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?

PETER LEHMANN WEIGHBRIDGE UNWOODED CHARDONNAY (2011)—Equipping us against a barrage of questions

My Fellow Inebriates,

The Tooth Fairy managed belatedly to grab P’s tooth from beneath her pillow this morning without her seeing it. P had seen only the coins and the red-tinged water glass and thankfully not thought to double-check the fairy’s thoroughness in securing her dental booty. It was a good save, and P’s belief in fairies survives yet another day.

mouse-toothAt breakfast she said, “My classmate W doesn’t believe in the tooth fairy. In his country it’s the tooth mouse.” This did not cause P any apparent conflict; she says there’s not just one tooth fairy but many, some of whom are boys, some of whom are girls, and some of whom are—oh yeah—mice.

It’s a perfect illustration of how Mum and Dad are missing their window to indoctrinate P with some religious mythology. She is a perfect canvas of credulity—perhaps more so than her little sister V, who evinced some skepticism when she asked what happens when you accidentally swallow a tooth.

Mum: “It just comes out in your poo.”

V: “Are you sure?”

Mum: “Yeah, teeth are so small, they just go right through you.”

V: “It doesn’t get stuck?”

M: “Well, no. You might have to drink a glass of water, but—you probably wouldn’t ever swallow a tooth anyway.”

V: “How do we get it out of my poo?”

M: “Well, don’t plan on swallowing a tooth.”

V: “Does the Tooth Fairy go into the toilet and get it?”

Mum has no answer.

V: “Or does the Toilet Fairy get it?”

However accepting P is of the Tooth Fairy and any other numinous characters she might be told about, V can be counted upon to hit you with a bunch of lawyerly questions. Her cross-examination continued until she erupted in chortles at the idea of a Poo Fairy pawing through her shit to find a precious tooth. V is a five-year-old cynic, and she will be the one who debunks Santa for seven-year-old P, unless she astutely reasons which way her bread is buttered and goes along with the fantasy until she’s a teenager. The kid is a nut, and she will tire all of us out before our time.

Peter Lehmann unwooded chard 2011When you’ve finally managed to get a child like V to submit to bedtime, you have no choice but to pour yourself a drink. Our poison? PETER LEHMANN WEIGHBRIDGE UNWOODED CHARDONNAY (2011). Not the super-stiff drink we probably needed, but much more bracing than any of the whites we’ve been drinking lately, this Chardonnay boasts young fruit and honeydew/peach aromas uncomplicated by the usual oaky finish. Our tastes have run to off-dry whites that tease the palate—not crisp zingers, so the first glass was a bit of a shock to the system. On to the second, then.

You really should never review a wine without drinking the whole bottle, or even two. That way you get to experience the wine going down and coming up. Unfortunately I don’t make such portioning decisions at LBHQ, so we settled for two glasses. Write off the first as a shock to the system. How does this Peter Lehmann number really add up?

Disclaimer: I wanted to dislike it after reading Lehmann’s bio: “never shirking the opportunity to challenge a norm” (much like palpating a five-year-old’s turd to find a swallowed tooth, I would imagine). But this unwooded Chardonnay is competent stuff—not as buttery or mouth-filling as I would have liked, but serviceable after a hard weekend with nutbag elementary-age kids. It’s more than inoffensive; it’s quite tasty if not overly interesting or sophisticated. Chardonnay grapes are tricky because they lend themselves to so many winemaking styles; you often have no idea what you’re in for when you pull a cork (or unscrew a cap). Without oak influence, Chardonnay’s fruity notes stand crisply on their own, unmitigated by vanilla or buttercream chords, and a certain roundness is lost. What’s gained, sometimes, is definition, and perhaps more bang for your buck. After all, oak casks cost money, and when they’re not involved in production, that $13 WEIGHBRIDGE price tag arguably goes a bit further.

After I got used to it, I liked Peter Lehmann’s unwooded Chardonnay. It’s well behaved, reasonably complex, and has a decent finish. As for the 11.5% alcohol…it’ll do. We need to be sober in the morning to cope with young interrogators.

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.