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Easter Memories

[Originally published at the now defunct group blog explananda.com]

Posted on April 12, 2004
Tags: anecdotes

It being Easter time, I thought I would post a word or two about my most vivid Easter memory. When a younger brother and I were kids, my parents, like many others, would hide chocolate Easter eggs around the house sometime during the Easter holidays. My parents were atheists, but it was a holiday, and planting Easter eggs is not a very religious thing to do.

The event was a much anticipated one for my brother and me - alas, in retrospect perhaps too anticipated. The hunt began on a note of strained civility - let the better brat win - but the friction generated by the high-stakes, zero-sum competition quickly produced a deadly spark. The number of eggs hidden by our parents was generous but finite; our appetites for acquisition, for all practical purposes, infinite.

At first I raced ahead of my brother, once or twice beating him to an egg within precious seconds. At that point his settled view of the matter was that we should collect the eggs and then divide them equally. He added to this outrageous declaration by pointing out that my faster pace of collecting was depriving him of the enjoyment he might have taken in the actual act of collection.

Both suggestions were preposterous as far as I was concerned - until he began to outpace my own efforts. And then it seemed to me that his earlier proposals had merits worth discussing.

Too late. His views on distributive justice had hardened in the meantime under the stimulus of bitter experience. Now merit impressed him as a plausible guide to the proper distribution of chocolate eggs. There was no reasoning with him. Verbal attacks quickly escalated into something more serious, and before long we were skirmishing vigorously.

My father was a good and patient man. But no one could have loved us at that moment, with our tear-stained faces twisted with greed and spite - not even Mr. Pretext-for-the-egg-hunt. My father had struggled up from poverty in a Northern mining town to relative prosperity, only to find that his sons were manifestly unworthy even of chocolate eggs. We were disappointments. We had distorted the True Meaning of Easter, which for atheists is presumably that when a rabbit lays chocolate eggs, it has the right to expect that those eggs will be harvested in a spirit of egalitarian cooperation.

My father lost his temper. I can’t remember exactly how it went. But at that moment he revealed to us that he was the Easter bunny. That, in other words, there was no Easter bunny. That it was a fraud, and one which we no longer deserved to be pleasantly deceived about. That we were both spoiled rotten and wouldn’t be getting anything at all. (This last bit may have been partially reversed on appeal.)

I’m fairly confident that I already knew the truth about the Easter bunny at that point, but it irked me greatly that he would be so crass about it. For my brother, a year and a half younger, I think it may have come as a genuine shock. At any rate, if memory serves there was continued wailing, followed by richly deserved punishment, before life was restored to normal in our house.

And that is my most memorable Easter.

(Just so that you don’t get the wrong idea: My brother and I turned out OK, or at least our characters don’t seem so obviously defective now. And the story is not especially representative of our home life growing up (though it isn’t unique in type either). In fact, I recall being bewildered by all the mockery of the kids on the Cosby Show for being unrealistically well-behaved - to tell the truth their behaviour often struck me as outrageous.)

(Oh yes, add your jokes about our being teenagers at the time of the event in the comments section.)


Author: VY
Date: 2004-04-13

Hey! HEY!!!!

Author: Chris
Date: 2004-04-13

Oh you think you’re so funny, don’t you?

Author: Spaz
Date: 2004-04-13

Now THAT is funny!

Author: VY
Date: 2004-04-13

Christ…chocolate eggs are the fucking holy grail, but scotch eggs are grounds for perjury…if i had a time machine, i’d put an international embargo on my seed…

Author: Chris
Date: 2004-04-13

I’ma gonna kill you someday, Grego. I know that’s you.


Author: Gregory Oh
Date: 2004-04-13

In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire…