Rhetorical question really because kids are pretty bloody stupid. We all start out as gullible, naïve little tabula rasas and even when we learn about the truly horrible stuff (death, disease, divorce) we still devour the lies adults feed us like Augustus Gloop at a Willy Wonka smorgasbord. But I guess the question really should be “How stupid do adults think kids are?”
I’m talking about the Easter Bunny here, folks. If you’ve ever gotten a basket full of chocolate, jellybeans, Cadbury eggs and other ingenious ways to hasten the demise of those rarely-flossed baby teeth, then you’ve probably been told about the Easter Bunny. He doesn’t have a really cool origin like Santa and he doesn’t have the colorful trappings that help Santa dazzle imaginations, yet adults still push this Lagamorpha load like they’re his own personal superagent. Hell, even the Tooth Fairy has a better backstory. But time after time, year after year, Easter after frikkin’ Easter, kids are told that the Easter Bunny will come visit. There’s not even a threat of “if you’re good…” and there’s no insincere artifice beyond the initial promise of candy and Paas. The awkward conversations about “How can Santa travel all around the world in one night” are nonexistent when it comes to the Easter Bunny. Why he does what he does, how he gets the candy and painted ova, whether he is part poultry – all moot. Kids rarely ask, don’t really care. And the pièce de résistance of the grownup ridiculosity is this:
THIS, adults tell you, is the Easter Bunny. Sigh. It’s a guy in a suit, we all know that. The kids know it. Their parents know it. The news reporter forced to cover this ridiculous holiday sham knows it. The only bonehead who may be oblivious to this salient fact is the method actor inside the costume who’s been living off carrots and lettuce for two weeks now and has been trying to crap in little pellets just to be “true to his character.”
There’s no charade, no pretense, no “magic” – it’s just a guy, a basket, some peeps. And adults expect kids to buy this crap. Really, how stupid do adults think kids are?
Now, I’m not saying the Easter Bunny is lame. What’s lame is that anyone over the age of 12 insists that those on the short straw of puberty believe any of this insanity. The candy, the hunts, the egg dye, these are the reasons for the season; don’t expect kids to get all excited about dressing up in their Sunday best and going down to the mall and having a photo snapped with a Chuck E Cheese castoff that smells vaguely musky and keeps muttering under his breath something about “getting off at 4:20.” Yet this is the Easter adults cling to.
Kids are stupid. But adults can be stupider.