Tuesday, April 3, 2012

ThE eViL EaSter bUnnY

What mother is letting their child sit on that?
Yesterday I just had to see a picture of a little yellow chick in a nest and I started salivating for Easter chocolate. Easter is coming. One year our family had a big get together at Beacon Hill Park and we had an Easter egg hunt. There was a little kid race and for the first, last and only time in a race, I won, probably against some toddlers and really slow, crippled kids. Someone in the family wore a giant Easter bunny head and it traveled around to different people, which if they were trying to keep the magic alive, was very confusing. Why does the Easter bunny keep changing people? And who was crazy enough in the family that they thought it was necessary to rent a bunny head for the occasion? That's a trick question. It could be anyone. But as much as I admire their enthusiasm, I'm really surprised it didn't freak me out. I'm actually surprised the Easter bunny in general didn't freak me out. For one, a full-grown man in a bunny suit makes me think genetic mutation. Secondly, the Easter bunny was clearly trying to kill me by dropping off little eggs of poison all over my house. Doesn't the Easter bunny know I am not only allergic to dairy products, I'm also allergic to cocoa? Yes, of course the Easter bunny knows that. The Easter bunny is a wheeler and dealer. How else would he be able to get the chickens to give up their babies? But the truth is no one wants to be the only kid eating jelly beans while everyone else is eating chocolate eggs. No one.

The really magical thing about Easter is not the chocolate or the evil Easter bunny. The real magic is this insane story of a guy who was crucified and buried and three days later KAPOW! came back to life, not as a zombie, but as a living man... /son of God... /God.... (it's all very wonderful and confusing). His mission? To conquer death and pave the way to Heaven. If you don't know who I'm talking about look up Easter in the dictionary. Here, I'll do it for you:
Eas·ter/ˈistər/ noun an annual Christian festival in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, observed on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox, as calculated according to tables based in Western churches on the Gregorian calendar and in Orthodox churches on the Julian calendar.
You're welcome. Even if you're not a Christian you benefit from what Christians believe: we get the Friday before Easter off and some lucky souls get the Monday too. The Friday before Easter is called "Good Friday," (really a misnomer) which represents the day Jesus died, and then like Jesus was dead a night, a day and rose again in the morning, we celebrate His resurrection on Sunday. Did you also know that the same guy who offers eternal life also offers a better life in this life, not just the one after? Think about it. If He fought death and won, and came back to life (AKA He is still alive) you bet He's got some pretty good life tips. And before He left He said the very words we all know from ol' Schwarzenegger himself: "I'll be back!" (actually, it was Schwarzenegger who was quoting Him) before finally going back home to Heaven, after thirty years stuck with humans instead of angels for company. Yep. That's Easter. None of this bunny business. (I love the bunny business! Mostly just bunnies, especially ones who give me candy.)

And before Easter is the season of Lent, forty days where people can "give up" something. It could be anything from fasting from all food to fasting from fast food to fasting from eating fast food too fast. A popular one is giving up chocolate. I think people first thought of giving up chocolate solely because they knew they were going to gorge on it on Easter. Before that, the idea of giving up chocolate alone would be absurd. It would be like giving up mangoes. Unless you eat mangoes every day. Or chocolate. Anyway, even though I may be allergic to chocolate, I still have three special occasions where I allow myself to eat almost as much as I want (not really... I could eat a lot of chocolate) that being: Easter, Halloween and Christmas. Just know that for the two days after those holidays I live in a kind of walking coma of chocolate allergies where I can't breathe properly and I am five times as tired as I usually am (which is really, really tired). It's hardly worth it. Hardly. But what did I give up for Lent? Only the loves of my life: TV and movies. I know what you're thinking. Why would you ever do such a thing to yourself? Oh, sorry, you were thinking, "you need some higher forms of love in your life." But you don't understand how much I love TV and movies. When you are constantly tired all the time, too tired sometimes to even participate in your second love (books), TV and movies are like a vacation from life. And I've always been partial to vacations.

THIS JUST IN! Lent is over! I found this out on Sunday. I psyched myself up for another week of Lent, thinking Lent ended on Easter, just to find out there are two traditions of Lent: the one where you cheat on Sundays and so the forty days is from Ash Wednesday to Easter, and the one where you don't cheat because you are not a cheater, in which case Lent ends forty days after Ash Wednesday. I don't quite know what to do with myself now. It's like finding out you crossed the finish line when you still thought you have a mile to go and people are cheering and you are all disoriented and confused. Only nobody is cheering. You are just confused. But I found out some very profound truths by giving up TV and movies: when you watch TV and movies a lot, giving it up means you have a lot of extra time. Deep, I know. The point was to have more time to pray, read and exercise and censor the crap I was putting into my little, sensitive brain. I made one exception: my friend bought me an annual Imax pass and wanted to use them, so I reasoned that going to see a short, educational film was probably not breaking the spirit of my TV and movies fast. It's hard to imagine an Imax film on the African Delta made in the 1990's filling my mind with bad things, except for the bad 90's clothing. But living without TV and movies is like a whole other, slightly more boring but a lot more productive world - a world before moving-pictures ruined everything and made life way more entertaining. Mostly I loved being free from the chains of TV while at the same time knowing that I would soon be back to my old morally deprived, less productive but much more entertained self when Lent ends, gorging on coma-inducing chocolate and celebrating the death of the evil Easter bunny... I mean the resurrection of Jesus. Sorry. I got confused.

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