It's almost Easter, Zembla's favorite holiday. But two years ago, the family Easter celebration was in danger. Molly was studying abroad in Chile, and Megan had already decided to opt out of egg hunting on Sunday morning. That left only Sean and Kelly to roll the rock away from the tomb of apathy and let the spirit of Easter rise again.
Megan's anti-egg-hunt position was understandable, if disappointing. Outsiders rarely understand the Keane family's holiday practices. When Molly tried to explain our celebration to her host family in Santiago, they stared at her in confusion. It wasn't a translation issue; her Chilean hermano explained that in Chile, egg hunting was only for children. Small children. Perhaps Molly had a brother who was mentally challenged?
I spent the afternoon of Holy Saturday at the Triple Rock Brewery's annual beerfest. Two regional finals for the NCAA Tournament were being played that afternoon, and both went into overtime. All the excitement, coupled with unlimited beer, made me temporarily forget my Easter responsibilities, much like how Arizona forgot to guard the three-point line at the end of the second half. Once the haze of March Madness faded and the taps were shut off, I knew I had work to do.
Mom picked me up from BART in Pleasant Hill, but went to bed almost immediately. When Kelly returned from work, we were faced with the daunting prospect of coloring three dozen eggs by ourselves, with no help from our worthless parents or siblings. There was only one thing to do: Open a bottle of wine, turn on the Starz Lord of the Rings marathon, and get to work.
It is safe to say that alcohol and Tolkien influenced our decorating. One egg compared my father's bicycling to the riders of Rohan for no real reason, except that King Theoden appeared on screen when Kelly was dyeing it.
The other source of inspiration was our anger at other family members for abandoning the egg-dyeing task to us. Megan's co-habitation with her boyfriend (they've since married, Mom's knee problems and the resultant painkiller usage, and Dad's limited art skills, Molly got a pass, so we took out our frustration on the nation of Chile itself. Our pattern was this:
1. Refill wine glass.
2. Shout "Morrrrdor!" or "Sam!" at sibling.
3. Write insulting joke about absent family member on egg.
4. Finish wine.
5. Dye egg ugly color.
6. Refill wine glass.
The living-in-sin eggs were my favorites. One read, "SINNERS" on one side, and "You know who you are" on the other. Another was labeled "Pissed-Off Jesus Egg", and displayed Our Saviour saying, "The bunny's no big deal, compared to living in sin". A third said, "Too Good For Coloring Eggs.../Not Too Good For HELL", with a drawing of flames.
My father consistently draws two characters on Easter. With the obligatory PAAS invisible white crayon, Dad sketches Bugs Bunny and a character called, "Murph the Surf", a guy that looks like Moe, the bully from Calvin and Hobbes, only on a surfboard. As far as I know, those are the only two things that my father can draw, besides treasure maps featuring household objects.
Kelly covered Dad's absence by sketching something she labeled, Doug's Doggy, a dog who said, "Ruff Ruff Doc?" Dad was not amused.
We dedicated memorial eggs to cars that had broken down throughout the year. We made fun of our poor 75-year-old grandmother, for reasons only Charles Shaw could explain. We wrote horrible holiday puns like, "Easter? I Hardly Knew 'Er!"
A Molly-in-Chile egg celebrated the mullet, Santiago, Chile's favorite hairstyle. Negocios enfrente, fiesta atras.
One design was simply a cracked egg covered with twelve different stickers from the PAAS pack Kelly described this egg as, "The most beautiful Easter egg in the whole wide world."
We made an Equal Opportunity Egg: Happy Passover, You Schlemiel! L'Chaim! The Sideways egg insisted, "I'm not gonna hunt for any friggin merlot!" An un-dyed egg read, "WARNING! This is an egg, not a jumbo-sized Vicodin!" Finally, we made a few prize eggs, promising the finder big-money prizes, to be paid out by Dennis. (He thwarted our efforts by "finding" those eggs himself).
We went to bed tired, drunk, and sick of Elijah Wood. We still hunted eggs the next morning, champagne glasses in hand, if by "next morning" you mean, "2 PM". We called Molly to tell her the Easter news and describe our eggs, and she wasn't surprised. After all, angry, drunken, mildly-incoherent egg-dyeing is common with Chilean children. Alcoholic children.