With Easter only a few days away, and the annual egg hunt/massive sugar high drawing nearer, it seems appropriate to share this rare interview with you. I’ve kept this transcript quiet because the subject of the interview doesn’t really like publicity. But, after speaking with his agent, I’ve secured permission to reproduce the interview transcript in its entirety here on The Southern Muse.
Ladies and Gentlemen, my exclusive interview with the Easter Rabbit. Feel free to leave any comments below – I would imagine there will be plenty to talk about, based on what all we covered.
JASON BROOKS: Thanks for taking the time to meet with me. I appreciate it.
EASTER RABBIT: No problem. I’m actually in down mode right now, so it’s cool.
JB: Down mode?
ER: Yeah. I’ve gotten most of my eggs colored and the items for the kids’ baskets are categorized and sectioned for delivery. I have a great team in production and fulfillment, so I have to give them a shout out for their help. What’s up Nate, Elly-Elly and The Big BOZ!
JB: You have a production and fulfillment department?
ER: Does that surprise you?
JB: Yes, actually. I’ve always thought you to be a loner.
ER: That’s the popular image, but come on – you really think one rabbit could deliver stuff to the world without a network of people behind him? A bit naïve, don’t you think?
JB: I guess so. So why do we not hear about your team, as opposed to the elves who help Santa?
ER: Because my employees are just your standard, everyday rabbits. Nothing fascinating about a bunch of white tails hippity-hopping their way through invoices and shipping records.
JB: So Santa’s workshop crew gets more press because they’re little people?
ER: You said it, not me.
JB: Does that bother you, the discrepancy between you and the Big Guy?
ER: On my good days no, but you know, there are those days during August and September when kids start counting down the days to Christmas and stores start putting out their Christmas decorations… and yeah, it gets to me. I mean, I bring stuff too, you know. I represent a major religious holiday. And honestly, doesn’t my holiday actually deserve more print? I mean – Jesus is born, great. But I represent his death and resurrection, which Christians believe is the fundamental apex of all creation. Yet somehow, Santa gets all the love and I get a two-paragraph mention in the “News and Notes” feature of the Washington Post.
JB: So you and Santa don’t get along?
ER: Who told you that?
JB: No one. Just asking a question. Does it bother you?
ER: What? The implication that I’m somehow jealous of Santa Claus?
ER: No it doesn’t bother me.
JB: It looks like it bothers you.
ER: Well it doesn’t.
JB: You’re tapping that hind leg pretty fast for someone who’s not bothered by the question.
ER: I’m a fricking rabbit, genius. We tap our hind legs all the time.
JB: Really? I’ll have to check that.
ER: OK, so maybe it bothers me a little – I mean, telling the world that I don’t really like Santa Claus won’t do wonders for my image, will it? And I’m already persona non grata in the press anyway, so how does answering your question help me?
JB: I suppose it doesn’t.
ER: You’re dang right it doesn’t. Next question.
JB: So what would you like for the public to know about you?
ER: Lots of stuff.
JB: Like what?
ER: I don’t know, things that will humanize me, make me more real to them.
JB: The Easter Bunny wants to be humanized?
ER: Well, we can start right there. I would love for you to tell your readers to knock off the “Easter Bunny” crap. It makes me sound like I’m five years old for Pete’s sake.
JB: But you’re a bunny.
ER: I’m a rabbit, actually, and I’m over three hundred years old. Do you run around calling senior citizens “kid” or “youngster”?
JB: So you would prefer to be called the Easter Rabbit?
ER: That would be a fantastic starting place.
JB: You just mentioned that you’re over three hundred years old; what are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen over your three centuries?
ER: Well, the evolution of what I’ve got to deliver is the biggest one. Used to be I brought a kid two or three pieces of candy and that was it. Nowadays, kids are getting freaking iPhones in their Easter baskets. Just last year, I delivered a basket to one kid that had over three pounds of candy, over $100 bucks in iTunes gift cards and a promissory note for $5,000.
JB: That seems excessive.
ER: Ya think? I mean, whatever happened to just bein’ happy with a basket full of shredded green polythene grass and a couple of marshmallow Peeps?
JB: What are some of the other changes you’ve seen?
ER: Without a doubt, the types of candy kids love now. It used to be chocolate and marshmallow were all the rage. Used to keep the whole warehouse full of just chocolate and marshmallow. Now, I’ve got two small palettes of that and the rest of the warehouse space is dedicated to specialty candies.
JB: Are you talking about gourmet candies?
ER: No, in my line, anything that is a sweet/sour mixture or straight up sour is a specialty candy, and I also include things like candy jewelry, Pop Rocks, anything non-traditional. But there are those kids that will only take chocolate strawberries, or chocolate truffles. Heck, one kid in New Hampshire won’t take anything but espresso mocha fudge with white truffle and gold leafing.
JB: That must be tough on the bottom line.
ER: You ain’t kidding. My endowment is only $4 million, and that’s American. With the market in volatility and the weakness of the dollar against the major foreign currencies, I’m looking at changing my whole operation. I hate to outsource, but let’s face it – I can get cheaper, better labor in China and other places than I can here in the States.
JB: Are there rabbits in China?
ER: I don’t have to use rabbits; I can roll with pandas, they’re pretty dexterous.
JB: Have you mentioned this possibility to your current staff?
ER: We’ve broached the topic, but only in broad terms. I think they know that I would kick in some pretty good severance packages if we took this thing international. And I’d definitely fund the pension plan in full.
JB: I would imagine with a staff composed entirely of rabbit laborers there are a lot of mouths to feed.
ER: Yeah, the birth rate at the home office is pretty high – I think last year was actually one of our down years, only 57,000 kids were born.
ER: Yeah. That’s on the low side though. You gotta understand, though, every rabbit pregnancy is a multiple one – at least three to five kids per – and while that’s a high birthrate, nature kind of evens things out.
JB: How so?
ER: Well, foxes, coyotes, dogs. Men with small self-esteems who think nothing will make up for their shortcomings like being able to kill small defenseless rabbits who are sleeping.
JB: So you have a high mortality rate as well?
ER: Yeah. We have a staff awareness meeting every month on natural predators. I personally conduct the annual “Hunter/Hunted Symposium” every year. But generally most of my staff dies off from trying to outrun cars. As fast as we are, we can’t quite outpace a Dodge Charger with a 351-Hemi and a lead-footed driver.
JB: I never imagined. How do you deal with the heartbreak as a staff?
ER: Well, most scientists have proven that rabbits have crappy long-term memory, so that kind of takes care of things. I mean, one day you’re crying over the latest road Frisbee and the next you truly don’t know that guy ever existed. Saves a lot in therapy bills.
JB: I bet.
ER: Well, my watch says that’s about all the time we have scheduled. Anything else you’d like to me add? Maybe make a statement or something.
JB: No, I’m cool. I think I have what I need. You have anything else you want to say?
ER: Just make sure people get the bit about the B-word. And if you would, refer to me only as the Easter Rabbit. You do that, we’re cool by me.
JB: Well, thanks for your time. Best of luck to you April 4th.
ER: Thanks. I’ve got to hit the gym and get my workouts in, but I think this year will be easy enough. And tell your kids that I’ll have a little something extra for them when I stop in.
JB: Will do. Thanks Easter Rabbit.