Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Here comes Peter Cottontail
Monday morning's planning meeting for the week's stories was lurching merrily along like a three legged dog on Quaaludes. One enterprising reporter said he "might" do a story on the cancellation of an Irish step dancing troupe that the paper had previously ballyhooed as coming here. Another impassioned crusader for the public's right to know said he was going to write "something about French food" and "one other topic which I have forgotten."
Then someone, not me, pointed out that Easter was approaching.
All eyes on the foreign barbarian. "Er, it's not really a major holiday like Christmas," I said. "It's more of a solemn religious holiday. There is the Easter bunny, but that's for children."
"Is that the giant hare?" asked one page editor. "He lays eggs colored eggs like a chicken and travels around the world in a single night in a wagon pulled by flying stags and then children and families gather together to eat him, yes?"
"Well, he doesn't lay the eggs. Just hides them for children to find. No flying wagon and stags. That's Santa Claus. And we only eat the chocolate hares. It's important to bite their ears off first. Then the heads."
This was received with puzzled, polite stares.
"Then there are the Peeps," I said, pushing it. "They're flourescent yellow chickens. I have some that a friend just sent me. We bite their heads off first, too. I'll bring some in if anyone wants to try one. You just have to promise to bite the head off first."
Collective nervous laughter ensued. But I am bringing the Peeps package in on Good Friday to see who will take me up on the offer. After all, chicken heads are just another savory snack for most of them. It's time they tasted the real deal.

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