Are you The Easter Bunny?
The question was screamed at me top volume from about thirty feet away as I sat at an outdoor café on LA’s trendy Vermont Avenue, sipping a latte. The person inquiring was of indeterminate sex and laboriously pushing a creaking, rusty, overloaded shopping cart. The enquirer also had dead leaves scattered through it’s hair and also suffered a cleft palate or some similar speech impediment, so it took me a few pointed hollers to realize that the query was, in fact, if I was The Easter Bunny.
Phonetically, the question sounded like this:
“AAAH NYEW NEE EADOR BAAAAHNNEE?”
In my “Flashdance” style cut-off sweatshirt and fresh-from-dance-class sweats, hair piled on top of my head in a sloppy bun and men’s aviator shades, I really didn’t look anything like The Easter Bunny, or the other patrons of the café… who were beginning to stare at me, wondering what my answer was going to be. It was perfectly clear to everyone within earshot that this question was being hollered directly to me.
I’m not sure exactly what it is about me that invites attention from the mentally unstable, but whatever it is, I’ve got it in spades. Luridly made-up bag ladies routinely cross busy streets just to strike up a conversation with me; blackout drunks at Mardi Gras stagger blindly through police lines to gift me with beads, and I’ve been the subject of plenty of unsolicited amorous attention from colorful individuals whom law enforcement officers would probably classify as The Criminally Insane. In the two most memorable cases, this, for some reason, has something to do with Easter.
The question was screamed at me again, this time with an urgent note of utter desperation.
Are you The Easter Bunny?
Having now attracted the attention of passers-by as well as all of the other café patrons, I figured I might as well answer.
“Um, no… I’m sorry, I’m not The Easter Bunny,”
I said sheepishly, regretting having inadvertently disturbed everyone’s tranquil spring afternoon. Somehow, this didn’t daunt my inquisitor. The person continued,
“But do you have an Easter Bunny costume?”
It was now clearly too late not to engage in this bizarre exchange, since the whole block now seemed to be waiting breathlessly for me answer. Grandstanding for a moment, I yelled back,
“Well, as a matter of fact, I do!”
“With bunny ears?”
“Uh, yes, of course with ears.”, I replied, wondering just what the hell this was leading up to.
Because of my affirmative answer, the person broke into a manic, jubilant grin revealing many missing teeth and yelled,
“YOU MEET HE HERE ON EASTER MORNING- AND BRING A BASKET WITH CHOCLATE EGGS!”
“Okay,” I managed weakly, hoping that it wouldn’t shatter the dream when I didn’t show up as promised.
Not too long after that, I was walking along Hollywood Boulevard minding my own business, when something similar occurred.
“Hey Pretty Lady, Pretty Lady! Hey can I ask you a question, Pretty Lady?”
Again, there I was out in public, looking like- for lack of a better description- ten pounds of shit in a five-pound sack. I blithely ignored the smooth playah cadence of this pick-up artist’s voice and kept walking quickly hoping to ditch him, but to no avail. Pretty soon, the dude got into step right beside me. Even though my eyes were focused straight ahead, I could tell he was tall and slowing his pace to match mine.
“Hey Pretty Lady! Are you single, do you have a boyfriend? Are you married? You sooo pretty, Pretty Lady!”
This went on for at least a block. Persistent motherfucker, I thought to myself. Hopefully he’ll see some slutty tourist with a fake tan and a tube top and forget about me.
Out of the corner of my eye, I caught glimpse of his leg as he strode alongside me. He was wearing tuxedo trousers with a satin stripe down the sides and black jazz oxfords…but they were totally filthy, caked with mud.
“Hey Pretty Lady! Wanna have some coffee with me, Pretty Lady?”
He wasn’t relenting so, as with the previous situation, I figured I should just stop and confront him.
“Pretty Lady! Let’s have some coffee and talk about our future, Pretty Lady!”
I halted dead in my tracks and before turning to look at him I yelled,
“Oh, Pretty Laaaaady,” he sighed dejectedly.
He was indeed tall. Like, Los Angeles Lakers tall. He was a striking African American man wearing a tuxedo…but the suit was so completely rumpled and covered with caked-on mud, it looked like he’d been run over by a tractor.
He also had on a pair of brand new white plush bunny ears with pink satin lining, and he was sporting a child’s white plastic “Phantom of The Opera” mask!
For an insane moment, I briefly considered taking a cell-phone picture with him and maybe even going out to coffee to see what, exactly, his get-up was all about, but then I got a hold of myself, mainly because he smelled so horrible.
Before skipping away from him as quickly as possible, I yelled as loudly as I could manage,
Are you The Easter Bunny?
The story you've just read is from my book "Showgirl Confidential" ( Punk Hostage Press) available on Amazon.com; for a signed copy, please visit princessfarhana.com