THE SONIC BOOMER
Easter is coming again this Sunday, and you know what that means — legions of parents trying to explain where the Easter Bunny, a known mammal, gets all those eggs.
“Mammals don’t lay eggs, Daddy,” the precocious grade school child will say.
She knows it’s true because they just finished their chapter of study on mammals, and rabbits were prominently featured as giving birth to live young. In fact, last week’s homework challenge for daddy revolved around explaining to this very child why she could not have a couple of rabbits as pets.
“Yes, you’re right, honey,” he will say. “You are 100 percent correct. Rabbits do not lay eggs. The Easter Bunny gets his eggs from chickens, just like we do.”
“He goes to the supermarket? I’ve never seen him.”
“Well, no, he doesn’t go to the supermarket.”
“He goes to a farm?”
“Yes. Yes, that’s it. He goes to a farm and gets dozens and dozens of eggs to give to good little children on Easter.”
“Does he steal the eggs?”
“No, of course not, darling! The Easter Bunny is not a criminal!”
“So he buys the eggs?”
“Where does a rabbit get money?”
“Does he have a job?”
“Sure! His job is filling enough baskets so all the good children can have beautiful eggs and lots of candy on Easter morning.”
“He gets a paycheck?”
The father looks at the child quizzically and then replies, “He has direct deposit.”
Fortunately, this seems to put the egg-buying question to rest. But the discussion is not yet over.
A wave of insecurity rushes back over the child’s father.
“I saw an awful lot of Easter candy at Walmart. Does the Easter Bunny shop at Walmart?”
“Why, no, sweetie. The Easter Bunny makes all those same kinds of candy in his candy factory. He’s the Willy Wonka of springtime.” (A nervous laugh.)
“But then why does Walmart have all that candy?”
“It’s so grandmas and grandpas can give it to their grandchildren. The children don’t need any more candy, and sometimes the parents try to tell them not to buy it, but grandparents simply will not listen! They have some inner drive to rot children’s teeth, to top the Easter Bunny and to hastily drive away in their cars when the sugar high becomes the temper-tantrum low and…”
“What are you talking about, Daddy?”
“Nothing. Walmart buys candy because sometimes grown-ups feel bad that children get all the candy so they buy some for themselves and eat it when the children are asleep…”
As the child’s big blue eyes look up into her father’s, she reaches over, pats his hand and says, “It’s OK, Daddy. I know Mommy does that.”
“Oops… I’m going to play outside now.”
And off she skips, the conversation abruptly halted. Now there’s nothing left for old dad to do but start tearing the pantry apart looking for those Peeps. And those marshmallow bunnies. And those malted milk eggs. Dang, those things are good.