In this new non-competitive (at least at the elementary-school level) world kids now inhabit, where ribbons are no longer given out at field day and jr. baseball coaches pitch until the batter gets a hit or the coaches arm gets tired and he gives up and walks the player. And where no one officially keeps score at recreation league soccer games except the kids and the parents - it's a wonder we still have this tradition of Easter egg hunts.
Easter egg hunts, which are hunts in name only, more like an Easter egg grab, are like a combination of the "Lord of the Flies" and "The Hunger Games." Kids take to a roped off field convinced that their village will starve unless they knock down all those put-that-speaking-shell-down-we're-not-in-Kansas-any-more wussy kids on their was to a coveted chocolate covered egg.
That's over in the ages five and up coral. In the four and under area little kids wander about in a daze while parents shout useless instructions at them from the perimeter of the arena.
"The blue one! Get the blue one!"
"It's right there! By your left foot!"
"The egg! Yes! The egg!"
"Pick it up!"
"Quick! That little kid with the glasses is headed towards it! Ahhhh! Oh! Don't let him get it! Pick it up! Pick it up!"
"Okay. Then yellow one then. Get the yellow one."
"Yellow! Like a duck!"
It's like a frog jumping contest that you're really, really vested in.
Finally frustrated parents will enter the sacred taped off area and try to lead their offspring over to an egg without actually picking it up for them.
Yesterday in town the egg hunts were staggered so that enterprising kids could attend the 10AM egg hunt at Mashpee Commons, the 11AM hunt at the WCC and finally the 1PM hunt on the library lawn in Falmouth with each hunt taking approximately 7 minutes from start to finish.
Me: "Why'd you collect so much candy? You don't even like most of those?"
C: "I know. But I can make money off them."
Me: "You can? How?"
C: "By selling it back to you."
song: Show Me the Way • artist: Peter Frampton