I know, I know. COVID rates are on the decline, and mask mandates are being lifted, and millions of houses around the world are filled with unwanted teeth. But I just can’t do it.

Think about it — you’re asking me to not just come into your homes, but to fly right up to your unvaccinated children and take an object that is literally covered with their saliva. This isn’t like Santa Claus just sliding down a chimney, dropping off some presents, and hustling his way out of the house. This is up close and personal, and given that Pfizer hasn’t even contemplated vaccine trials for fairies, I have to insist on continuing to work remotely.

I acknowledge it hasn’t been the same experience. Venmo is not as satisfying as physical cash, and the prepaid mailer system is still a work in progress, I admit. But look at it from my perspective: The savings on travel costs have been astronomical, and you may have noticed that I have passed much of those savings onto your children. I used to spend hundreds of dollars on flights and could barely eke out a profit giving your children perhaps a dollar a tooth. Now I can send them a cool hundred for each loss and still come out ahead.

Yes, that’s right: I’ve been Venmo’ing $100 a tooth to your kids since last March. You didn’t notice that? I think that probably means you should be supervising your kids’ screen time a little more closely. Where do you think your six-year-old’s new 3D printer came from? The Easter Bunny? (And, no, he — or you! — can’t start using it to 3D-print more teeth and try to pocket the extra cash. I’m on to that scheme, and you should know it’s a federal crime to fabricate false teeth and attempt to sell them to me. Or at least it should be!)

Okay, okay, you have questions. Like where am I getting all of this money, especially when I’m not even collecting any teeth? You don’t think I carry casualty insurance? You’re in this business for a couple thousand years and you understand you have to prepare for any circumstance. I’ve been doing this since way before fluoridated water — so I’ve seen it all.

And before you accuse me of laziness — I shouldn’t have to remind you that even virtually, it’s been obvious that the pandemic has spawned some epidemic slacking on your end. Are you even asking your kids to brush anymore? Job tickets are coming in at a faster and faster rate, teeth are dropping out like flies, and the ones I’ve seen are seriously off-color and riddled with decay. I know no one’s been out of their pajamas much, but you still need to open those mouths — twice a day, and maybe a sticker chart would help (check my website — $9.95 plus shipping).

So don’t accuse me of lollygagging. Sure, I’ll admit that maybe I’ve gotten used to a more flexible schedule. I love hanging out with Cupid, the Loch Ness Monster, and Amelia Earhart. But to accuse me of not wanting to go back to work is unfair. I love kids, I love their filthy dead teeth, and I only took this job in the first place because I craved the travel. After my first marriage ended in divorce, what else was I supposed to do with my time? Trust me, I would rather be flying into a million windows every night than alone on the couch, watching dental makeover shows on Netflix.

So I will gladly schedule a Zoom call with your child on a first-come, first-served basis. I’m available Mondays through Thursdays from 9 AM until noon, Tahiti time (yes, I’ve relocated), but for the foreseeable future, I am sorry, I must remain remote. Thank you for understanding.