Children in both small towns and big bustling cities (and I suspect some adults, too) will be perfecting the art of The Hunt today. Their target? Outside. Behind trees and shrubs. Under stones and rocks. In the birdfeeder. Inside the top hat of a statue. Even inside, I suspect the fun will continue. In cupboards. Behind the piano. Inside that tub of butter in the refrigerator.
Some probably even woke up at sunrise this morning and have moved on to the trading and eating portion of the Easter celebration.
It’s the pastel parade – the day of the year where the world falls in love with light blues and pinks and purples and greens, and no one can resist letting out a giant “Awwww” every time they spot a little candy-filled plastic egg. Each egg one of those pastel colors, of course, and, like the children themselves, no two ever quite the same.
But what interests me more – or perhaps what scares me more – is the supposed happy critter behind these pastel presents of goodness.
The Easter Bunny. The cute, fluffy bunny who hops from house to house carrying a giant basket of goodies. He’s merrier than Santa Claus and leaves more loot than the Tooth Fairy. He’s every child’s furry best friend.
Or is he?
MORE JUICE AFTER THE JUMP…
I once wrote about my childhood love affair with a certain Mr. Bunny. Yet now, two years later, I’m much older and wise; the infatuation has worn off. Reality has finally set in.
How much do we really know about Mr. Bunny. We know Santa’s story (we could probably even recite it by heart), but Mr. Bunny’s story seems to be shrouded in mystery. For an animal who claims his mission is to bring the joys of jelly beans and the prettiness of Peeps to thousands of children, you’d think he’d be thumping and bumping the streets to get his tale (and literal tail, too) out there. Leave it to me to give him the loud, long overdue wake-up call that he needs: Mr. Bunny, you could benefit from hiring a sleek PR agent to, how can I put this delicately, makeover your image?
I’m not in the gossip business, but I have heard rumbling from very reliable sources that Mr. Bunny isn’t a smile-inducing sight for all children. As a child, I happily sat on his lap and smiled for the camera. My sister recalls a much different experience.
She reluctantly sat on Mr. Bunny’s lap, a look of pure fear and terror in her small blue eyes. It was like the Santa scene in “A Christmas Story,” only worse. Something tells me this experience didn’t exactly help her conquer her fear of clowns, either.
She, too, has the picture to prove this.
And just last week, I shopped the aisles of Wal-Mart and had to brace myself before I entered the Easter section. Just as I suspected, I was bombarded with so many bunny incarnations that I was forced to speed away in my wheelchair, full of frenzy as if running from the giant ball a la Indiana Jones.
It was just too much stimulation to take in at one time.
So how exactly could a solid makeover and media blitz help our Mr. Bunny? It could help Mr. Bunny’s actual image for one thing. Some photos depict him as a small Peter Rabbit-type creature; others show a tall, white, big-eared creature whose smile is so big that it calls into question just what sort of candy he’s been eating.
It probably also wouldn’t hurt to take a tour on the talk-show circuit. I can just imagine the revelations and insights Dr. Phil could give, or the laughs Mr. Bunny could have with the women of The View. It would show people he’s just like them, human – well, like them except for the human part.
But I must give Mr. Bunny credit for one thing. He apparently understands the power of having a Web presence because he does have his own official Web site, www.easterbunny.com. Here, he takes the opportunity to discuss his mission.
“The Easter Bunny leaves baskets of treats on Easter morning for good children. The Easter Bunny likes to leave chocolates, colored eggs, plastic colored eggs and other fun things for Easter. The Easter Bunny likes leaving these in a basket or even in caps and bonnets as he used to do long ago. A carrot or two left out for the Easter Bunny is always appreciated.”
Apparently, he likes to write in the third person. And ask for free food too. Not sure that’s a wise PR move, Mr. Bunny. But this is a good start nonetheless.
I do sense great things for you in the future, Mr. Bunny. Just remember, when you’re dealing with children, image is everything.
I bet that before you know it, you’ll have legions of fans, young and old. Maybe they’ll even call themselves The Bunny Bunch.