Sunday, April 9, 2023

Happy E-Day!

     It's Easter, again. Being a full-service columnist, I should come up with some Easter content, for those who celebrate. Though I'm at a disadvantage, having never observed the holiday myself, beyond gobbling what Easter candy strays within reach.
     In the past, I did not let this gap in my upbringing stop me from taking a swing at Easter. Two brief posts, then, from when the column filled a page and was made up of little items. 


     Happy Easter! Do you know a good way to kill bunnies? Because I've got them --my lawn sometimes looks like that old Teletubbies TV show with scatterings of rabbits gazing stupidly back at you.
     I never minded before — cute wittle bunny wabbits, right? Until now, with spring in early bloom, I made my initial survey of the yard and garden, noting happily the fat pink scoop magnolia blossoms opening, the yellow breaking out on the forsythia, the daffodils daffodilling.
     And where was my vinca, flats of which I've been planting for the past two or three years, as ground defense against weeds? "Vinca," I called sweetly, "Oh vinca?" It was gone. All gone. A few stubs of nothing.
     "Rabbits," said the woman at Red's Garden Center. "They're bad this year."
     Well I can be bad, too. My first thought was to sit on the back deck with a pitcher of lemonade and a shotgun across my knees. Maybe scatter some carrots as bait.
     But my house backs up against the Northbrook Village Hall parking lot, and the concussive shotgun blasts, not to mention my bloodthirsty cries of glee, would no doubt draw unwelcome police interest, and they might misinterpret the situation.   
     So what? Poison? Blow gun and poison darts? Small coils of anti-rabbit concertina wire? I loved that vinca, with its dark glossy little leaves; it must be avenged. How do the experts do it?
     —Originally published in the Sun-Times, April 16, 2006

     Editor's note: the vinca is long gone. The rabbits remain, in abundance. Or their great-great-grandchildren, rather.

Ask the Jewish ethicist

Dear Jewish Ethicist:

     Easter is Sunday, and I don't know what to do — should I give my kids hollow chocolate bunnies and let them color eggs? Or would that be wrong? All their friends have fancy Easter baskets and we feel left out. Help!


Hankering for Peeps.

Dear Hankering for Peeps:

     You bring up a dilemma. On one hand, we love our children and hate to deny them anything fun, and to this end violating the basic tenets of faith seems a small price to pay. On the other, we feel uncomfortable casually taking up the trappings of someone else's religion.
     As well we should. Holidays are rewards to the faithful for their ceaseless adherence to a creed. While you might be forgiven for palming a few malted milk ball eggs at work on the sly, if you indulge in your own faux Easter party, you're taking a victory lap you are not entitled to, skimming off the colorful pageantry while ignoring the meaning. That puts you in the same league as Madonna and her red string and gang-bangers with their stars of David and all the other people who thoughtlessly pin medals on themselves that they did not earn.
     Jews who dye eggs with their kids — or put up Christmas trees — are like people who crash a wedding reception. They don't know the happy couple, and they weren't invited, but they can't bear to miss a swell party so end up in line to the buffet.
     Resist if you can.
     Or, if you just have to dye eggs, wait for a few weeks — it isn't like Christians own the idea. Decorate them in May. Or is there a reason you need to do it now?

Neil "Somebody Had to Say It" Steinberg

     —Originally published in the Sun-Times, March 25, 2005


  1. For rabbit control: use as spray called "Liquid Fence" smells awful doesn't harm plants or rabbits and keeps them away-reapply after it rains

    1. Does the awful smell keep you out of the back yard too?

  2. Try being an atheist. When asked how I’m celebrating a Christian holiday, my answer is “ well, I really shouldn’t.”

  3. I have three rabbits in my back yard in Rogers Park. They're harmless, certainly nowhere near as bad as squirrels, which are just rats with bushy tails!

  4. Colored eggs and Peeps is not "Easter".
    Decorated fir trees and waiting for a guy in a Red Suit is not "Christmas".

  5. We did not raise our children in a religious adherence . I was raised catholic but am a renouncer. My ex did not have a religious upbringing. We colored eggs with the kids and bought them baskets of candy and toys. We also " celebrated" Christmas , with a tree and gifts. I'm a fan of the commercialized version of this holiday.

    We also lit the menorah and attended pesah seders when invited.
    Haven't been struck by lightning yet! LOL

    1. Nor have I. Raised by Jewish parents and attended Hebrew school, but after my Bar Mitzvah, that was pretty much it for me. My wife was raised Catholic, but switched to public school after her father's death. Like her mother, she renounced her belief in a Higher Power when he died at 45.

      She bakes Passover matzoh and gives me enormous Easter baskets, filled with eggs,candy, Peeps, jelly beans, and cans of Spam. We use the same menorah I've lit for 65 years, decorate the house for Christmas, put up the outdoor lights, and pile gifts under a 7-foot fake tree. It stayed up until late January during the Plague, because it cheered us up. Two feet in each camp. All the bases covered. Works for us...and it's worked for the last thirty years.

  6. Yo, Saturnalia! Happy Eostre!

  7. Or you could celebrate Ēostre, another pagan holiday taken over by early Christians. Ēostre was the pagan fertility goddess of humans and crops. The traditional colors of her festival are green, yellow and purple. The symbols used are rabbits and eggs, representing fertility and new life.

  8. While Christians celebrate their Messiah risen from the dead, I see only reasons to mourn the thousands of American children lowered into eternal oblivion. Their deaths are all too real, the celebrations of a myth is no comfort to me.

  9. And how are they celebrating Easter and Passover in the Middle East?

    1. The same as every other killing each other. Twenty Palestinians for every Israeli. Eye for an eye my ass.


Comments are vetted and posted at the discretion of the proprietor.