With the possible exception of Santa Claus himself, there is not a
busier mammal on the face of the earth than the Easter Bunny. Once a
year, the Easter Bunny hops into the home of hundreds of millions of
boys and girls all over the globe, dropping off chocolates, candy and
eggs as part of the celebration of Easter. America Online spent a few
minutes with the Easter Bunny as he was preparing for this year’s
task, for a tell-all, no-holds-barred interview. If you thought you
knew the Easter Bunny, you just may be surprised.
America Online: Thanks for talking to us.
Easter Bunny: No problem. Do you mind if I eat while we talk? (takes
out a packet of small green pellets) I’ve been in a rush recently.
AOL: Go right ahead. We’ve got a list of questions here, compiled
from our members, and I’ll just go down the list if you don’t mind.
EB: Ready when you are.
AOL: The first question comes from Ted, in Dayton, Ohio. He
writes: “We all know that Santa’s Workshop is located at the North
Pole. Does the Easter Bunny have a workshop, and if so, where is it
EB: Well, Ted, the answer is yes, I do have a workshop. It’s located
in San Bernardino, California.
AOL: San Bernardino?
EB: That’s right.
AOL: You have to understand that most people would have figured some
place like Easter Island.
EB: Have you *been* to Easter Island? What a rock! It’s the single
most isolated piece of land on the planet. By the time we shipped
fresh eggs there, we’d have chickens. Besides, San Bernardino has the
sort of motivated labor pool we need.
EB: Laid-off aerospace workers.
AOL: They would seem to be a little overqualified.
EB: Maybe. But now we have some lovely chocolate stealth bombers.
AOL: Our next question comes from Cindy, in Tempe. She writes: “Why
is the Easter Bunny a bunny? Why couldn’t it have been the Easter
Kitty, or the Easter Puppy?”
EB: That’s a very good question. In fact, in the late 70s, we as an
organization decided to play around with the whole “bunny” thing by
recruiting prominent local animals to deliver Easter baskets. In
1978, when the experiment was at its height, we had an Easter Bunny,
an Easter Coyote, an Easter Manatee and an Easter Komodo Dragon.
AOL: What happened?
EB: It just didn’t work out. The komodo dragon ate the eggs, the
coyote just flaked out, and the manatee, if I may say so, was just
about as dumb as a stick. There were some other problems with the
program, too. The less we talk about the whole Easter Man-Eating
Bengali Swamp Tiger episode, the better. Now we stick with bunnies.
We know bunnies. We can work with bunnies. Bunnies don’t eat anyone.
AOL: Bob in Honolulu asks: “Is there is just one Easter Bunny?
Moreover, has the same Easter Bunny been the Easter Bunny for the
last couple of millennia?”
EB: The fact of the matter is that there are quite a few Easter
Bunnies, and we’ve never made a secret about that. Unlike the Santa
Claus operation, which works under the improbable assumption that one
guy delivers all those presents –
AOL: Are you saying that Santa is a sham?
EB: I didn’t say that. I never said that. What I am saying is that
*we* don’t work under the same sort of constraints. I mean, think
about it. One bunny delivering baskets to several hundred million
homes across the planet? The friction from the atmosphere alone would
turn the poor guy into a bunny briquette. There’d be hideous charcoal
smudges all over the baskets. “Easter Bunny” is a job description,
not a proper name. It’s like “Postal Carrier,” except our employees
very rarely become disgruntled.
AOL: So why are you THE Easter Bunny?
EB: Because I’m boss. You’re not an Easter Bunny until I say you are.
AOL: How does one become an Easter Bunny?
EB: Well, it’s not just hopping down the bunny trail, I’ll tell you.
First, for reasons already explained, you have to be a bunny. After
that, we have a psychological evaluation and a battery of physical
tests you have to pass. We can’t afford to have an Easter Bunny cramp
up at the beginning of his run.
AOL: Any famous rabbits turned down for the job?
EB: I don’t want to name names. But one bunny who’s making a living
in the breakfast cereal industry, we had to let go. Any time a child
would try to get an Easter basket from him, he’d back away and start
snarling. He was a silly rabbit. Easter baskets are for kids.
AOL: He seems to have gotten better since then.
EB: Prozac helps.
AOL: Albert from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, wants to know what are the
occupational hazards of being the Easter Bunny.
EB: There are several. Large dogs are always a problem, of course:
one moment you’re delivering a basket of goodies, the next, a
rottweiler named Pinochet is on you like a meat-filled sock. Nervous
homeowners with guns wing a couple of bunnies a year, as do edgy cops
and private security guards. We don’t even bother trying to deliver
to the children of militia members anymore; first they’ll plug you
for being on their land, then they’ll make you into jerky and a pair
of gloves. But you know what our number one problem is?
EB: Sliding glass doors. Sometimes we’ll just forget they’re there.
Man, that’s embarrassing.
AOL: Here’s an interesting question, from Amy, in New York City. She
writes: “How does the Easter Bunny get along with Santa Claus? It
seems like Santa gets all the attention.” And I have to say, I did
notice some tension earlier, when you brought him up.
EB (Looking uncomfortable): Well, you know, look. I don’t want to say
anything bad about the guy. He does what he does, and I do what I do.
Professionally, we get along fine.
AOL: But privately?
EB: Is that tape recorder turned off?
EB: He’s a big ol’ pain in this bunny’s bottom. For one thing, he’s a
prima donna: always me, me, me, where’s my highball, where’s my
corned beef sandwich, tell this dumb bunny to get his own dressing
room. I’d rather be trapped in a sack with Joan Crawford. For
another, he’s totally paranoid of other large men. He thinks that
Luciano Pavarotti is trying to move into his territory. Last year it
was John Goodman. He actually danced when Orson Welles kicked, waving
his pistol and bellowing “Rosebud!” from the top of his lungs.
AOL: Wow. He seems a little scary.
EB: You think? And yet he gets all the publicity. Why? We do the same
job. Mine’s actually tougher, since I’m moving perishable stuff. You
can’t have bad eggs or stale chocolate, you know. Folks wouldn’t
stand for it. I have to maintain strict quality control. The only
food product he has to worry about is fruitcake. You could tile the
Space Shuttle with fruitcake.
AOL: We’re sure you have your own fans.
EB: It’s like opening for the Beatles, is all. And he *is* the
walrus, if you know what I mean.
AOL: One final question, from Pat, in Rockford, Illinois; “Does the
Easter Bunny actually lay eggs? How does that happen, since the
Easter Bunny is both male and a mammal?”
EB: Well, platypuses are mammals, and they lay eggs. So it’s not
AOL: That still leaves the male part.
EB: We’re quibbling on details, here.
AOL: Maybe there should be an Easter Platypus.
EB: Sorry. We tried that in ’78.