Happy Easter! Pondering Peeps
Well, it's Easter. This weekend commemorates the sacrifice that Jesus made for all of us when he was crucified, suffered, and died for the sins of all mankind, then rose and ascended into heaven. So how do Americans celebrate the holiest event in the Christian calendar?
For those of you who have been living off-planet, Peeps are those yellow marshmallow chicks that you see at Easter time. And I say, what more appropriate way could there be to celebrate the holy Resurrection than eating cute little baby waterfowl made out of sugar-coated... sugar?
Now I may be wrong, but I don't think Peeps have ever really been embraced as part of any holiday besides Easter. It seems logical that the Peep people would have probed the possibilities of Poltergeist Peeps for Halloween, Pilgrim Peeps for Thanksgiving, or PÃ©re Noel Peeps for Christmas. They may have even tried out Patriot Peeps for the Fourth of July.
But the proper yellow Peeps, and to a lesser extent the preposterously progressive Purple Peeps, have remained primarily in the provenance of Easter.
True, there are Easter food traditions besides Peeps. For generations, milk chocolate rabbits have traumatized small children by posing one of their earliest critical life decisions; ears-down, or feet-up?
I'm an ears-down man myself, but I'm still working through my guilt issues over years of unrepentantly biting the head off the Easter Bunny.
Then there are Easter Eggs. I know all about how the egg symbolizes birth or beginning, as in Spring or the Resurrection itself. I'm just not real sure how painting them up in bright colors, hiding them, then staging a full-contact preschool Oklahoma Land Rush to find them fits into that metaphor.
And I've always kind of wondered about the tradition of the Easter Ham. Doesn't it seem a little peculiar to serve up the old Honey Baked in honor of Jesus - who was a rabbi?
One interesting thing about Peeps is that I don't think very many of them actually get eaten on Easter Sunday. Like a fine wine, you have to let them "breathe" before you consume them. As any Peep purist knows, Peeps are particularly palatable if you poke perforations in the Peep package, then wait an appropriate period until they reach their chewy, palate-pleasing prime.
Don't you suppose those progressively alliterative Peeps are perhaps a pretty paltry premise for purveying these imperceptibly polemic paragraphs?
Probably. My profound apologies.
Have a blessed, safe and happy Easter, everybody.
Copyright Â© 2006, Michael Ball
What I've Learned So Far... Part I: Bikes, Docks & Slush Nuggets. This column is an excerpt from the book.