READY, FIRE, AIM: Interview with the Easter Bunny
I couldn’t sleep on Saturday night. Turned and returned.
I had set my alarm clock for 4 a.m. and was sleeping fully clothed, ready to jump out of bed. But I kept checking the clock anyway. What if the alarm didn’t work for some unholy reason? I would miss the interview – the most important interview of my writing career.
A five-minute interview with the Easter Bunny, which was scheduled to start at exactly 4:08 a.m., when Mr. Bunny would be passing through Pagosa Springs with his magical basket of colored eggs. His agent had promised me five minutes, not a minute more.
In my experience, celebrities usually avoid interviews, unless they’re releasing a new movie or autobiography, in which case they’ll pick one or two well-known reporters who write for big-name magazines.
Why the Easter Bunny accepted an interview for the Position of the day, I had no idea. I understood the five-minute limit, however. Hiding eggs all over the world, between midnight Saturday evening and 6am Sunday morning… doesn’t leave much time for chatting.
I was on the porch, sitting on my second-hand green couch… with a list of nifty questions and my audio recorder ready… at 4:07 am. The cloudless Easter morning sky burned with stars, a quarter moon hanging like an LED light fixture.
I heard a strange purring sound, in the distance, which got louder and closer and closer, and suddenly the Easter bunny himself was sitting next to me on the couch, watching his watch. He held a rather battered-looking wicker basket in his lap, filled with what looked like plastic eggs.
“Five minutes,” he warned me. “And yes, you can record our conversation. Don’t take me out of my context.
“Great!” I spat. “I really want to thank you for taking the time …”
“Let’s let the intricacies and the introductions go,” he smiles. “I imagine you have a list of smart questions. “
“Actually,” I started …
“But to save time, let’s skip the questions and I’ll just tell you the story.” It’s clear that this celebrity, as small and fuzzy as she might seem, used to be in charge.
“How long have I been doing this?” 500 years, to give or to take, ”he began. “Some Greek Orthodox priests borrowed the idea of ’colored eggs’ from the Persians, but once the Protestants seized on it, it became too important a matter for the Church, so they went in search of it. ‘an independent contractor. I was out of work at the time – maybe remember the great recession of 1503? It seemed like a good job, with a future, and all the hard-boiled eggs I could eat.
“Back then, people needed fun distractions. They were right in the middle of the Inquisition, and they had just come through the plague, so brightly colored eggs delivered by a cute bunny were pretty much guaranteed to cheer everyone up.
“Of course, I was cute back then …”
I started to say, “Well, I think you’re still cute…” but he cut me off.
“I know, you think I’m still cute. But I was really cute back then, ”he sighed wistfully.
“Either way, humans were going through difficult times. Revolutions. Civil war. Religious divisions. famines. You probably can’t imagine how difficult things were for ordinary families. I mean, you think your internet service is bad. They didn’t even have a phone.
“But I was right when I said that work has a future. When I started this gig, I was delivering to around 100 million homes. The number this year is around 2 billion. So that’s almost 50 billion colored eggs.
I must have had a surprised look on my face by then, seeing the Easter Bunny smile.
“Yes I know; it’s hard to believe. 50 billion colored eggs. And that doesn’t include the chocolate eggs or the marshmallow chicks and ducks.
“As you can imagine, I had to expand my staff. But even with a bigger workforce, we never could have kept up if someone hadn’t come up with the idea of plastic eggs. What a time saver! A hen can lay about one egg per day. A single factory in China can produce 10,000 plastic eggs per day. I don’t know where we would be today without the Chinese plastics industry.
“And the cool way plastic eggs can open and close!” The Easter Bunny pulled out a pink plastic egg from its magic basket and demonstrated the opening and closing of the egg. “Isn’t that so cool?” You can put stuff inside!
I started to say something, but was interrupted again.
“Yes I know. You think it’s silly that I’m so excited about an egg opening and closing. But you haven’t spent nearly 500 years dyeing eggs and breaking half of them. Do you know how many eggs I have broken?
He touched the back of his paw against his forehead. “I don’t even want to think about it.”
“And those plastic eggs, they’re already colored!” He laughed. “It’s so amazing.”
Suddenly an anxious expression appeared on his face and he looked at his watch. “So, do you have enough for your article?” I hope so, because I have to resume my delivery schedule. There are still 20 million stoves to be done, mainly in South America.
He got up. “Back to work…”
I blinked and it was completely gone. I heard that same strange buzzing fade away.
Where he was sitting on the porch sofa, I saw a pink plastic egg.
I opened the egg and found a small folded rectangle of light blue paper. I unfolded the paper and read the handwritten message.
“Don’t quote me out of context, okay?” ”
The underrated writer Louis Cannon grew up across the vast American West, though his ex-wife, at the slightest opportunity, denies ever growing up.