Lisa, the Easter Bunny

If Spring is a reminder of the importance of new life and new growth, it seems a perfect time to ask what new adventures you’ve had lately.  I am amazed at the way we settle for the same old familiar, although often boring, routines.

My friend Lisa Myers told me of a grand adventure she had one year at Easter time.  The purpose was to raise some extra money for a trip to Europe.  The place was Oklahoma City’s Quail Springs Mall.  The job was being the Easter Bunny.

She was first given a long list of Bunny Guidelines.  No talking.  (Lisa likes to talk.)  No hopping.  (Management felt it would be hokey to hop, but skipping was encouraged while swinging a basket.) Paws visible at all times (seems Santa got arrested).  The list continued, but you get the idea.

And so the adventure began.  Next came the donning of the bunny suit and off she headed for the Bunny House. Before she got out the door, she gave herself a whiplash because her ears got caught when she forgot to duck and upon arriving at the Bunny House she knocked over the archway – those very tall ears again.

Inside the bunny suit, with eleven pounds of fiberglass on her head, the perspiration was soon pouring down her face and into her eyes and she began to hyperventilate.  Then her nose began to itch and she realized there was no way to get her paw inside the bunny head to scratch. 

For four hours, she sat in that chair, shook the sweat out of her eyes and wiggled her nose in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the itching and waved at every one going by that she could see.  Her vision was somewhat limited by the four inch square screen that covered the bunny’s mouth.  She soon discovered the importance of that screen however when she realized the first thing most children do is stick their fingers in the Easter Bunny’s mouth and it was the only thing that prevented her eyes from being poked out.

She survived the first day, stuck it out for the entire four weeks and found the experience taught her some valuable lessons. 

She discovered that discomfort is really the mother of invention.  She rigged up an elaborate cooling system using a bandanna and an ice pack and velcroed a battery-operated fan to the top of the bunny head.

She also learned that a professional has to carry on in spite of the circumstances.  One day a sweet little girl was sitting on her lap having her picture taken, when Lisa heard “CRWRRIRRKK” - the sound of separating Velcro.

Next the fan fell on the top of her head, and since it was battery operated, kept whirring away. Her hair got caught up in the blades and the fan began knocking up against the side of the bunny head.  The little girl jerked around and then yelled to her Mom, “The bunny is clicking!” 

She reports she didn’t burst into hysterics until she was safely inside the Customer Service Office.

She also learned that being an imaginary character can take over your life.  One evening after her shift she stopped at the grocery store. As she moved through the store she noticed people were giving her odd looks.  She merely ignored them until a small child smiled and waved at her.  It was then she realized she’d been pushing her cart with one hand and waving at the other customers boldly with the other.

Her greatest lesson, however, was empathy.  She suggests the next time you pass an Easter Bunny in the mall, please remember they are really suffering and you should smile at them willingly and wave at them wildly.

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