I am sure everyone is aware of the Easter Bunny debacle. If you’re not, let me boil down the AP wire story for you—Apparently, marshmallow Peeps have been stacking up outside St. Paul City Hall in protest over the Easter display that was removed from the lobby out of concern that the items would offend non-Christians. The cloth bunny, some pastel-colored eggs, and a sign with the words "Happy Easter" were put up by a city council secretary, who did not purchase the décor items with city money. According to the wire story, the city's human rights director, Tyrone Terrill, asked that the decorations be removed. He said his problem with the display involved the "Happy Easter" sign. As a somewhat observant Jew (The New York Times and bagels are good every day, temple once a month), I don’t get it. Who does this offend?
So some fun-loving Peeps peeps who work in city hall have placed the chick- and rabbit-shaped candies around those giant statues of American Indians, along with two signs that temporarily rename the Vision of Peace statue as the Vision of Peeps. Jolly Mangine, Ramsey County's director of property management, said, "We're just going to let it ride." A brilliant display of common sense, if you ask me, and something we need more of in these heady days of misplaced political correctness. How refreshing—a sense of humor! Just Born, the company that manufactures Peeps, issued a statement after being informed of the display. "It is a shame that the Easter Bunny hopping through city hall has caused such a disturbance. We are sure that the regal Vision of Peace statue does not mind sharing a little glory and spring fever with us—the Peeps."
Hopefully, this will all be resolved amicably, with no harm coming to the Peeps themselves. For all of us, the harm is already irreparable, in my opinion. In an effort to give everyone an offense-free experience in life we no longer let our third-graders keep score or choose sides in gym class, we can’t say Merry Christmas to our colleagues, our kids can’t bring cookies to class, celebrate Valentine’s Day or Halloween, and we take down cloth bunny and egg displays in the workplace. In a world that grows tougher with every passing day, we are trying to protect people from something that is already lost. The horse has left the barn, the fox is in the hen house. In an effort to encourage and teach diversity and acceptance, love, and tolerance, we are creating an atmosphere of belligerent denial that promotes a lack of understanding about other cultures. Everything I learned about Christian holidays, for example, I learned in kindergarten, and lo and behold forty years later I married a woman who was not Jewish! Ken-an-hora, what a miracle!
Now in our house, we are freaking out about our own Peeps controversy: the apparent increase over the years that it takes a Peep to go stale, our preferred way to eat them. Rishia and I bought four packages of Peeps (chicks, of course), opened them, and placed them away on a shelf for four or five days so that they could get stale, crispy, crunchy, and crackly. Any true Peep connoisseur knows what I am talking about. We took them out last night for a snack and they are still soft! Holy crap, did they change the recipe???? Five days used to be plenty of time to stale-out a Peep! Maybe Just Born would like to address that issue when they get done with their busy season.