Well, Quad-Cities, What’s It REALLY Like To Be The Easter Bunny?
Three African American children grilled me about why the Bunny was white. One of the children, no more than 8 years old, said, “This Bunny is out of touch with what’s going out there.” But I can’t talk; I can only animate. And that was my first day as the Easter Bunny.
Yes, I was one of THOSE people.
And by THOSE people, I mean I was one of the few, the underpaid, the sorta proud, who has donned the costume of the Easter Bunny for public appearances at everywhere from shopping malls to car dealerships to libraries and more. Where was I? Well, everywhere and nowhere, just like the Easter Bunny itself. I’ll leave that vague. But these are my diary entries from my days in the trenches, and by trenches, I mean uncomfortable and hot costumes.
You’ve already gotten a little snippet of my first day. Let’s continue, shall we? We shall…
I had a little girl ask if I was who Jesus became when he died and, I kid you not said, “what’s the deal with eggs?” Then two walking bottles of alcohol sat on my lap and got a little handsy. Again, I can’t speak. I just have to sit there. It’s a sad, sad existence.
It happened; I got peed on. And what’s the protocol? Oh, nothing. We dab it away and let Jesus take the wheel. It happened in hour 1 with 4 to go.
On my fourth day in the suit, a woman busy talking on her phone left her child in Bunny Day Care. She left her 2 year old on the set to play with me while she stepped away to have a talk on her cell. I entertained that child for 20 minutes before the parents returned.
I admit it: I fell asleep. In my defense, it’s warm, it’s dark and I had no kids for 3 hours.
I arrived for my shift to discover I was alone. The manager hasn’t shown up and wouldn’t show for another 45 minutes. I almost quit that day. Twice.
On my seventh day of Bunnying my true love gave to me… only 2 children in four hours. That’s the most boring thing. Eventually, the children began to show up. They were all odd but one stands out. A boy, no more than ten years old with stringy red hair, quietly said, “My daddy left my mommy for two guys and now my grandma calls him a bottle of homo syrup.”
A guy clad in a sleeveless camp shirt and Trump hat brought his son in. His unruly son was impossible and as he left the child said, “fuck off Bunny.”
I had no children for almost the entire shift. However, there was a salesman selling the promise of the Garden of Eden right across the set. I wandered over in full costume and not one person noticed. That’s how good this guy was.
There was an impressive snow storm last night and while the roads weren’t terrible on the way in, I was expecting it to be rather quiet in Bunny land. Not so much. It was our busiest day yet and these kids were unruly and disrespectful. I almost quit four times. I got a little revenge, however, when a child reached her hand up my sleeve and felt the fur stop. She shrieked in horror, I shook my head and slowly waved until she left with her equally wretched family. This is changing me chemically.
The keys to the “dressing room” went missing and I was unable to change and thus we were unable to open the set on time. A line of angry customers formed. That was the beginning of the end of the day. Nothing even funny to report… just an observation on
how awful human beings can be. What ever happened to kindness, compassion?… it might alive somewhere but it’s not in a mall around any holiday.
On the twelve day of Christmas, oh I mean Easter, an older lady came in with her granddaughter, sat on my lap and said, “I used to be a furry and I had a bad experience with a big bunny and I haven’t sat on bunny’s lap since.” Oh, and a little girl asked if I pooped jelly beans. Again… I can’t react.
Each time a little girl was placed on my lap she would fart and launch herself off my lap. Like a rocket filled with natural gas, her toots would send her into the air. The parents tried repeatedly until I eventually I held her down all the while she attempted to launch. It’s a glamorous job.
Today, a man came in with three different women each with their 2-3 children a piece. We came to find out all these kids were his and apparently everyone was cool with whatever set up they had. Before he fled the scene, he did pay for all of the photos so I suppose chivalry isn’t dead? Oh and several children sneezed right in my face. Granted it’s a big head but it still has mesh eyes and open nose holes so if I die we know why.
This was the third day I’ve waited a location manager to show up. It was strike 3 for me. I almost quit. Again. She showed up 45 minutes late and had it been the first time, fine… but it wasn’t and this late in the game, I wasn’t having any of it. And did it get better from there? No.
It was the busiest day of the season – day care centers, large families – mostly rude humans with their bratty children. A few exceptions to the rule but damn, people… get your kids under control!
Also, these kids have some weird names. My top three of the day:
Treseme. Yes, Treseme. As in the hair product. According to the mom, “it is what got me laid.” The other was a set of twins named Camry and, yes, Camry. To quote the father, “It’s so we don’t forget.” Wow. My favorite and most endearing was a little fella named Soarin. He’s named that because the mother told the father they were having a baby on that famed ride at Disney World. That was pretty keen.
There are some things you never forgot. The day of your wedding, perhaps? The day your daughter is born? Important things. But you also never forget the feeling of a child sitting on your lap and taking a shit. That’s unique and something I can’t un-experience.
My final day was insane. Everything I had experience in the last few weeks had come back to haunt me. Just about everything that had happened to me happened again as if I were reliving each miserable day in some fucked Groundhogs Day for Easter Bunnies. If it wasn’t my last day, I would’ve quit on the spot but I stuck it out suffered through knowing this would eventually make a great story to tell.
By the end of the day I was in no mood for, well, anything. As I was walking back to the break room so we could switch out bunnies, a few teenage dudes starting to mess with me. Verbal abuse? Who cares but one of those little fuckers kicked me. My autopilot kicked in, I completely forgot I was wearing a bunny suit and chased him a ways down the corridor before I realized what I was doing. That teen almost got bitch slapped by the Easter Bunny.
During the shift change, one of my fellow bunnies confided in me that he is convinced that this is his big break into show business. I laughed out loud. I’m not in the mood to entertain that as I’m attempting to be a working actor and the only gig I can land is this fucking Bunny.
Bitter is an understatement.