25 March 2023

Working Class Hero: Easter Bunny

It takes a special kind of person to be an Easter Bunny.  

It takes a hero.

Don’t laugh. Not unless you’ve worn that bunny head for an eight hour shift at the mall.  There have been many a man, woman and trans that have tried on that bunny head and couldn’t do it.

The bunny head is heavy.  It’s hot inside there.  Dark.  The eye holes are covered with mesh.  You are in a dark, hot place, weighed down.  Yes, a bit like Hell.  Wearing the bunny head is like looking out from Hell’s screen door at the world of the as-of-yet unjudged.  And you, from behind Hell’s screen door, are told to put a smile on the miserable faces of the as-of-yet unjudged (and sell a $39.99 commemorative photo package). 

And no, it’s not just the little kids at the mall.  It’s every single miserable person at the mall.  Miserable people who work in the mall stores, mall janitors and rent-a-cops, delivery people, geriatric mall walkers, shoppers of all ages and genders, tween and teen school truants, anybody in the mall who walks past the Easter Bunny on the Easter Bunny’s set is owed the Easter Bunny’s attention.

Anyway. . .

Most people, when they try on the bunny head, become anxious.  Panic sets in.  They feel cut-off, locked in, claustrophobic.  Buried alive.  They yank that bunny head off and gasp: I can’t breathe! I’m not cut out for this!  

Luckily, I’ve felt buried alive my whole life, so putting on the bunny head felt no different from any other moment.

Well, the rest of the Easter Bunny uniform is no joke, either.  The coat weighs a ton, the pants and paws are ill-fitting and hot as fuck.

Anyway. . .

Also, the Easter Bunny does not speak.  The Bunny must bring a smile to the miserable faces of the as-of-yet unjudged without saying a word.

Luckily, I have a lifetime of experience as a mime.  I was never formally trained.  I taught myself.  I’ve spent most of my life trying to avoid talking to people, so I am an expert at non-verbal communication.

To put a smile on the miserable faces of as-of-yet unjudged white folk, usually a simple limp-wristed wave of the paw will do.  African-Americans require a little more effort, they are more miserable, I suppose, but my mack daddy strut usually does the trick.  Police officers who happen by get my Derek Chauvin knee drop mime.  It doesn’t make them smile, but the other mall bystanders chuckle in delight.  Teenagers who try to crack wise at the Easter Bunny’s expense are shamed with a mime of a penalty flag toss and unsportsmanlike conduct signal.  I won’t get into detailed specifics regarding certain ages and genders, fluid or not, but take my word, this Easter Bunny makes all who cross his path feel loved.

It’s a grueling eight hour shift that leaves you soaked in sweat with a sore neck and a head aching from breathing your own recycled oxygen.  But the reward, the Christian satisfaction of giving a momentary born-again experience to the miserable souls of the mall, makes the agony of carrying your bunny head daily more than worth it.