You can have your picture taken with the Easter Bunny at River Park Square, but if you try to speak to it, the Easter Bunny’s handler will put her body between you and the furry, 6-foot-tall creature with the mesh eyes. She will greet you and gain eye contact and she will ask, “How can I help you?” If you tell the handler you just need a minute of the Easter Bunny’s time, that you just have a few questions to ask, she will direct you to the Easter Bunny’s manager, who will be sitting over on a public bench in front of Anderson & Emami, wearing a shimmery green button-up and talking on a cellphone.
If you ask the manager to interview the Easter Bunny because you are a journalist, she will smile and nod her head, as though this is a simple, reasonable desire. She will then walk you over to a 200-page spiral-bound book of Easter-Bunny-related protocol. She will flip through, looking for the page marked “Media Requests.” When her search fails, she will consult the table of contents. (It’s on page 164.)
If, in the course of her search for the right page, you ask the manager if she can direct you to the most interesting Easter Bunny — the bunny, perhaps, that has been there the longest, or a bunny who has a particularly unique story — the manager will look up from the protocol manual and smile. “Well, you know,” she will say, “there’s only one Easter Bunny.”
The Media Requests page of the book of Easter Bunny protocols will yield the phone number for the Noerr Programs Corporation, the Easter Bunny’s corporate arm in 37 of the 50 states. Noerr’s corporate headquarters are in Arvada, Colo. They also work with St. Nicholas. The company is experiencing a period of growth and is currently hiring regional managers and “naturally bearded Santas.”
If you call that number, and press 7 to get to media relations, you will get the voicemail of a man named Phillip. The voicemail will apologize for Philip’s absence and will ask that you kindly “leave me a message that will uplift me. It’s all I want to hear.”
In the meantime, the Easter Bunny’s manager will have spoken on her cellphone to a woman named Ruth Rosenquest, who is Philip’s superior.
The manager will tell you that Ruth declined the out-of-bunny interview. The manager will say it has nothing to do with you — “We just don’t do out-of-bunny interviews.” You can talk to the bunny, but you can’t do it face to face. The bunny is very busy.
If you call Ruth on her cellphone (Ruth lives in Phoenix, does not screen calls to her cell, wants to make the deal happen), Ruth will explain that, while the bunny doesn’t do in-person interviews, it is quite fond of email.
If you email her questions for the bunny by Thursday morning, Ruth will tell you that she’ll pass them along and get them back to you by Friday evening. She promises to handle the request personally.
One or more of the questions you send will offend the Easter Bunny’s team, though, and on Friday, Ruth will email to let you know the questions have gotten kicked back for revision. Another person — a representative of River Park Square — will phone to explain why.
“We’d just like [the questions] to be a little more in-line with the family and the community connection, which is why the Bunny is here,” the woman will say.
In the end, if you want to talk to the Easter Bunny, it will have to be on the bunny handlers’ terms. They know what is best for the bunny and are very careful with the brand.
If you do all that, though — agree to an interview in absentia, ceding full right-of-refusal to any question that might tweak the bunny’s cotton tail — your diligence will be rewarded with answers like this:
INLANDER: Do your politics influence your choice in egg coloring?
BUNNY: I believe eggs of all colors should have an equal opportunity.
And you’ll know that — despite layers of muscle and publicity people and brand managers — the fame hasn’t gotten to him. The bunny’s still got it.
The Easter Bunny • River Park Square • Weds-Thurs 11 am-8 pm, Fri-Sat 10 am-8 pm
Interview with the Bunny
Last week we had the opportunity to (email) interview the Easter Bunny, asking questions that were first scrubbed by the Easter Bunny's handlers, so as not to upset his delicate sensibilities. We include both the rejected and accepted questions here.
Is it true you poop jelly beans?
How do you get to all those homes in one night without a sleigh?
I just hop it—all that Bloomsday training comes in handy!
Do you feel like the Energizer Bunny is profiting off your brand?
I think the Energizer Bunny should trade places with me for a day. Then we’ll see who has the most energy!
What was it like being boiled by Glenn Close?
Have you considered pressing charges after repeatedly getting your ears bitten off by Sally Forth?
Are you the representative for all zombies or just Zombie Jesus?
You're a mammal. What's with the eggs?
Does your politics influence your choice in egg coloring?
I believe eggs of all colors should have an equal opportunity.
Do you keep all your eggs in one basket?
That’s never a good idea!
How does it feel being one of the world's biggest fertility symbols?
So do you and Jesus have a kind of Spider Man/Peter Parker thing going? I just ask because you never see the two of you together even in a photo.
Do you really like carrots, or is that just for show?
It’s me and my beta-carotene.
What's your opinion regarding the extent of the influence that the military-industrial complex holds on the inner workings of modern American politics?
You’ve heard how NORAD tracks Santa? The military is on the cusp of launching an Easter Bunny tracking system called EARAD. Before they do, they’re testing to make sure it doesn’t interfere with tracking systems for the Tooth Fairy, hot air balloons and pizza delivery.
Lastly, where my Peeps at!?!It’s all part of the hunt.