Yesterday I went to the mall and what did I see but some kind of Easter bunny aberration I can only classify as “Santa Bunny.” There in the place where Santa sits each year, was a large bunny-like creature with a child perched on its lap and a photographer madly snapping pictures.The kid did not seem thrilled with this, but the mother was beaming and the lady with the camera was working fast to get a picture of the kid looking at least semi-happy before it actually dissolved into tears.
As the child evinced its displeasure, another woman — the Easter Bunny’s helper? — swooped in and plucked the child off of the rodent’s lap just as the kid started to actually cry. Who wants a picture of a crying kid being clutched by an oversize rodent? (Okay, rabbits are NOT actually rodents, but this was not actually a rabbit, either. For all I know it was an oversize rodent inside that suit.)
I was fascinated as this little pantomime was played out a couple more times with varying degrees of success. A couple of cute little twins in their Easter finery sat — one on each knee — sporting purple bunny ears (supplied by the E. Bunny people). They looked quite pleased with the whole thing and the parents smiled and clapped.
When there was a break in the action, I asked the Bunny helper “what’s the point of all this? I mean, with Santa, the kids can tell him what they want him to bring for Christmas. What do they talk to the Easter Bunny About?”
“Well, they don’t actually talk to the Easter Bunny. They can,” she added hastily, “once the pictures are taken, but they usually don’t.”
Like, what would you say to the Easter Bunny anyway? “Don’t bring me any of those crummy yellow eggs — I want red and blue eggs this year. And make sure that chocolate bunny is chocolate all the way through! No more of those hollow ones. And don’t be so chintzy with the peanut butter eggs.”
“So this is just so parents can have a picture of their child on the bunny’s lap?”
“Yeah, pretty much.”
I guess they send it out with their Easter cards. Um, wait — Easter cards? Really?
She turned back to help with another child and as I watched, it occurred to me that the bunny is wearing this big plastic head and he probably couldn’t talk anyway — like Mickey and Minnie Mouse. If you ever see them, they just nod and wave their hands. You really think the kid won’t figure this out?
As I continued toward the shoe store (my actual destination) I looked around for a list of prices for the pictures, but it was not apparent. I checked on-line. It’s pretty much a package like your high-school photos. The basic package, $24.95, gives you two 4×6 and 5 wallet size pictures. Of course, you can spend a lot more than that since surely you want to send this cute picture not just to Grandma, but to all your friends and relatives.
So now I’m wondering what else they can think of to take a picture of your kids with. A giant leprechaun? No, leprechauns by definition are small. A talking tree for Arbor Day? A little spooky, that. Oh, wait, I know! A large turkey for Thanksgiving! Yes, the child could sit on the turkey’s lap and put in his requests — “I want the drumstick this year, and make sure I get cranberries with actual berries in it. And don’t forget, Big Turkey, that the dressing has to be gluten free!”
So look for Tom Turkey coming this fall to a mall near you! And, uh, hold on to your wallet.