Saturday, April 12, 2014

Why the Easter Bunny terrifies me...

It all started when I was about five or so, Doctor.  My parents brought me to the monolithic store in Menands named Montgomery Ward (which was always called Ward's or if you are a long time Albany-Schenectady-Troy resident you called it Monkey Ward's).  It had everything in the world in it you could want and if you did not find it in the store, there was that magical place you could go behind the Big Store and go to a big room where your parent would give a man a piece of paper and the man would go away and you'd just stand there for a bit and the man would come back with a big box and you'd take the box and go home and there'd be something big and cool in there when you opened up the box.

You knew Christmas was getting close when this arrived....

The Monkey Wards Christmas catalog would show up around mid-October and would be number one on the list for the next ten weeks, especially when there was someplace you might be, um, sitting for a while until someone else wanted or needed to sit there by themselves.  I would take the catalog with me, of course, and continue perusing in my room.  Some things are just private.

My family was not very religious, but we had the basics.  Naturally, Santa came on Christmas Eve, etc.  But there were these barn dollhouses on the dining room table and on top of the television box, with all these little statues of oddly dressed people with their arms in the air like a perpetual Ta-dahhh! and I was informed that I was being given presents by Santa because it was the plaster baby in the plaster straw's birthday. And then one year later or so, my big sister showed me where Santa stored all the toys he was going to give me on Christmas.  This seemed like a good economic move at the time, storing your merchandise close to your customers, but my sister told me that Santa had gone out of business and my parents were the local distributors now, like Tupperware.  So aside from the Bubble Santa ( plastic Santa one foot tall which held a bubble light in his right hand), that ended Mr. Claus for me. It was a birthday party for a baby who was born in a barn, and who, I heard, grew up to be a nice man (picked that up in the whole two days of Presbyterian church school I went to) and then went away but came back and then went away again, and promised to come back.

And this is why I was looking at....

What is this horror? my six year old mind thought.  Why is my father pulling me toward it? Am I to be sacrificed? This monster is waiting for me.  At least all the Santas I'd seen in stores had a somewhat human face under their beards, and the beard would move when he talked.  Nothing moved on the Easter Bunny's face, and when he talked it sounded like the Bunny-being was trapped inside his own body.  And what is going on with his feet? This is so wrong.  I wanted nothing to do with this, but my father took my hand, something he never did, and we never held each other's hand again until a few days before he died.

After a few seconds of a hello from the BunnyMonster and the voice that seemed to come from his left shoulder, I was out of there and Dad had to chase me to the Down Escalator. That ended Easter for me. No more coloring eggs, or finding them before my dog did.  The basket of candy still showed up so we went on pretending, if for nothing else than the coconut egg.  We'd go out to dinner or bake a ham at home.  Didn't make much difference.  I'd rather have Halloween.  You know its for the candy and the goofy costumes, and the scary stuff is a bonus. But this?

No, no, no! I'm lucky my Prozac script just got re-upped.  I can still see him in my nightmares. Almond Joy, little boy? Gaaaaaaaahhhhh!

Thanks for reading

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