there is something horrible in the yielding of a “hollow form” chocolate bunny. go figure that a confection predicated on artifice and emptiness should leave one feeling a little hollow upon its consumption, but i don’t think that i ever felt it so keenly – or so keenly identified what was produced internally with what went down, dentally, orally, organoleptically. don’t these chalky, grotesque comedies of easter candies make you feel bad? doesn’t it feel like trying to seize a memory, a trace of the magic of however improbably believing in some benevolent semi-anthropomorphized mystical creature, only to be met with a crumbling nightmare of weakly maintained chocolate mummery?
i remember the 1lb chocolate bunny. dense enough that one’s motley assortment of baby and Big Kid teeth could never quite break it apart into satisfactory bites, so that one just spent However Long It Took gnawing off shavings, whittling away as the weeks turned into months and the gradually dwindling bunny remained tucked away under the Captain Carrot comics and James Howe novels on the lower shelf of my bedside table. i often wonder whether today’s “Mr. Solid,” forced out of anonymity by the growing ubiquity of Messrs. Crispy, Peanut, and the like, is the same, tastes the same, as the maniacally staring, candy-eyed (if one was lucky) 1lb bunnies of my childhood, that came wrapped only in translucent foil, too fast and loose and to-the-point to bother with cardboard and a little cut-to-sillouette window.
but i shan’t investigate, of course. as much out of laziness as the conviction that some childhood pleasures are best left unexcavated…
* * *
on the topic of the muddle one gets into when trying to temper the romanticism of the past – speaking this evening to the somewhat curmudgeonly first-gen. German father of my brother’s partner’s sister’s husband about the dangers of drinking drinks of higher than 11% ABV (concerns about which i do not share), he gets into reminiscences of his own grandfather, whom he once came upon taking a hearty slug of schnapps in the early morning, he remembers quite clearly. the old fellow takes a mouthful, gargles it, swallows it down. upon being questioned, he responds that he is brushing his teeth. queried as to the absence of his toothbrush, he replies
“You have enough alcohol, you don’t need toothbrush.”
with this, he takes another shot, repeats.
“Well, i have to wake up my stomach before breakfast.”
the lesson, somehow, derived from all this, is summed up in the intensely European bit of wisdom: “Boy, wine and beer are beverage. A man needs to drink.”
by which point it becomes unclear what one is being warned against, and Fritz (i swear to god it is his name, not some hilarious limey anachronism i have imputed for the occasion) goes back to browbeating the adolescent (grand)nephew for wearing a baseball hat and shorts to dinner.
Happy Easter, folks.