Cheese Rules & The Tooth Fairy
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on March 20, 2015
My faith in humanity, which had been wavering, has been restored. It’s all because of 1,071 people in Wisconsin.
Something called Public Policy Polling did a survey earlier this month with these 1,071 folks to find out who or what is most popular in Wisconsin.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers finished second with 79 percent of the 1,071 saying they had a favorable opinion of him.
That’s not why my faith has been restored.
This is why: Beating Rodgers and coming in first with an 80 percent favorable opinion was cheese.
Cheese has done what the Vikings rarely do: Beat Rodgers.
This is no small accomplishment, even in a state that churns out about 25 percent of our nation’s cheese by producing more than one million tons of it a year.
As a Super Bowl-winning quarterback who many across the country consider the NFL’s best signal caller, Rodgers is beloved in Wisconsin.
Just not as beloved as cheese.
And I love that, because I love cheese.
Anyone who knows me knows my affection for cheese. I’m especially fond of mozzarella, but I also have a passion for Swiss, Cheddar, American and Havarti.
I keep hoping for Ben & Jerry’s to come out with an ice cream flavor called Havarti Party.
And I’ve always wondered why nobody has opened a cheese-themed amusement park. You could have Cheese Curd Mountain, where you eat your way to the top. The featured ride would be the Wheel of Cheese. Concession stands would, of course, sell only cheese products.
If I ever find myself on death row, I already know what I want my last meal to be. A six-foot circumference pizza with 30 pounds of Mozzarella cheese melted on top of it. Afterward, I’d have my own gas chamber right inside my cell.
Too much cheese will make you gassy, but it’s a small price to pay.
Anyway, back to those faith-restoring folks in Wisconsin. They call themselves Cheeseheads. They proudly wear giant rubber cheese wedges for hats.
They have their priorities in order.
I applaud them for it. I thank them for it.
* * *
The Tooth Fairy
Posted by email@example.com on March 20, 2015
Hate is a strong word. I don’t hate anybody, except maybe the Tooth Fairy.
My disdain goes back to when my oldest child, 19-year-old Samantha, lost her first baby tooth.
We told Samantha all about the Tooth Fairy and how if she put her tooth under her pillow, it would be gone the next morning and in it’s place she likely would find a shiny quarter, maybe even a whole dollar if the Tooth Fairy had gone to an ATM machine before visiting her pillow.
Samantha found more than a dollar under her pillow. My mother and sister were visiting from New Jersey when that first baby tooth wiggled loose and fell out, and they decided to chip in.
Beside the dollar bill I put under Samantha’s pillow, my mom and sister each shoved $10 under there.
When Samantha woke up the next morning, she had a wide, toothless grin as she gripped two ten-dollar bills and a single in her tiny hand.
Since then, I’ve shuddered when one of my kids, and I have five of them, loses a baby tooth.
Samantha came to expect a nice payoff for every lost baby tooth. My wife Mary and I tried explaining that the $21 she received was only because it was her first tooth and that made it special. She wasn’t buying it. The bar had been set way too high.
And as each sibling came along, word filtered down to them about how wonderful the Tooth Fairy was and how much money could be made losing a tooth.
It has cost me many hundreds of dollars over the years.
Through it all, I have been determined to scale back the bounty for a baby tooth.
We’ve gotten it down as low as $5 a tooth. The toothless grins aren’t as wide as Samantha’s first one was but I can live with that. When asked why it was only $5, I’ve explained that there are more kids in the world than there used to be, which means more teeth, which means the Tooth Fairy’s money has to be spread around.
The latest child to lose a baby tooth was 9-year-old Shane. He had a stubborn baby tooth blocking an adult trying to come in, so the dentist yanked it out for him yesterday.
Mary reminded Shane to put his tooth under his pillow.
I told Shane, “Maybe you will find a dollar under your pillow in the morning.”
Like I said, I’ve been trying to scale back.
“A dollar?” Shane said. “The Tooth Fairy better bring me at least five bucks for that tooth.”
Just to clarify: I believe in the Tooth Fairy. It would be foolish to hate someone that isn’t real. Here’s how I think it works: The Tooth Fairy, as every parent knows, isn’t the one leaving money. I think the Tooth Fairy’s role is to make sure parents don’t forget about that tooth under their kid’s pillow. The Tooth Fairy is the one getting us up in the middle of the night to pay up. Last night, the Tooth Fairy used my 5-year-old daughter, Sienna, by having her climb into my bed and kick me in the ribs until I woke up at 1:40 a.m.
I got out of bed, went to my wallet and grabbed a $1 bill. I didn’t have a $5 bill. The next smallest bill was a $10, and, well, you know there are a lot more kids in the world and the money needs to be spread around. I was rehearsing that speech as I groggily trudged down the hall with the $1 bill.
Shane sleeps with several pillows and it took a while to find the tooth. I replaced it with the $1 bill and went back to bed.
Just as I laid down, Sienna kicked me in the ribs again.
I knew it wasn’t really her doing it. I knew who was behind that kick.
So I got up again, went to my wallet, pulled out the $10 bill and tucked it under Shane’s pillow.
I hate that damn Tooth Fairy.