.

In response, Tooth Fairies have become increasingly more skilled at spotting fake teeth, and punish the offending children by giving them small bites on the neck (while known humorously as “fairy hickies,” they are actually quite serious, as many Tooth Fairies have Hepatitis B and rabies). While this has certainly damaged the fake tooth market, it has had the unintended consequence of giving rise to an even more disturbing practice known as “substutition.” This is where a group of children will capture a physically weak child, and proceed to remove his or her teeth by any means they can. Usually performed during a recess at school, the group is forced to act quickly, which often results in their methods being exceptionally brutal.

Some facts about Tooth Fairies:

  1. They are magic, winged creatures that collect children's teeth.

  2. While the Catholic Church believes them to be fallen angels, there is no hard evidence that Tooth Fairies align themselves with either God or Lucifer. They are mostly likely free agents.

  3. No one knows why Tooth Fairies collect teeth, although there has been much speculation over the years. Albert Einstein once went on record that the teeth were most likely being used to create a “giant and totally gross birthday cake for the United States' three hundredth birthday.” Einstein, however, retracted his own statement the very next day, saying that he was very drunk when he made it.

  4. Tooth Fairies will only visit you if you let your parents know that you lost a tooth. This is because your parents have a special radio they use to contact the Tooth Fairy Base. No, you can't see the radio or else the Tooth Fairy won't come at all. Would that make you happy?

4 out of 5 stars.

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