I've never been one to call myself a Catholic.
It's not that I don't have my fair share of delusions. I just don't care to identify with a large group of people who have them publicly (which is probably why I never became a Dead Head). But I will confess that I enjoy the benefits of Catholocism: Bazaars, craft shows, Sundays, sins, wafers, Madonna, Santa Claus and The Easter Bunny.
I have always loved Easter.
It is one of those great events that is drenched in dogma and gravitas, while being promoted with costumes and candy. Man, those Catholics are something. "Here, this one's like Christmas. It's all about Jesus but we think that won't sell. Let's make the cutest little animal in the world -who is the spokesperson for overpopulation- be the mascot. We can even get kids to want their picture taken with a guy dressed up like him at every mall in the country."
And the deal is, you don't get toys, you get candy!
Kids may not understand that by being born they have already committed a sin, but they sure do understand candy.
When I was a little kid, my Mom was worried about my teeth. So instead of giving me candy, I got prizes.
The deal was, there'd be little plastic eggs that she would hide around the house. Each egg had a little piece of paper with a number inside. Each number corresponded to a prize. The prizes ranged from a new bike seat, to a pack of markers and a sketch book or a roll of Bang Caps.
Sounds simple right?
Right. Because it was. And it worked like a charm. It successfully postponed my very first cavity for 35 years.
One of my earliest memories is from when I was probably 3. It was Easter Sunday. My Mom came in my room and put me over her shoulder. She carried me out of my room and into the living room where I was about to begin my hunt.
What nobody knew was that on my way past the knick-knack shelf, I had caught a glimpse of one of the carefully hidden prize eggs. This was possible only due to the elevated view of the room I had. A Mom's eye view. I'll never forget those precious few seconds in time; high above everything. In motion but also fully focused. And then spying it in all its fuscia and lavender glory. Two plastic halves protecting a most valuable note. A lucky ticket.
A lucky break.
What a fix.
I remember feeling that power of an unfair advantage but I didn't care. I had found my prize. I had claimed my first catch of the day and I felt tremendous.
One of my prizes that day was a brand new bicycle seat. Thick and nicely padded, just like me.
I saw Easter candy for sale downtown today. The big day is over a month away but they have got to put the candy out early so we won't forget.
And for the life of me I can't tell you the story of Jesus and Easter. I think I was something about a bunny who lays candy eggs and then can't find them. Then he eats his friend, Mr. Pig, for dinner and goes to the mall where all the kids want to have their picture taken with him. Does that sound right?
Maybe I should just go to bed.
I've got to get up early.
Rise and shine as they say.
Rise and shine.