I felt bad that I didn’t have an Easter column to run on Easter Sunday this year, but the well was running dry.
However, this year, the rise of an important figure gave me a new meaning and a new perspective on the Easter holiday. That sacred figure is none other than the Tooth Fairy.
Yeah, I wasn’t ready for that plot twist either.
So, to backtrack, my brother and his family arrived at my house the day before Easter to have dinner at our cousin’s house on Easter Sunday.
When my 6-year-old nephew opened his mouth to inevitably ask me if he could play “Minecraft,” watch a “Minecraft” video on YouTube or take a pick axe and tear out my walls and dig for minerals in the yard like he does in “Minecraft,” I noticed one of his front teeth was missing.
When I asked him if he minecrafted out his tooth, he informed me it fell out, and my brother said the other front tooth was hanging by a thread.
Sure enough, it was, and my nephew was wiggling it, twisting it around and crooking it sideways to the point where he resembled an old-time hobo, which led to his new nickname, Hobo-Tooth Hofmann.
If you think that nickname is too cruel, I’ll spare you the lyrics to the song we wrote about it.
Anyway, the possibility that the tooth was going to come out that night was very real — so real, in fact, that my brother brought up an interesting point.
“If the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy both come here tonight, they may have a fight and one of them is going to die,” he said. “Now, good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite because that will itch and burn and likely get infected.”
I know that sounds bad, but good old Hobo-Tooth wasn’t phased by any of it because, first, he’s a boy; second, he’s a Hofmann; and, third, he was just getting over a second rendition of “The Ballad of Hobo-Tooth” sung by my brother and me.
But like all things ridiculous, I had to wonder if a fight to the death would even be necessary.
I’m sure the Tooth Fairy had run-ins with such holiday mascots like Santa Claus on Christmas, the Easter Bunny on Easter and BigFoot on Sasquatch Day, which is March 26 (full disclosure, that holiday is actually Make Up Your Own Holiday Day, so Sasquatch Day is the one I’m going with to make this joke work).
To the best of my knowledge, in all those encounters throughout the years, neither party wound up dead.
I imagine the first time the Tooth Fairy ran into Santa Claus, they probably worked out a mutual agreement going forward.
SANTA: Alright, so you enter the house under the doors and I go through the chimney. You take a tooth from under a pillow and leave money and that’s it. And, just so we’re clear, the milk and cookies left out are for me and me alone!
TOOTH FAIRY: Yes, yes, for the umpteenth time! I don’t even eat food except for the dead pulp inside the teeth.
SANTA: Blech! Very well – oh, wait. I forgot about the Easter Bunny. He also breaks into homes like we do, but he hides eggs, candy and gifts for kids to find. I’m telling you about him now because he’s a mute.
Of course, maybe my brother was metaphorically speaking of the struggle a parent has being both the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy on the same night. Spoiler Alert, kids.
The cat-burglar-like stealth to retrieve a tooth from under the pillow of a sleeping child excited for a holiday, and to replace it with money while trying to hide eggs and a basket full of crap while gearing up for visiting or hosting family is the stuff that gold-medal-winning parenting is all about.
But, honestly, who wants all of that? Personally, I’d settle for the bronze.
Anyway, my brother avoided all of that as my nephew’s tooth didn’t fall out until Easter morning.
With two front teeth missing, he looked like a hockey player who took a puck to the mouth, which led to his new nickname, Hockey-Tooth Hofmann.
“I’m glad it fell out this morning because I didn’t have any cash on me,” my brother said, interrupting the Easter-dinner prayer.
Don’t worry, the kids were at their special table in the other room and didn’t hear him; however, we were loud enough for them to hear us singing “The Ballad of Hockey-Tooth”.
Yup. That’s what bronze-medal parenting is all about.
According to Hofmann is written by staff reporter Mark Hofmann of Rostraver Township. His books, “Good Mourning! A Guide to Biting the Big One … and Dying, Too” and “Stupid Brain,” are available on Amazon.com.