Every year around Easter, while other people engage in religious observances, commercial observances, or both, I hold my own grim ritual, recounting a dark, dark Easter of long ago.
You see, once upon a time, when I was a small child, my parents bought a gigantic inflatable Easter Bunny. It didn’t look exactly like this one, of course, but the image I’m using here gives a pretty good idea of the scale of this monstrosity. They lovingly put together easter baskets for the family (green plastic grass and plastic eggs galore). My father inflated the bunny (a laborious process, I gather), and stuck it in a closet for safe keeping, so that it would be a surprise.
Oh, how right he was about the surprise.
Imagine that you are a small child. You have visions of sweet little bunnies and candy in your head, and you’re happily hunting all over the house for easter eggs. It is a fun day, a beautiful day, and you are wearing your Easter best with at least some semblance of grace (for a change). You expect nothing.
Then you open the closet door, and IT comes out.
It is GIGANTIC — as tall as your father (taller!) — and it smells like plastic. It fairly explodes out of the closet. You try to get away in your utter shock, but you are unable to escape — the scary, smelly plastic thing has tackled you.
All of your worst childhood fears about monsters in closets are in that moment proved entirely reasonable and right. They are real, and they will jump out at you when you least suspect it. Screaming seems to be an appropriate response to reality at the moment, so screaming is exactly what you do.
And your parents…laugh. They can hardly help themselves.
Because it is hilarious.
Every Easter, I remember that day — the day paranoia became a reasonable position to take. The monsters in the closet are real.
Freakin’ BUNNIES, man.
Thanks, Mom and Dad! Happy Easter! :)