The time has come once again to talk about my favorite social event which, on occasion, is celebrated in April. I’m not talking about the World Wrestling Federation coming to town, the Denver Nuggets announcing a trade of their best players in exchange for a handful of magical beans, or the Internal Revenue Service deciding to audit everyone who wrote nasty comments on their checks to pay income taxes. The event of which I speak is Easter.
To be honest, when I started writing this, I was a little bit fuzzy about the actual date of this holiday. After doing a little research on the World Wide Web, I discovered more often than not Easter falls on a Sunday. While that might be enough information for the casual Easter enthusiast, I like to go the extra mile for all the hard core Easter fanatics reading this story. After giving my research assistant the chore of waiting in line so I could eat some fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts, I discovered Easter is observed on the first Sunday after the last XFL playoff game before the Denver Nuggets have been statistically eliminated from the playoffs.
To be completely accurate, that formula only approximates the exact date of Easter. The actual equation involves the seventy-two characters representing the true name of God, several artifacts from the Ark of the Covenant (as seen in the first “Indiana Jones” motion picture), and the combination of Bill Gates luggage. Several universities in the world offer graduate degrees in creating computer models for the occurrence of Easter. The National Security Administration is said to have its own set of satellites devoted entirely to future Easter prediction.
I’ve been getting a lot of fan mail asking how I celebrate mainstream Christian holidays. To be honest, I don’t actually get fan mail quite yet, but I believe this is a plot by “The Man” who, despite the fact that I am a white male, is trying to keep me down by removing any mail from my box that might improve my self esteem. Supposing that I was getting my fan mail, I would respond to all the loyal readers out there by saying that to me Easter is about getting up early in the morning, putting on a shirt with buttons all the way up the front and pants that have a crease in them, and eating a lot of candy all day long. If you replace the word “morning” to “afternoon” and change the clothes to “gray sweats with multiple salsa stains on the tummy”, it sounds like any other day.
The highlight of my Easter was the traditional Easter egg hunt. A lot of people think that at twenty-seven years of age I am a little too old to be participating in an activity designed for small children. I say that is exactly why I should be in it. Being two feet taller and a hundred pounds heavier than the competition can be quite an advantage. The biggest problem is that some of them are considerably faster than me. To compensate for this advantage, I bitch slapped a few of them right before the race began to establish myself as the alpha male for the rest of the day. For the kids too young to understand the ramifications of gratuitous violence I sat each one of them down on my knee and carefully explained that if you take eggs from the Easter Bunny he will follow you home, steal all your favorite toys, and chew on your eyeballs when you fall asleep.
Needless to say, my Easter basket was quite full of colored eggs when I went home that evening. This got me thinking about what kind of lessons we are teaching to kids today. When I was growing up, I would hear my parents tell me on a regular basis not to play with my food. Then some random Sunday comes along in the middle of the spring and not only do we color the eggs, but then we go outside, hide the eggs, search for them, and finally watch what happens as we bet our younger brother Donnie that he couldn’t shove three hard boiled eggs in his mouth at the same time.
Along the same lines, I am not sure what goes on in children’s minds when we give them bunny shaped chocolate and teach them to slowly torture the animal by biting off the ears. As if hunting down all the bunny’s eggs in the form of social entertainment wasn’t torture enough for the poor animal. I think it’s fair to place at least some of our society’s ills on the contradictory signals that we are sending children on this holiday.
The bottom line is that Easter is a very complex holiday that covers many of the fundamental ideas that form the foundation of our society. Fortunately, we have boiled it down to the essentials of getting together and eating candy until everyone is too sick to move. It’s just easier that way.