April 21, 2003

I'm An Easter Hobo Ever

I'm An Easter Hobo

Ever since my parents started teaching in Tokyo, oh those many years back, back, waayyyyy back. It might be! It could be! It IS! Excuse me, I was channeling my inner Harry Carey for a moment there. Anyway, my parents have been teaching in Tokyo now for over a decade, so many of the traditional holidays enjoyed by most families have been on hold for the past 10 years or so.

Although my family always manages to celebrate some measure of Christmas, whether here in Minnesota or meeting halfway in Hawaii, most of the other family get togethers, such as Thanksgiving, Easter, President's Day and Yom Kippur, are just days on the calendar that come and go with little or no fanfare. And I've always been totally fine with this. I don't really miss all the fuss and preparation that goes into a big holiday observance.

Still, come Thanksgiving, or Easter, people, for whatever reason, feel they must take pity on me. I'm not sure why they do this, exactly, but as a holiday approaches, friends and members of my more extended family start calling me, asking me to attend their celebrations. This is by no means a complaint. It gives me warm fuzzies to know that people are actually concerned about my holiday well-being. Plus, the chance for a free meal is always greatly appreciated.

I did two Easters this year; one with my cousin a week ago, and one with a hometown family that I practically grew up with as a young-un. Although, to be honest, the second "Easter," was mostly an invitation by my friend to come over and play Nintendo 64 games, which was just fine, I guess.

My childhood friend, B.J. (hold the felatio jokes, please), is now a husband and father of a three year old girl, Bailey. Bailey in at that tender age where cartoons can transfix her attention for many consecutive hours, no matter how bad the cartoons may be. Yesterday, the Easter Bunny gave Bailey a tape of collected cartoons from, oh, I'm guessing 1923 or so. All of the cartoons were supposed to have an Easter theme, but I'm here to tell you that any thread connecting these cartoons to Easter were tenuous at best.

I think the cartoons just barely pre-dated the emergence of Bugs Bunny. They consisted of silly animations complemented with a scratchy background musical score heavy on the flutes. Any dialog spoken by the characters was limited to a short line, maybe two ("It's time for spring!"), and some of the lessons being projected to children were frightening, to say the least.

During one cartoon, two love birds get separated in a big city, presumably New York, during a great blizzard. Eventually, the female bird, cold and miserable, and without hope, decides to throw herself off a skyscraper in despair. She even makes sure to tie her wings to her side so she can't change her mind in mid-plummet. Now, it was at this point that I had to wonder what Bailey was thinking about all of this. Suicide?! How does a three year old girl digest the concept of suicide?! I looked at B.J., who was nervously glancing over at his daughter, no doubt dreading the flurry of questions boiling within Bailey's fertile little mind.

The bird jumps, and she falls through the air at a rapid pace, until suddendly. . . she lands on the her lost lover bird, who was warming himself below on a discarded cigar butt. Forget the fact that she landed directly on his head, with her own head, a collision that would, in the real world, result in a spray of feather and brain. Such a nightmare scenario did not play out. Rather, the two birds shake away a few stars that are circling around their noggins, stare at each other for a moment before realizing they had found each other, and then they hug and kiss and the next scene shows them living in a birdhouse somewhere in the Caribbean. The moral: who fucking knows? All that I know for certain is that Bailey is likely scarred for life.

Posted by Ryan at April 21, 2003 10:54 AM
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