As Easter approaches, we have decided to confront the myth that is the Easter Bunny. We pondered the idea of a rabbit that somehow produces eggs, then distributes them to kids everywhere without benefit of helpers or reindeer or a flying sled or even the missus. Just hopping, it seems like, from the outside. Hopping? Hopping. Given the magnitude of these tasks, we had our doubts, so we conducted a behind-the-scenes investigation, and we’ve found that, as we suspected, the Bunny is not the innocent and omnipotent figure he seems to be. He has help:
Alan, the Easter Chocolate Factory Worker. Ever stopped to think about where the Bunny gets the candy in the first place? No Arctic workshops, no elves–the goodies just kind of show up. Well, mystery solved: We tracked down Alan, a regular guy, who works for a massive chocolate syndicate. He admitted to being the Bunny’s supplier, in return for preferential treatment for his own kids.
The Easter Raccoons – The job of hiding every egg for every egg hunt had to be too much for any one Bunny. Sure enough, much of the work is subcontracted to a massive underground network of Easter Raccoons, skilled at grabbing eggs and stashing them away in obscure places. Several of the raccoons have been let go over the years for hissing at children who are about to find the eggs. Disturbingly, it turns out that Easter Raccoons aren’t all that bright and sometimes forget the point of what they’re doing. Also, they’re often drunk.
The Plastic Grass Cow – Did you really think the Bunny somehow provided all that unconvincing “grass” for Easter baskets? No, it’s the Plastic Grass Cow. She does this by eating tremendous amounts of regular grass and then converting it into plastic grass, which she then, uhhhhh, produces. We couldn’t find out how she did it, because we didn’t want to know.
Retired NBA Players – Speaking of Easter baskets, sure, Easter baskets and basketball baskets are two different things. The sports version isn’t even a basket–just a string cylinder that contradicts the very concept and essence of “basket.” Still, these players have plenty of time on their generally huge and skilled hands and have been looking at something that is at least called a “basket” for years. So they’re assigned to the region where they played most during their careers and fill their days constructing Easter baskets. The kids in Miami are extra-lucky–they get the masterpieces woven by former Heat center Rony Seikaly! Denver children also luck out–they get the precision-crafted work of retired Nuggets forward LaPhonso Ellis! (Look for the tiny “LPE” on the bottom.)
The Jelly Bean Tree – Finally, how about the jelly beans? Well, our investigators have discovered that they all grow on a massive 300-foot-tall tree on a secret government site in the Nevada desert. When the beans have ripened, the tree’s propulsive stems shoot out the beans at tremendous speeds directly into Easter baskets worldwide, owing to secret trade agreements with other nations. This always happens when no one is looking. Always. No, our investigators didn’t actually see it, either. But they heard the unmistakable rat-a-tat of jellybeans being shot out of a Nevada jellybean tree’s propulsive stems and then other investigators heard the similarly unmistakable prat-a-prat of jellybeans hitting easter baskets, and they put two and two together.
So really, the Bunny is more of an executive figure, the one who coordinates the whole operation. Oh, we also found out that he is elected by a secret cabal of cloaked elders in a cave in France.
John Moe is a public radio host with American Public Media and lives in St Paul, Minnesota. He is a contributor to McSweeneys.net and author of Conservatize Me.