How the kindly Easter Bunny defies the life cycle and leaves spoilalbe food for us all
When your friends and neighbors in the Bible Belt have decided you're a heathen (a class that includes vegans, people who meditate, all Moderate Republicans and a large cross-section of everybody) you can depend their giving you sincere, heartfelt advice. Or reminders. Or lessons. And all this goodwill can come from the most random of places. For instance, on the Sunday before Easter, I spied a billboard -- a really big, dramatic billboard -- along the interstate with this life lesson: "The Easter bunny did not rise from the dead." True confession: Before now, the Easter Bunny and Lazarus never crossed my mind at the same time.
I can accept their resurrection premise. It's neat, unambiguous and everything was spelled correctly. But the Billboard Sign Person missed something sort of important here.
The Easter Bunny, you must understand, cannot rise from the dead because the Easter Bunny does not die. He, or she, hibernates in the attic for 11 months with Santa Claus, who is definitely a he. They live at the top of the hide-a-stairs, in the attic above the hallway. Every year sometime around March, occasionally February depending on where the Moon happens to be, which is sort of occultist when you think about it, The Bunny descends from the dark recesses of the upstairs with baskets of slowly rotting wicker and last year's plastic grass. Unless, of course, The Easter Bunny's parents are the type who trek to the store and replace The Bunny's supplies with brand new baskets made by godless Communist slave labor in China.
Not-Dead Easter Bunny then delivers eggs, which will die without any hope of redemption after their Use By date. Candy might sit around for months, but the eggs cannot. My folks invested in plastic eggs after the Easter Egg Hunt Disaster of 1974. That's when they learned the hard way that the living room is no place for an egg hunt. The kids never find them all and the adults can't remember where they hid them. My dear granny found a colorful boiled egg underneath her living room sofa -- sometime in late May. The noxious smell made her home toxic. No matter how many windows she opened, it wouldn't go away. My mom fished the egg out and declared on the spot that all future egg hunts would be conducted outside, where the fetid aroma would not drive anyone tot madness.
The Bunny's dyed eggs are multi-purpose and make great food. If you are the sort of family who gathers for Easter dinner regardless of your heathen status, your hidden eggs are turned into -- and this is really unfortunate -- deviled eggs. It's a secret best kept in the family. But that could be the least of your problems. Your guests may question the quality of those eggs because they have a diseased color. Unless we're talking about an assortment of vegetables, most people avoid any food that is green, especially when they know it should be a soft, eggshell white. Same goes for pink, the color of no known food besides grapefruit and a definite shade of certain fungi.
The same disclaimers go for Santa and that other sinister beast, The Halloween. It's probably the worst because adults have taken it over, replacing candy and princess costumes with Jell-O shots and the Tomahawk Hottie. The Halloween can get you into all sorts of theological trouble.
So try a little tenderness for The Bunny in the attic, but keep an eye on the deviled eggs. You never know what sort off Easter mischief they might try to cook up, bless their little pink and purple selves.