The outpouring of concern (wishful thinking) as to whether I was dead or not, has been overwhelming. But, allow me to quote my dead Aunt Pearl when I say, "Where the fuck does the time go?"
Seems like only yesterday I was putting away the Lego crèche and plastic Santa, and now the dog's shitting bits of pink and purple tin foil. Apparently the Little Bastard is beyond scampering around the house in his jammies looking to fill his basket full of waxy chocolate bunny droppings.
Somewhere in that lost time frame – giving up Lent for Lent, St. Patrick's Day, a few key birthdays, the dregs of winter, any hope for a bikini body, and the occasional Saturday morning all rolled by without much hullabaloo. Then the flu, my god-daughter, hockey playoffs, and a 36-year friendship all came and went, leaving me feeling like the last soggy, beer-soaked cheesie in the snack bowl of life.
Which brings me to the incident.
Friday evening was settling in like a cold sore. Coronation Street was on, and I was straining to figure out what the hell they were saying, when the phone rang. I answered it – something I seldom do – but it was the ever-so-charming and entertaining Uncle Stu – 6 hours, and a few beverages ahead of me, over in jolly ol' England.
I was just getting comfy, ready to sip along with Stu and live vicariously through his tales of shooting pigeons, sailing foreign waters, and chasing peacocks (imaginary and otherwise) when out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the chair to see what was the matter.
A thumping at the front door and a cacophony of youthful voices came and went in an instant. I hung up on Stu and ran outside, only to find my wooden Easter carrot lying on the sidewalk, and the ribbon that held it, swinging in the doorway. The wooden bunny that hung from the carrot was nowhere to be seen.
"It was a bunch of drunken first years," a gaggle of girls across the street told me. "They went that way," pointing toward Dalhousie.
I went back inside and thought, Fuck! That bunny was tacky as hell, but it had sentimental value. I was so sick of drunken students with Daddy's credit card, walking off with anything that wasn't bolted down.
Over the years, neighbourhood homeowners have lost flower planters, lawn chairs, shrubs, bikes, election signs, small children, Christmas decorations – only to find them discarded or smashed around the corner – or – as in the case of my life-size folk art deer, standing in the middle of a frat house with a knife in its head. But that's another story.
I stood there for a minute and thought, shit, I liked that bunny... oh well. Then I snapped. I was about to run out the door when I realized I was wearing slippers, leggings and a t-shirt barely long enough to cover my fat ass. Without hesitation, I pulled on a raincoat, sneakers, and dashed out the door.
Heading down my street and around the corner toward Dalhousie, it wasn't long before I spotted a crowd of drunken university students hovering near Coburg Street. They were milling about, sitting on lawns and noisemaking merrily, as drunk students tend to do when they're not iPod deaf and walking in front of cars.
Now, remember – Coronation Street was on, so good Corrie fans would know it was somewhere around 6:30pm – and still quite light out. Cars were whizzing by, and I was out of breath from sprinting the block and a half, but the adrenalin was pumping – either that, or I was having a heart attack.
That's when I spotted my bunny.
Across Coburg, an inebriated young woman was waving my bunny at passing cars. My Easter bunny was in the hands of a 20-something co-ed who had been guzzling Red Bull and vodka since breakfast.
Without thinking, I dashed across the street and snatched the bunny from her youthful hands. She looked at me and tried to focus. Before she could speak, I did what any sane, mature woman would do in similar circumstances.
I started to beat her with my bunny.
You. (whack) Stupid. (whack) Drunk. (whack) Little. (whack) Bitch. (whack)
I whacked her with the flat side of the bunny, so not to draw blood or an assault charge – but I whacked her good. Repeatedly. All I could think about was, Christ, I hope this doesn't end up on You Tube, and thank god I had the sense to cover up my dimpled, legging-clad ass.
One of the college girl's drinking buddies eventually ran over to rescue her – so I did what any sane, mature woman would do in similar circumstances – I gave her friend a couple of bunny whacks too.
Satisfied that my point had been made, I held tight to my bunny and headed for home – muttering about respect for property, and wishing I was that young and stupid again. As, I spun around, a rather large crowd of people waiting at the bus stop broke into a full cheer.
They were cheering for me.
"Serves her right!" one woman yelled.
I just nodded and waved the bunny – suddenly feeling more empowered than I have in years.
By then, the Little Bastard was heading down the street toward me, wondering what had caused his mother to dash out of the house like a hopped-up Ben Johnson. "What happened?" he said, sounding a tad concerned, "I heard a bunch of screaming."
"Nothing." I answered calmly, "I just got our bunny back."
I also got my mojo back.
To quote Bet Lynch from Coronation Street, "I've got tights older than you, love... don't fuck with me." (I added that last bit.) Right now, Maritime Travel has airfare to London, England - direct from Halifax, June 9-16 for $737 (including taxes & fees). Imagine how empowered you'll feel after a few pints and a meat pie.
The mirror does not lie – I am, what I am – and what I am, is someone who will fight to protect the things I love, at all costs. A boy. A lost soul.
A tacky, wooden bunny.