I almost feel bad about putting this post up. I'm not sure that I would want my kids to read it, which makes it a good thing that they don't know how to read yet. I hate to put a damper on Easter, but let's face it: you don't come here because of my good looks. You come here so that I can unsettle you a little, perhaps even put a little chill down your spine, so that when you turn the computer off and go back to the real world you'll take nothing for granted. Isn't that why we all come here? To quench our thirst from the same communal watering hole?
Most of us are aware of the religious meaning behind this great holiday; being a good Christian myself, I wish to take nothing away from that. But since I am also a connoisseur of the macabre and bizzare -- like you, my drinking buddy -- I feel duty bound to share with you some Easter trivia about our furry friend the Easter Bunny, the kind that you won't normally hear about while watching those innocent, wholesome cartoons on Easter Sunday morning.
Consider this while you're nibbling away at those chocolate ears:
The origins of the Easter Bunny are pre-Christian and date back to the pagan holiday of "Ostara", which celebrated the re-birth of nature and fertility; the rabbit has been revered as a symbol of fertility since ancient times.
90 million chocolate Easter bunnies are reportedly produced each year. In 2000 Americans spent nearly $1.9 billion on Easter candy while Halloween sales were nearly $2 billion, Christmas $1.4 billion and Valentines Day just over $1 billion.
The world record for the largest chocolate bunny appears to have been set in South Africa by artist Harry Johnson. The bunny was 3.82 metres tall (12 feet, 5 inches) and weighed more than 3 tons (2,721 Kilos).
The record for the oldest living rabbit is apparently held by a bunny called Heather who is believed to be between 15 and 16 years old.
The lugholes of Nipper's Geronimo, said to be the rabbit with the world's longest ears, measured in at 79 cm (31.125 inches).
An early pregnancy test developed in 1927 was called "the Rabbit test". Rabbits would be injected with a woman's urine. The rabbit's ovaries would then be examined a few days later for any hormonal changes. This gave rise to the phrase "the Rabbit died" as a referrence to a positive pregnancy test. However, the reality was that all rabbits died during this test because they had to be surgically opened during the examination of their ovaries. In 1978 a motion picture was released called "Rabbit Test". It was a comedy starring Billy Crystal about the world's first pregnant man.
Rabbits are not native to Australia. The first rabbits were introduced down under by Thomas Austin in 1859 for sporting hunters. Farmers have been cursing his name ever since. Rabbits have increased to plague proportions in many parts of the Great Southern Land. They're considered vermin, and have had a devastating affect on the local ecology, including being responsible for erosion and the loss of some native plant species. Every attempt is made to cull these illegal aliens. The government has even gone to the extent of waging biological warefare against this proliferate enemy by releasing diseases specifically engineered by scientists to wipe them out (the rabbits, not the scientists), with moderate success.
Millions of Rabbits are tortured and killed each year in laboratories in animal testing and experimentation by scientific institutions, the military, private sector companies, and agricultural organizations.
The killing of rabbits for their fur is the fastest growing part of the global fur trade with an estimated 50 million animals slaughtered worldwide each year.
In many countries rabbits are hunted and farmed for food as a staple part of the local diet.
Rabbits have been known to cannibalize their young.
So there you have it. Thanks for joining me for a slurp. Here, let me wipe your chin. You're welcome back any time, as long as you don't mind sharing this watering hole with the sniggering hyenas and the other creatures that crawl to the water's edge on their fat swollen bellies at sun down to fill them up. And remember: the drinks are always on me!
Hope I haven't ruined your perception of the Easter Bunny too much.
Now go to bed, and maybe, if you've been a good boy or girl, you might feel the Easter Bunny's whiskers tickling your wam cheeks in the middle of the night when it comes to bring you a basket of goodies.
It's still a cute, fluffy critter with buck teeth and pink eyes.
VERY pink eyes!