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Tuesday, April 13, 2010



I have finally finished my Easter candy. At least I think I have; my wife hid all of my chocolate eggs so that I could hunt for them. Which I found mean and vindictive. Can you imagine if the Red Cross went into a relief area and hid the food JUST FOR FUN? I took my Winchester 94 with me. That way, if I failed to find any eggs I could just shoot at the ground and hope to find oil, like Jed Clampett. Wife sat there smugly as I struggled to find food. I said hey I don’t see you going down to the reservoir and hiding the swan’s eggs. Try that on for size.

I am still finding a chocolate egg here and there- there were several in my car which I did not discover until the weather returned from its high of 91 degrees.

As a kid we used to color our hard-boiled eggs the night before Easter with Paas Easter Egg Dye. You dissolve the different color dyes in bowls of water. After holding the egg patiently in the mixture for about an hour-and-a-half, the white egg would magically re-appear the vibrant color of ecru. You could hardly recognize it. They were hardly Faberge masterpieces, but they kept us out of trouble for however long an hour-and-a-half times one dozen is.

My mother used to hide the eggs that night so we could find them the next day. Unfortunately, we all well knew that the hours between Easter Eve and Easter Morning were more than adequate for her to completely forget where she hid them. I fantasize that the people who eventually bought our house every once in awhile scratch their head and go, “There it is again- what the hell is that smell?” Sometimes someone in North Dakota will find what they insist is a petrified dinosaur egg, but us six kids know better.

Then we would get hauled off to the Country Club (I love saying that, but I’m sure you know that if you call yourself a “Country Club,” it only means that you are hoping with desperation that you could be that which you are not), where they had a lovely Easter day planned, with an Easter egg hunt and a magician. I remember hating it, which proves I was cool even back then. The other kids were way faster and smarter at finding the plastic eggs with the prizes in them. Which proves I was unathletic, even back then. The magician did the same lame tricks every time, including the old “milk-in-the-newspaper-cone” trick.

Which I just had to try at home. Not only would there be a huge puddle of milk on the floor, but Dad would have no idea what happened in the world that day. Prior to getting yelled at and possibly misdemeanor assaulted, I would say, “Well, there’s no use crying over THAT is there?” and run like hell.

Easter is the most cannibalistic-seeming holiday. The torturous glee with which you slowly devour a whole animal, without skinning it or cooking it, starting with its ears. With no ability to hear, and sometimes with its tail suddenly consumed, hence its balance compromised, it still wears an fatuous and gruesome smile. I finally get to the flesh-eater’s prize, the beautiful blue eyes. I chew them slowly and savor them. Should the chocolate bunny lay chocolate eggs, I will swallow their unborn children whole.

I start to see things from Hannibal Lechter’s side. Which reminds me: every time I see a baby with one of those sucker things in its mouth I think of Hannibal Lechter. Is that baby a dangerous criminal? A psychotic killer? It is laughing at inappropriate times, a clear sign. It has a dazed, drooly look. Could it jump across that high chair, club me, remove my skin and eat me? It does not look particularly agile, but neither do NFL offensive linemen. Then the sucker thing falls out of its mouth and I feel stupid for even thinking it. But I steer well clear of it anyway.

I never pay much attention to the religious side of it; that people believe in such things seems vaguely embarrassing to me. But I would NEVER say so out loud. If there really is a Judgement Day I picture everyone sitting around a big table holding up signs with “7.5” or “6.0” on them. It will be a lot like the Easter Egg hunt, where I never made such a great showing.

Incidentally, the name “Easter” is possibly derived from “Eostre,” a month of the Germanic calendar akin to April, in which feasts were held. The holiday corresponds with the Jewish holiday of Passover, and the gambling holiday of Passover/under. The New Testament of the Bible teaches that Easter follows the Last Supper and the Crucifixion. And if you look closely at da Vinci’s The Last Supper, you can plainly see that Judas is reaching for a chocolate Easter bunny.

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