Friday, April 10, 2009
THE EASTER BUNNY...HOLLYWOOD STYLE
“ARE YOU THE EASTER BUNNY?”
This question was screamed at me top volume from about thirty feet away by a homeless person of indeterminate sex, as I sat at an outdoor café on LA’s trendy Vermont Avenue, sipping a latte. The person inquiring was not only pushing an overloaded shopping cart and had leaves in their hair, they also had a cleft palate or some similar speech impediment, so it took me a few pointed hollers to realize that the question was being asked, was, in fact, if I was The Easter Bunny. I will attempt to reproduce what said question sounded like phonetically:
“AAAH NYEW NEE EADOR BUNNEE?”
In my “Flashdance” style cut-off sweatshirt and Melodia 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 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 give me beads, and I’ve been the subject of plenty of unsolicited amorous attention from colorful individuals that 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.
“ARE YOU THE EASTER BUNNY?”
Having now attracted the attention of passers-by as well as the other café patrons, I figured I might as well answer.
“Um, no…” I said sheepishly, regretting having inadvertently disturbed everyone’s tranquil spring afternoon, including my own.
Yet this didn’t daunt my inquisitor.
“WELL,” it continued, “ DO YOU HAVE AN EASTER BUNNY COSTUME?”
It was now clearly too late not to engage in this bizarre exchange, so I answered,
“As a matter of fact, I do!”
“WITH BUNNY EARS?”
“Uh, yes, of course with ears.”
With this, the person broke into a manic, jubilant grin revealing many missing teeth, and yelled,
“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?”
I ignored the smooth “playah” cadence of this pick-up artist’s voice, 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, black with a satin stripe down the sides, with black jazz shoes…. but they were totally filthy, caked with mud.
“Hey Pretty Lady! Wanna have some coffee with me, Pretty Lady?”
He wasn’t relenting so 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,
“ I’m married!”
“Oh, Pretty Laaaaady,” he sighed dejectedly.
When I turned to look at him, he was indeed tall. Like, Los Angeles Lakers tall. He was a striking African American man, and indeed he was wearing a tuxedo. But the suit was so 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 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 in God’s name this get-up was all about, but then I got a hold of myself, mainly because he smelled so horrible.
“ARE YOU THE EASTER BUNNY?” I yelled as loudly as I could manage, before skipping away as quickly as I could.