After my son read the apology note from the tooth fairy who failed to perform her duties for my daughter now talking with a lisp, he looked at me and said, “The tooth fairy has been lax in her duties lately.” I wanted to punch out all his teeth. “Did you ever think maybe the fairy was exhausted and fell asleep?” “Maybe, but she better get on the ball,” he said. Geez, not only was the fairy racked with guilt, but her fan-base had turned against her. I thought some sympathy should be extended towards the fairy as sometimes the unexpected happens on a fairy’s nightly travels and little children get overlooked. Today I’ll tell you a tale of one particular fairy named Thelma. Dressing for a long, cold, hard night of work Thelma donned her thermal underwear, checked the lights on her wings and reluctantly perched her bifocals atop her nose. Thelma was getting on in years and needed bifocals to read the list of kid’s names.

First on her list was six year old Bobby. Hah, Bobby, the boy who ate a pound of candy a day and would lose all his teeth by the time he was ten, Thelma thought. Next, Thelma checked her map for directions and the blueprints of Bobby’s house to confirm which room was his and took off. She made the trip in record time as a strong tailwind was behind her the whole way for which she was grateful. Since putting on a few pounds she appreciated any help she could get.

Hanging from a tree branch (her landings were always rocky) outside Bobby’s room Thelma turned her lighted wings off and tucked her whiskey flask safely in her gown. She drinks on occasion as it helps ease the pain of her arthritis. She was cited once for F.W.I. (flying while intoxicated) but won’t admit she has a problem. She leapt from the tree to Bobby’s window, slowly opened it, and climbed in. Once inside she stood still to adjust to the darkness. Upon hearing moans and groans piercing the darkness she flipped the light switch on her wings. Thelma quickly realized she was in Bobby’s parent’s room who were in the midst of creating Bobby # 2. Thelma also realized she had grabbed the wrong set of blueprints and as a result would be forever haunted by the horror image that was burned into her brain.

In her haste to make a quick exit Thelma tripped over a shoe and fell out the window. She would have fallen on a rose bush if a hand didn’t reach out and grab her. “What happened this time, Thelma,” a deep, hearty voice asked. “Your voice is familiar, is that you Santa Claus? I can’t see a thing without my glasses. I ripped them off my face from the burning sensation of seeing Bobby’s parents in bed.” “Yes, Thelma, it’s me, good thing I came along when I did.” “What are you doing out tonight, Santa” Thelma asked as she took a sip from her flask to calm her nerves. “I’m testing out a new group of reindeer for this year’s trip.” I see you’ve updated the sleigh with plush seats and a CD player, very nice, Santa. Hey, where’s Mrs. Claus?” “She declined to come. She’d rather stay home and watch American Idol than take a trip around the world. Sometimes I wish I had married a woman who likes to travel, someone like you, Thelma. Why don’t you put that flask away and we’ll go to the Jingle Jangle bar for a drink at the North Pole. The bar stools are low since it’s run by elves and only Christmas music is played.” “When did the North Pole get a bar?” “We got a bar when the elves threatened to strike if I didn’t meet their demands. So, what do you say? Care to join me for a drink?” “I’d love to. It’s unbelievable, a bar at the North Pole. Now I know how you’ve stayed so jolly all these years, Santa.” “You know it Thelma, you know it.” Ho, Ho, Ho. And away they went. That night Thelma forgot about her arthritis, the kids on her list, and about Bobby’s parents.

This concludes our tale, not a happy tale, but a tale nevertheless. Join me next time for another Thelma tale, the well meaning, but misguided tooth fairy.