Why the Easter Bunny is an essential service

My fellow inebriates,

Yesterday Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared the Easter Bunny an essential worker, assuring children there would still be chocolates on Easter morning. This followed similar assurances by New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern about both the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, and was quickly seconded by the premiers of Winnipeg and Quebec.

The Tooth Fairy is, of course, creepy.

But in the case of the Easter Bunny—especially when delivering booze-filled eggs (okay, that’s never happened in our house but I keep hoping for it)—this type of news is exactly what kids need to hear.

Okay, maybe not our kids. Now 12 and 14 years old respectively, their message to the Easter Bunny is: “Just put all the stuff on the kitchen table.” But for all the innocent, not-yet-cynical little kids who whose pandemic-related anxiety could only be surpassed by the threat that the Easter Bunny might not show up to hide eggs throughout their houses, it’s good to know our provincial governments are recognizing the necessity of magic and joy.

Over to you, Justin Trudeau. Can we expect a Canada-wide declaration this morning?

CALONA VINEYARDS ARTIST SERIES SOVEREIGN OPAL (2010)—Delightful, even if it fails to get the Tooth Fairy sufficiently drunk to work up the courage to get the damn tooth

Impatient for more tooth-fairy funding, Miss P yanked a lateral incisor out this evening, fascinating Miss V and grossing me out with the bloody artifact.

She’s not supposed to do these things while Dad’s away in Ontario.

First of all, he’s missing a milestone.

Second, my mum is totally chickenshit about getting the tooth out from under the pillow. She’s so worried about waking P up that she’s too timid to do it; she usually gets Dad to do it unless P’s lying conveniently off her pillow.

You can't handle the tooth

Which she wasn’t tonight. Squarely over the incisor, P lay in a sweaty sleep, looking insufficiently comatose for the would-be tooth fairy’s liking. Mum managed to deposit the Tooth Fairy Water (diaphanous red this time) and slid three bucks under P’s pillow, at which point P shifted and opened her eyes—seeing nothing, we hope, but actually looking kind of creepy. So Mum beat it out of her room, toothless and defeated. Tomorrow P will find money AND a her bloodied tooth—and wonder what the hell is going on with the tooth fairy.

The tooth fairy wasn’t even drunk. Yes, we had one glass of CALONA VINEYARDS ARTIST SERIES SOVEREIGN OPAL (2010) while waiting for P to drop off to sleep, but at 11% alcohol it wasn’t going to compromise the mission. It did, however, wow us with some delightfully delicate floral aromas and unexpected complexity. If you’ve never heard of the Sovereign Opal grape, it’s because it was engineered by Agriculture Canada to thrive specifically in BC’s Okanagan Valley. A cross between Maréchal Foch and Golden Muscat, the grape takes robustness from the former and personality from the latter.

2010-calona-vineyards-artist-series-sovereign-opal-20110605115731-314238For $12.99 I wouldn’t have expected this wine to offer so much nuance: juicy citrus notes, rose petals, honeydew melon, and pear strike the palate pleasingly, with the slightest hint of almond in the background. Medium-bodied and off-dry, the stuff is crazy yummy, especially for the price, and those fantastic fruit harmonies haunt the palate lingeringly. SOVEREIGN OPAL overdelivers and then some, unlike the parsimonious tooth fairy who can’t wrap her head around paying more than three bucks for a tooth that P ripped out of her head in one agonizing, blood-spurting effort.

Moreover, the tooth fairy can’t get her shit together to go back into the kids’ room and somehow retrieve the tooth. See, that’s what she’d make Dad do if he weren’t on a business trip right now. Dad isn’t a pussy about making noise or rearranging the kids and their covers once they’re asleep. He doesn’t freak out when they stir and half-open their eyes in that Exorcist way. My mum sucks at being the tooth fairy.

But my dad sucks too, because he’s emailing photos like this one.

 Stag's Leap

We were pretty happy with our $13 bottle of wine, and here’s dad sending pics of a $37 bottle bought by some suck-up supplier. Not that we begrudge him…it’s freaking cold in Ontario and he deserves a little happiness. It’s just that we really needed him to be the tooth fairy and get that tooth.

DEAD FROG NUT BROWN ALE—Froggy style has a lot of variations

My Fellow Inebriates,

Two nights ago my dad returned from a trade show with two bottles of DEAD FROG NUT BROWN ALE.

I’d been wondering where the hell my dad was. Often I can find him spread out (his work gear, not his junk) all over the dining room table, stressing my mum out with his tentaculate electronics, and offending us all by playing Pink Floyd’s The Wall out of sequence. But for the last week he’s been scarce.

I suspect he’s been wined and dined by suppliers this week, plied with swag far beyond the two beers he brought home. But we’ll never know. My dad has this effective trick of entering the house with his headset on, carrying on a conversation until the novelty of his arrival has worn off and everyone’s forgotten to ask him about his day. Repeatedly throughout the week, and well past the bedtime of the kids—who would ignore his phone conversation anyway and attack him—he’s entered mid-conversation, muttering away about terminations and racks and permits, and—seeing he won’t respond anyway—I’ve gone back to looking at the People of Walmart or trying on moustaches or whatever other productive thing I was doing before he came in. Effectively I’ve forgotten to interrogate him about this trade show and whatall’s been going on there. For instance:

Why only two beers?

Why NUT BROWN ALE particularly? Does he know that DEAD FROG markets an array of unusual brews (mandarin orange, pepper lime, toasted coconut)?—not quite targeted at craft beer geeks (too light, too lager-y) yet not targeted at the Molson Canadian crowd either. In fact, DEAD FROG has been a bit hit-or-miss when it comes to aligning with the increasingly divergent craft and mass beer markets, particularly with its 650-mL specialty brews, and would have found itself dead indeed had it not sought $500,000 in investment money earlier this year.


If my dad hadn’t been yammering into the headset I would have asked about DEAD FROG’s beer portfolio—did Dad have the option to scoop some other products for yours truly or was he just not interested? Did he have his fill of them at the show? OMG, would my dad do that without me?

Fact is, Dad might have picked the best of the bunch. DEAD FROG NUT BROWN ALE is a nice beer. Dark and almost cola color with a moderate-to-weighty mouthfeel, it carries a hoppy punch yet doesn’t distance itself from the warming, mellowing maltiness of a good ale. Crisp carbonation focuses the hop/malt intersection nicely. You can detect chocolate in the background plus the eponymous nuttiness, making for a solid, interesting brew that doesn’t cloy and isn’t so intriguing that it becomes annoying or precious. Paws up for sure. Or flippers or whatever.

With its recent cash infusion and wealth of marketing ideas, DEAD FROG, just one of three new brewers making a splash in British Columbia, evidently has some (frog) legs. If we all boost our drinking, we should be able to keep the frog alive.