Monday, April 5, 2010

Eggistential experience

"I think we should have this and this and this, and definitely, this!" said Mrs. Hall, as she loaded up the shopping cart at Target. The aisles full of Easter goodies are just too tempting at this time of the year, and it was all Mr. Hall could do to restrain her from purchasing more; especially that huge fuzzy lamb that was watching her with soulful eyes from the second shelf of the stuffed animals. The weekend before Holy Week was the perfect time to swoop down and make the most of retailing paranoia; shopkeepers fearing large leftovers traditionally reduce just ahead of the holiday, though shoppers that wait that long frequently miss the variety of goods the early birds enjoy. The sporting blood in Mrs. H. races at the thought of a well timed bargain, and to that end, she studies the daily flyers like a handicapper.
With the purchase of some brightly colored Easter grass, the shopping was complete and the Halls headed home. Mrs. Hall divided the boodle into three equitable piles and hid away two of them. The third, along with some hearty cookies that could survive the trip and a few token surprizes, was packed in a sturdy mailer and sent off to Master Chris in Montgomery, Al.
Holy Saturday rolled around, and with all the mayhem at work, Mrs. Hall realized she hadn't purchased any egg coloring. "I just want six or so lousy coloring tablets; what could possibly be in this little box that costs $1.99?" Mr. Hall had long ago realized that shopping with Mrs. Hall was not so much an afternoon of casual conversation but, in reality, a couple of hours of frustrated rhetorical vitriol. Colleen had come in Friday evening late, and was staying the weekend. By the time the big black car rolled back into the hanger, she and Ian were just getting up.

If there's one thing that's common knowledge around the Hall, it's that you're never too old to:
1) Wear funny clothes,
2) Carve pumpkins, or any other readily available vegetable, or
3) Color Easter eggs.
The eggs were still warm from hard cooking when the kids set upon their task. And they were just rolling up the technicolor newspapers left underneath when Mrs. H. brought out the gumdrops. "I'll do the egg tree if you make the bunnies," she said, and the race was on. By Saturday evening, the Hall was awash in Eastery influence.
Sunday morning was a lovely bright day, and Mrs. Hall rose early. After a quick cup o'joe, she thought she'd better get the younger set up and moving if they were going to stay on schedule. Ian and Colleen came bounding downstairs, and Master Ian managed to locate his basket in something short of about 45 seconds. "That bunny's getting a little tired, I think," remarked Ian thickly through some marshmallow eggs, but as Colleen was still hunting around, Mrs. H. just continued to read her paper and said, "We'll see."
Half an hour later, Mrs. Hall suggested it might be nice if Ian gave Colleen a hand; that perhaps together the two of them might be able to find the remaining basket. Ian whispered, "I found it already earlier- I just didn't want to give it away." Eventually Colleen stumbled upon the treasure and proceeded to make up lost time eating.
The afternoon shadows were pleasant and warm, but the prevailing wish at the Hall was for an action film, so they dragged out the tape player ("Does anyone know where I put my head cleaning tape?"), and dusting off an old VHS copy of "Raiders of the Lost Ark", they hooked up the player to their flat screen Dumont, closed the curtains and popped up enough popcorn to feed most of Marcellus.
Later that evening, after wiping the sticky orange glaze residue from their mouths, Mr. Hall was the first to praise the Easter ham and say that, though he regretted the omission of asparagus this year, the choice of fresh green beans, handpicked by Mrs. Hall was an admirable one and that all was going to be well, after all. Mrs. Hall, still amazed that the children were able to sit still for an entire movie, given the ample amounts of sugar they had consumed earlier, had put out just a simple plate of homemade pie crust cookies (her favorite) for dessert. For the Gentle Reader's viewing pleasure: a perfectly awful video of part of the egg cracking contest (shot by Mistress Colleen, whom one can only hope that her forays into animation will be more skillful than her attempts with a camera) can be viewed on the sidebar of this blog.

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