Thursday, April 5, 2012

April 5th-Brought To You By the Letter 'E'

Oh, hell, it's 12:22 AM on April 5th...time to post this now.

FROM THE LANDLORD:  For the sharp-eyed, this is a repeat of my repeat of my Easter post from last year.  In any case, since it's close to the holidays (as I was reminded by Robyn last year, there's also Passover.  Which would explain all the matzohs in the store) and Easter is a PERFECT choice for the letter 'E,' (as opposed to 'enema'), I thought I'd regurgitate an oldie (like a cat with a Joan Rivers hairball).  Sorry, this is pretty long, but sit back and enjoy.  Or skim though it and pick out something innocuous upon which to comment.  Then it'll make it seem as if you took the entire time to read with no one the wiser.  Enjoy...

EASTER-Starring the Son of God, Moses, and Chocolate Bunny Heads

 Even though the countdown to Easter Sunday is supposed to start after Ash Wednesday, it really begins when unsold chocolate Cupids at Wal-Mart are exchanged for countless herds of chocolate rabbits.
  It’s the most sacred of Christian holidays...which is somehow associated with bunnies, ducks, and chicks.  In fact, I was amazed at how happy those little animals seemed, considering that giving baby ducks and chickens to my brothers and I was tantamount to a barnyard death sentence. 

"If you want really good luck,
it's not my foot you have to rub."
   And while we’re on the subject, what kind of genetic freak rabbit lays eggs, anyway? 

    Equally mystifying is trying to figure out when Easter Sunday falls.      
    Based on the last full moon during leap year when the vernal equinox is on a Wednesday and the moon is in its summer house and Jupiter aligns with Mars, I always knew exactly when Easter was: March or April. 
    In any event, Easter was a glorious time of year, which started off with the traditional coloring of the Easter Eggs.
    Beginning with stern admonitions from my father to make sure we didn’t get dye all over the $20 table he bought at Railroad Salvage, our dipping-of-hen-fruit-in-colored-vinegar-water rituals started out serenely enough.  Until they degenerated into sloppy free-for-alls where we got more dye on each other than on the hard-boiled eggs.

"Man, this blows!
Glad we don't have to do 

this crap for Christmas.  
But, we can take off our shirts. 
Then beat the women."
    Satisfied with our work (and out of dye), we then seeded our garish prizes throughout the house in preparation for a family hunt the next day.  Nothing was off-limits as we deposited eggs in the most obscure places, all the while listening to our father boast he'd find the most eggs and make the finest egg salad in all the land.

    Unfortunately, nobody kept track of how many eggs were hidden or where they were laid.  This resulted in an incomplete tally, but we didn’t mind.  We had loads of other goodies with which to stuff ourselves.

    No worries.  Until our dog found an especially pungent bearded egg behind the stereo on Labor Day.   

    Eggs scattered, our excitement reached fever pitch as we knew that, come the dawn, we’d tumble down the stairs to see what the Easter Bunny had brought us.  A sort of off-season reenactment of the Christmas frenzy, Easter morn was a candy gorge-fest which propelled us into a frenetic sugar buzz not seen since December 25th.

"Sure, that big frikkin' showoff, Santa,
gets a sleigh and reindeer.
But, I get to sodomize the family pet."
    I never figured out the Easter Bunny’s deal.  Unlike Santa Claus, who slid his chubby keister down a chimney, Mr. Bunny seemed content with your basic, garden-variety breaking and entering.  

    We never left cookies and milk  and we never tried to stay awake to watch him deliver our presents.  Like the milkman, we just figured he’d automatically come through.

    Hmm, come to think of it, did that mean we didn’t trust Santa, considering we always wanted to remain awake to see him place our toys under the tree?  But, I digress...

    Speaking of a tree, the occasion of Easter didn’t offer up a central location for the rabbit to dump his loot.  I guess my parents were content to let him drop them wherever he found room.

"You mean I don't have to go to Tehran?
Thank Christ!  No pun intended."
    As far as Easter baskets went, he had quite a haul to carry.  The good news is that he only had to worry about Christian kids unlike Santa, who pretty much had the whole shebang.  Except the Middle East.  And the Mormons.

    My point is that, while Jolly Saint Nick had a reindeer-drawn sleigh, what’d the Easter Bunny have?  That’s right-nothing.  He couldn’t even rent a Pacer, so he had to haul everything around on his back.

    No wonder he never went “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

    Our baskets overflowed with all manner of sweets.  Sure, there were the proverbial candy Easter eggs (also known as chocolate “footballs” at Christmas.  What truly versatile candies!) and jelly beans, but my favorite had to be the chocolate bunnies.

Even little Jeffy Dahmer loved Easter
    What kid didn’t delight in first lopping off the hapless candy rabbit’s ears-“Look, Mom, a squirrel!”?  This confectionary mutilation was then followed by the rabbit’s ritual decapitation, leaving only a headless lump.  What a sad end for a creature whose only crime was being placed in a drugstore candy aisle a few days before.

    I remember always being disappointed that my bunnies were hollow.  I would have much preferred they’d be solid, although I probably would have broken my teeth gnawing on a fifteen pound hunk of chocolate.  But, on the bright side, I’d have had enough sugar to keep me buzzing until Columbus Day.

4 out of 5 dentists recommend Peeps
    Licking our lips as we finished savaging our Brer Rabbits (or the equally delicious Lucky Ducks), we then turned our attention to little chocolate-covered rabbit/duck/chick marshmallows and the yellow sugar balls known as Peeps.  
  As we sadly hit the bottom of our baskets, we knew exactly what to do with the black licorice jelly beans and candy-coated almonds:  fling them at our little brother, Gary.
  Our mouths ringed in melted chocolate, our teeth encrusted with Peeps detritus, and our vision blurred, we blearily glanced at the clock above the television.  Wow, not even eight o’clock.

  In other words, as our mother cheerfully announced from the kitchen, “Okay, kids, time for church!”

  The real reason for the day, we dutifully trooped off-usually through snow-to the nine o’clock Mass at Saint Stanislaus.
  It was here we came crashing down from our candy rush as we struggled to stay awake during Father Karl’s sermon, Peter Cottontail, Satan With Cottonballs.  The good news is this was one of the two times (the other being Christmas) that Mom was successful in forcing our father into church.

"Once this is over, 
I'm going to totally rock 
that Lily Munster gig."
    Usually, he was content to watch The Ten Commandments or Ben Hur and call it even.

    As he liked to say, “I used to be a practicing Catholic, but I got good at it.  The ‘Lord’ doesn’t need me anymore."

  Even so, I bet the Lord would have still wanted him to put on some pants while watching TV.

    After an hour’s worth of guilt, we headed back home to finish off any candy we had so carelessly missed earlier that morning.

    Mom, meanwhile, began intense preparations for the Easter “feast.”

    For some reason, ham was always the meat of choice to celebrate Easter.  Unlike the pterodactyl-sized turkey we devoured at Christmas, it seemed appropriate to give equal time to eating the flesh of another barnyard animal.
"No, you tell the old lady
with the babushka that this isn't her bus stop."
  Of course, it could also have been a subconscious “up yours!” to our Jewish friends.      

  But, I thought it had more to do with the fact that my mother didn’t have to defrost a ham for three days, pull its gizzards out, stuff any available cavity she found with Wonder Bread, and start cooking it before the sun came up.

    After all, that was only for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    No, cooking ham and potatoes from a box was a whole lot easier.  In fact, it wasn’t until I grew up that I realized ham didn’t even come in a can.

"Whaddya mean, I'm Jewish? 
I thought I was Catholic. 
This is Easter, isn't it?"
    Eventually, the joy which is Easter drew to a close.  As we sat transfixed by the litter of candy corpses and the sight of Charlton Heston shoving a stick at the Red Sea, a sad thought struck us like a lightning bolt from the blue:

    No more chocolate bunnies for another year.     

    Whew.  Thank goodness for Halloween.

Happy Easter!


  1. It's funny that my father's father actually was very insistent that his children never got dye on the tables either. Great post Al, working out when exactly Easter Monday falls is one of life's biggest mysteries in my eyes haha.

  2. I used to have chickens that humped like rabbits. Does that count? Nice peep show!

  3. Because I am first generation American, my Easters have never been all that great. First, we threw confetti filled eggs at one another. Then, we ate carne asada. Carne asada! Jesus would not approve. Finally, we went Easter egg hunting at the local park, where everyone stole our family's candy before we ever got a chance to find it.

  4. @Matthew: Several years ago when I was on a ship at sea, I asked the guys I worked with, "I wonder what day of the week Easter falls on this year...?" Yep. pretty dumb like that. Mal was VERY insistent we didn't get dye on his piece of crap table.
    @Bushman: I hope I don't spend the rest of my day with the image of screwing chickens stuck in my mind.
    @Nellie: Thanks for making me laugh. Now I've got the image of carne asada at the Last Supper in my mind (along with Bushman's humping chickens).

  5. A repeat of a repeat, when you get another repeat added there I think a clip show needs to take it's place at your lair..haha..they should just pick one damn date and make easter on that day, just screws everything up. Had tons of chocolate bunnies too and were quite hyper by the time it was through, made a mess everywhere, the table and the chair..haha

    1. A clip show....? What a great idea. It would work here. Or in a barber shop. Or where they do vasectomies.

  6. My dad never went to church even on Christmas or Easter. Well, OK. If somebody was getting married or died, he'd make an exception.

    1. As long as it was someone he knew, though, right?

    2. Well...
      Let's say if he didn't know them, but they were still family, he'd go.
      Dad's family is big.

    3. Not big like the Klumps big, though, right?

    4. No, not poundage big, although there is one guy but he married in and it wasn't at a church.
      The rest of us are normal size. There are just many.
      Dad is one of 14. His dad was one of 14 and his mom was one of 7. Lots of people big!

    5. Good, then the "after event" cold cut/meatballs buffets are probably safe.

  7. lol..great post...Happy Easter Weekend to you and yours!

  8. It was going along so well until you had to pick on the nice lady in the babushka! Happy Easter Al and take it easy with the Peeps! Julie

  9. @DM: Happy Easter to you, too!
    @Julie: Babushka ladies are always easy targets. Plus, they make great stuffed cabbage.

  10. Blah to the vasectomies, do not need a show of that.

  11. Or those guys who do circumcisions. I hear they clean up on tips.

  12. Too funny! Someone just told me today that The Easter Bunny does NOT lay Easter eggs! Blasphemy, I say!! Just look at the Cadbury Bunny and his eggs.

  13. You better believe if I was passing an egg, I'd hop, too.

  14. That was good and pretty funny Al! All I'm really thinking about around this time is egg salad sandwiches and hard boiled egg laden, potato salad. Now I feel the need to know how rabbits became associated with eggs and Easter anyway...

  15. Moreover, a genetic freak bunny that lays chocolate eggs. And we rush to eat them?! Yep, this Jewish gal does.
    I love you and your humor, Al. I'll be back. I'm already blushing.

  16. If you haven't already, you ought to read "Lamb" by Christopher Moore. It's the Gospel According to Biff: Christ's Childhood Pal. One of the damn funniest books I've ever read and I think you'd appreciate it. Cheers!

    1. Oh, my God (no pun intended), I bet that book is hysterical! Christ's Childhood Pal....that's funny right there...I don't care who you are. Hmmm....that sounds familiar.

  17. Hi, I read all of it and enjoyed it, but what I enjoyed most was observing the little boy in the center back where they were dying the hen fruit. You see how he is standing in his chair with one hand in the other, like he is not sure what he is supposed to be doing. I love it! Such a typical pose. I have a great grandson who often stands the same way with the quizzical look on his face. Thanks for the amusing anecdotes. Ruby

    1. Thanks! I wish I had pictures of my family back then doing similar things. I remember this: we didn't take our shirts off (I wonder about that), but I'm quite sure it was a lot like that. As I think about it more, I can only imagine the stories my kids will tell about their Easters!

  18. I read the whole thing too! It was me who freaked out about the table and laid out all sorts of towels to prevent the dye from soaking through but it didn't matter...every year a spot of red, blue or green got through. That table had character and I was sad when we got rid of it.

    The best is what you did with the candy you didn't want - sounds just like my kids. Even now as teenagers. Great read!

    1. I'm truly amazed that my little brother still talks to us. I have stories and stories of what we used to do to that poor kid.

  19. the cadbury bunny comercial with the animals all trying out is what i love about the zombie jesus day. and dying eggs.
    but then i have to pawn them off on others, as i am egg-free in food, not in ovum.

    1. Zombie Jesus Day. You had me laugh out loud with that one!

  20. I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month. Easter bunny only leaves little licorice poops here.

  21. Al -You've taken on this A to Z project with gusto - which makes me all that much happier that I merely took on a photo a day for the month. No way could I do this.
    As for Easter - we Jewish kids got it good because we got to eat Peeps and chocolate all morning and didn't have to try to sit still in church during a sugar fueled psychotic episode. Of course God gets even by making us eat Matzoh which renders us all constipated...

  22. I find it interesting that both the traditions of eggs and bunnies, and the changing date of Easter Sunday are both taken from earlier, pre-Christian traditions and were put in place to assimilate Christianity into the religiosity of the local populace. Nice post :)

    Jamie Gibbs
    Fellow A-Z buddy
    Mithril Wisdom

  23. i don't recall the photo of the furry giving it to the dog from last year. and the look on the dog's face is just like they always are at the dog park when one gets grabbed by another and can't get away, so they just take it like a man and then make a run for it as fast as possible once they're released from the death grip.

  24. @Sherilin: You're good! That's why you're one of my favorites. Even though I'll toss off (ooh, that sounds dirty) a repost every now and then, I like to jazz it up a little, if only with new pictures. The main reason I do it is so that I don't completely bore the batsnot out of folks who've read it before. Plus, the easter bunny sodomizer pictuere cracked me up.
    @Jamie: I agree. In my opinion, there's a very real reason why things like that were done (the timing of Christmas being another one). But, I don't want to get all heavy; I'll just eat some chocolate and wait for the zits to pop! :-)
    @laughingmom: Constipated? Oh, crap (no pun intended). I got several boxes of the bland little crackers just dying for some peanut butter.
    @Sharkbytes: Little black Easter poops? That's too funny because that's what we told our little brother, Gary, what the black licorice jelly beans were. See? Good comedy knows no boundaries!
    @Pat: Hard Boiled Egg Laden? Was that Osama's Christian cousin?