easter eggs

REPROACH

YOU CAN KEEP YOUR STEENKING CHOCOLATE RAFFLE

I’ve both seen and been involved with many different fundraisers in my (relatively) short time as a parent. Art auctions, cook books, trivia nights, goods and services auctions, garage sales, Bunnings BBQs, cake stalls and a multitude of drives (bulbs, pasta, pies, cookie dough). But there’s one fundraiser that has always made me particularly CRANKY: the Easter raffle.

The Easter raffle is a raffle where parents are asked to donate some chocolate (Easter-themed or otherwise) that is then divvied up, arranged into a variety of baskets, wrapped in cellophane and raffled off.

Now if you’re anything like the editor of this esteemed publication, you may be saying to yourself 'I can‘t see anything wrong with this picture'.

But ask yourself this: 'what would I contribute to such a raffle?'

If it’s a Haigh’s chocolate hen or a Lindt golden bunny or a packet of Cadbury Easter eggs (they’re just so right for an Easter egg hunt!) then that’s fine, sign me up for one of your $2 raffle tickets—in fact give me 3 for $5! But if your purchase from the shops is anything sub-Cadbury, then there is no way on Earth I want to part with my hard earned lucre for what will only be a travesty to my tastebuds.

There you have it—I’m a chocolate snob. Life’s too short for chalky, flavourless 'chocolate', and this is something I want to teach my children. The Easter 'think of the children' raffle pressures us to put ourselves at the mercy of someone else’s (poor) taste in chocolate. We should not allow it.

@SAIDHANRAHAN, VICTORIA

We might be persuaded to part with $2 for the chance of winning a giant snail or a giant teaspoon or a giant (Lindt) chocolate egg, or alternately for some miniature children. 'A monster Easter egg' ,  Published 1 May, 1896 in  The illustrated Australian news , Melbourne : David Syme & Co. State Library of Victoria, accession number IAN01/05/96/12.

We might be persuaded to part with $2 for the chance of winning a giant snail or a giant teaspoon or a giant (Lindt) chocolate egg, or alternately for some miniature children. 'A monster Easter egg', Published 1 May, 1896 in The illustrated Australian news, Melbourne : David Syme & Co. State Library of Victoria, accession number IAN01/05/96/12.

REPROACH

ON THE FIFTEENTH DAY OF CRANKVENT... BEGONE, DO-GOODERS

When I was six the thing I wanted most-in-all-the-world for Christmas was the Bedtime Care Bear. You know the one—the blue bear with a moon and star on his belly and half-closed eyes. At school, when given the opportunity to write a letter to Santa, I told him of my wish. But on Christmas morning there came the greatest disappointment of my childhood [1]: there was no Care Bear. The gut-wrenching let-down still haunts me today.

And hence my complaint. Of those irresponsible adults who encourage children to write letters to Santa in the name of “Festive Fun” and “Christmas Cheer” and send them off, without going through the proper postal channels. And by proper channels I mean the child’s parents. Who else is best suited to proofread their child’s list? Who else will make sure the writing is legible, the address is correct and the envelope appropriately stamped? Who else will make sure that express post will get it where it needs to go—to that one person who makes presents happen? Missing missives? Disappearing dispatches? Not on a parent’s watch.

These letter-writing do-gooders are setting other people’s children up for a disappointment—one that THEY will not have to deal with.

So I am happy to report that my own daughter will not suffer as I did. Her letter to Santa has been (proof)read and sealed and I have no doubt that in the stocking on December 25th, she will find the one thing she’s asked for…her greatest wish. A…unicorn?!

@SAIDHANRAHAN, VICTORIA

  1. Well, if you look at the letter below, perhaps the second greatest disappointment
Authentic letter from the Easter Bunny to the author, circa 1985, in no way written by the author's elder sibling, nope nuh-uh she would never do anything like that.

Authentic letter from the Easter Bunny to the author, circa 1985, in no way written by the author's elder sibling, nope nuh-uh she would never do anything like that.

REPROACH

ON THE TWELFTH DAY OF CRANKVENT... STEP AWAY FROM THE BUNNY

The problem starts at Easter. It’s tempting, we know: there’s a mountain of aphrodisiac (chocolate) shaped into potent fertility symbols (eggs) and prodigiously reproducing animals (bunnies). Plus the truly devout have just spent a month abstaining… so it’s easy to fall into the sticky, chocolaty, heteronormative arms of another and, well, make babies.

But these poor Easter foetuses are cursed, CURSED we tell you, by a pitiable, life-staining fate: a birthday at Christmastime. Before you unite your Good Friday gametes, put yourself in the shoes of your future child.

First, your name will reflect your shame. You will be dubbed Christopher or Christine after the little baby Jeebus (who, scholars tell us, was actually born in September). Or maybe Nicholas, or Rudolph, or Frosty. Or perhaps your mother will nickname you ‘Pud’ because you’re her little Christmas pudding; and, because we all grow into our names, you will be a plump, overcooked child with an unnatural attachment to baked goods.

Next come the primary school years. You will dutifully attend your peers’ happy, thronging birthday parties all the year through. But when yours rolls around, they’re all holidaying in Bali, or Byron Bay, or the Barwon Heads caravan park. No party. No reciprocal presents. No fair.

The presents, when they come, IF they have not been subsumed into some sort of abominable ‘combined Christmas-birthday’ chimera, will be wrapped in Christmas paper. They might even be under a Christmas tree. But don’t bother opening them: all the good toys were sold out, and you're left with the obscure Star Wars characters like Snaggletooth, who admittedly will be worth a lot in 30 or so years but that doesn't really help you now. 

When you grow up, your colleagues will not wish you many happy returns. No, their pity is all you get: 'You poor thing! Must suck having a birthday so close to Christmas.' Then, because they’re too stuffed with mince pies and Lindt reindeers that we all know are repackaged rabbits, they won’t eat any of the birthday cake that you’re still required to bring in under Australian workplace law. That’s if they haven’t already pissed off to Barwon Heads. 

Don’t think you can have any fun outside work either, because your nearest and dearest already have 36,573 Christmas parties to go to. They won’t come. But it’s alright, because you wouldn’t be able to go out anywhere anyway since everything’s either booked out or closed. Which leaves you at home alone, with nothing on telly except Home Alone.

And it will be stinking hot. 

SO STOP THERE, you fornicating Easter bunny. Be tempted not by those hot buns, leave those Easter eggs unfertilised, and stop this cruelty in its tracks: simply do not procreate in the third month of the year.

And spare some Xmas cheer for the unfortunate extant Chrises and Puds who never asked to be born in late December. Discard your foam antlers, divest yourself of tinsel, decline an RSVP and just wish them a plain old secular happy birthday.

CHRIS @astrocave and PUD @cakehelmit

The sell-out one-man two-hour monologue  Alone  starred George Rignold as Colonel Challice, a bitter, unhappy Colonel called Challice whose friends always pissed off to Barwon Heads at Christmas and missed his birthday party. The controversial ending involved the Colonel smearing birthday cake all over his body and hurling handfuls of Christmas pudding at the audience.  George Rignold as Colonel Challice in 'Alone' , chalk lithograph by Richard Wendel, printed by Troedel & Co. lithographers, 1878. State Library of Victoria, H2000.180/77 

The sell-out one-man two-hour monologue Alone starred George Rignold as Colonel Challice, a bitter, unhappy Colonel called Challice whose friends always pissed off to Barwon Heads at Christmas and missed his birthday party. The controversial ending involved the Colonel smearing birthday cake all over his body and hurling handfuls of Christmas pudding at the audience. George Rignold as Colonel Challice in 'Alone', chalk lithograph by Richard Wendel, printed by Troedel & Co. lithographers, 1878. State Library of Victoria, H2000.180/77 

SORDID CONFESSIONS

CANDY CORN WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME

I lived in the US until I was seven, and Halloween was an occasion we celebrated with gusto. My mum once came second in a neighbourhood pumpkin carving contest (by using a pair of Minnie Mouse ears) and one year we turned our garage into a haunted house. We spent months thinking about our costumes and decorations, and I trick-or-treated with the best of them.

Trick-or-treating quickly makes you an expert on sweets, and candy corn was the good s--t. Little lumps of orange and yellow goodness, doled out into our treat buckets by the handful. I wasn’t interested in your Minties or lollypops; they took too long to get through. Candy corn is small, soft, easy to chew, and basically made for kids who want to eat their own bodyweight in Halloween-themed sweets in the shortest possible amount of time. It was my absolute favourite. Accept no substitutes.

We moved to Australia just after my seventh birthday, and that’s when my love affair with Halloween ended. Twenty years ago supermarkets did not stock special Halloween lollies and decorations, nobody went trick-or-treating (I tried one year and I got nothing but fruit, old Easter eggs, and a lot of telling off), and none of my new friends had even heard of candy corn.

Fourteen years would pass before I had the chance to taste it again, and in that time I told countless people what a tragedy it was that candy corn wasn’t available in Australia. I told them it was my favourite sweet of all time, the best thing I’d ever tasted, and made sure they knew they’d never eaten “proper” candy.

And then, at the age of 21, I was in the US again for Halloween. Finally. I bought myself an enormous bag of candy corn, a huge, enough-to-feed-the-whole-neighbourhood bag of the stuff. I didn’t even make it home—I opened it up in the front seat of my car, put a little piece into my mouth and started chewing. I was just so happy I could hardly stand it.

And then I realised it was awful.

Not just a little bit awful, but really awful. Like chewing on dried plaster or old Play-doh. I tried another piece to be sure, because maybe I’d just gotten a bad bit. But no, they were all identically horrible. It didn’t even have a flavour—it was just a solid mass of high-fructose corn syrup and wax died vaguely autumnal colours. Like eating a candle, but less delicious. I felt like my entire childhood was a lie.

Now that American candy is more readily available in Australia, people who knew me growing up will quite often buy me some candy corn. They remember me banging on about it, and so they see some and they think of me. It’s so nice and so thoughtful that I’ve been too embarrassed to admit that the thing I raved about for so long is actually completely vile. I’ve been pretending to still love candy corn for years. But now is the time to admit it, to come clean. Candy corn is disgusting.

JOSIE STEELE, MELBOURNE

Candy corn: similar in appearance to small rotten pointy teeth but even less delicious. ("Syphilitic malformations of the permanent teeth", from  A clinical memoir on certain diseases of the eye and ear, consequent on inherited syphilis : with an appended chapter of commentaries on the transmission of syphilis from parent to offspring, and its more remote consequences  by Jonathan Hutchinson.  [Plate facing page 205].  Published by John Churchill, London, 1863. Wellcome Library, image no. L0021139).


Candy corn: similar in appearance to small rotten pointy teeth but even less delicious. ("Syphilitic malformations of the permanent teeth", from A clinical memoir on certain diseases of the eye and ear, consequent on inherited syphilis : with an appended chapter of commentaries on the transmission of syphilis from parent to offspring, and its more remote consequences by Jonathan Hutchinson. [Plate facing page 205]. Published by John Churchill, London, 1863. Wellcome Library, image no. L0021139).