Creepster Bunny

The Easter Bunny is the creepiest of all of the fictional characters that we allow into our homes when we’re asleep. I was at the mall last weekend. (Saturday was a double-mallster for me; not how I wanted to spend a gorgeous weekend, but that’s how the ball rolled.) I saw that the Easter Bunny has arrived in town and has proceeded to put little kids on his lap. It made me glad my kids are no longer sitting on strangers’ laps for Polaroid pictures. It’s not until after you get some distance from it that you begin to realize how wrong that is.

The Easter Bunny has on a bow tie and little John Lennon glasses. Those two things and the aforementioned lap are the three main things that don’t make sense about a candy-delivering rabbit who is supposed to help us celebrate the resurrection of Christ in the most delicious way possible.

First the bow tie:  How old is he anyway? Does he not read GQ? Only pretentious tools wear bow ties to the mall.

Glasses: They sit down on his nose as if he’s either mimicking or mocking Santa Claus or Ted Kennedy. I’m wondering if they’re not vanity glasses. I think he can see just fine.

Lap: He should not be able to sit at all. In fact, the kids should be sitting in the chair and the bunny should be curled up on the kid’s lap, eating grass or something.

Putting the Easter Bunny in the mall with this get-up is only asking for trouble, and by trouble I mean the seeds of doubt planted into children’s heads about whether this character is real.

It’s hard enough as a parent to keep up the myth of Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy - the trifecta of a happy childhood - when it's under the tight controls of oral storytelling, with fuzzy edges like a glamor shot. But putting EB in harsh, mall-concourse lighting for the kids to see close-up and feel his faux-fur costume, well, it’s only a matter of time before they start to wonder how that clumsy ox could get so much candy delivered so fast. And is he a rabbit or what? And what about the tooth fairy? Is she 5’ 10” too? And if they’re not real, then what about Santa? And what about all those TV characters? It’s enough to turn an innocent child into a bundle of skepticism.

I loved when my kids believed everything I told them.The Easter Bunny hid plastic eggs full of candy and quarters throughout the house and yard, plus left big baskets of candy for each person in the house. Easter was the chocolatiest religious holiday in the universe.

One year we had a foreign exchange student from France staying with us at Easter time and the Easter Bunny left him a basket, too. Corto didn’t really understand what was going on. We had to teach him how to dye eggs, how to eat a solid chocolate rabbit (fast, before someone else takes it, and ears first), and how to search for eggs.

He told us that in France, there is no Easter Bunny. Instead, there’s a bell with wings that delivers candy. A bell. How does it carry the baskets? How does it know what the kids want in any given year? How does it get to the mall?

French kids are even more gullible than Americans.

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