Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Resurrection and Racing

Lent has gripped us again, with its urgency for sacrifice in the form of meatless Fridays and an abstinence of your choosing. Sacrifice. It is a powerful word that perhaps defines the very essence and meaning of the glory of Easter. Even if you are not Christian, you can follow the pure simplicty of God sending His only Son to die for our sins -- to redeem us through His own death and Resurrection.

But how did we get from the Resurrection of the Lord to chocolate NASCARS?

Us PANGEALS get out often and we frequent the seasonal aisles at drugstores for jollies. It has been said that a man can learn a life's worth of knowledge by monitoring the seasonal aisles of drugstores. They are the closest thing to Heaven on Earth, because the merchandise is focused and intense. If it's a theme you want, then this is your best destination. The Easter theme has recently been pushed to its most extreme. Historically during Easter, for decades, we have all seen the Easter aisle grow from simple candy eggs to the now legendary marshmallow Peeps -- and beyond. Paas anyone? Wax crayons? Wind-up bunny toys. Yeah, it's all been done and it's all there.

But when we all went off to live our lives beyond Lent, whilst we were all throwing Frisbees and preparing pumpkin pie and wrapping Christmas gifts, a marketeer slyly slipped in one of the most incongruous Easter items of all time -- the chocalate NASCAR. And it's not just one, but teams of chocolate NASCARS, in assorted scales and fillings. Really, what delight does a child of Easter have in rooting through his basket to discover Jeff Gordon's car is filled with nuggat? For a high octane Easter racing experience, perhaps a cherry cordial center should be added, in lieu of the transmission. Now, we've seen little cute carrot cars driven by bunnies -- they kind of make sense. But, a chocolate stock car wrapped in foil? What can that possibly mean? "It's the end of the world."
It's a simple question for a very simple season: how did we get from the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus to chocolaty delight under the hood? Wasn't the Easter Bunny a stretch enough -- albeit a logical leap? Surely with the advent of NASCAR chocolate cars at Easter, we are witnessing the checkered flag End Times.

"Now entering the track from the pits, replacing driver Tony Stewart, in Car 666, Peter Cottontail!"

Next year, we're thinking a crucifix car launcher could be a big item with kids -- you know, so your chocolate NASCAR can make a lap before being consumed. For the real collector, the Jesus Eastertime Pit Crew Set is a must have. Your marshmallow tires can be changed by the Lord Himself. And the dark chocolate windshield? That gets cleaned by the Holy Ghost, of course, who Himself is made of a fluffy marzipan. But can you really trust Judas to change those velvety tires?

All of this new product must come with the obligatory warning on the package: Be careful you don't eat too much, because in three days, it will rise again. Amen.

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