Andy Richardson: Easter hunt row is a storm in an egg cup
Right. Let's do Easter.
We promise not to talk about Br-Eggs-It. We'll be egg-citing and egg-ceptional but not eggs-aggerate or be egg-streme. We won't write anything that makes you egg-nore us but we'll talk egg-statically and egg-citedly about this weekend's four-day chocolate eggs-travagaza. We'll eggs-ercise our . . .
Right. Cut. That's 10 puns in 42 words. We're done. Enjoy your eggs. Sing a thousand hallelujahs. Rejoice at the Second Coming of the carpenter's son and his fabulous beard. Lay palm leaves on the floor and do the Macarena if you must. Easter is here. It's time to make the most of a luxury, four-day weekend. Though not for me. I'm sitting Easter out. I'm not religious and I rarely eat chocolate. And on Monday I'll be sitting at my desk wondering if I'm the only person in the world whose computer runs slower than a sloth and whether I've become some sort of magnet for 'warning, unresponsive script' error messages. Gah. IT Help Desk. Over here, please.
My indifference to the humble Wispa bar is, however, the least of Cadbury's worries this year. They won't be too worried about my preference for a nice slice of Olge Shield cheese over an out-sized, air-filled, over-packaged, pimped-up dome de chocolat. Of that I'm sure.
Because the maker of all things oval and chocolatey has found itself in a footballers'-bathtub full of hot water for omitting the word 'Easter' from its seasonal egg hunt. Yikes. Like. Hold. The. Front. Page.
With all the stuff going on in the world right now, you know, the climate change thing, the war stuff, that Europe thingie, the Trump fella and all that migration malarkey and terrorism, it's been good to focus on something serious for a change. Like searching for chocolate in really big posh houses. And whether they use the right description for said activity.
American-owned Cadbury has been bashed by all quarters over its decision, including members of the Cadbury family and faith leaders. The National Trust has also been flogged like a Medieval witch about to be dunked in a vat of hot, bubbling tar for casting spells and promising that Easter will be infidel-icious. Bad witch. Naughty witch. Stop doing that black magic thing.
It's been a classic British storm in an egg-cup. And one that even our PM has waded into. Though when we read back the transcript of her, erm, mild rage, we got to thinking she may have been primed by some Easter-loving spin doctor to use the words 'important', 'ridiculous' and 'frankly' a little too often . . . It's just a hunch. See what you think.
This is what Theresa – not her brother, the Queen guitarist, Brian – May had to say. "I'm not just a vicar's daughter, I'm a member of the National Trust as well. I think the stance they've taken is absolutely ridiculous and I don't know what they're thinking about frankly. Easter's very important. It's important to me. It's a very important festival for the Christian faith for millions across the word. I think what the National Trust is doing is frankly just ridiculous."
Phew. So watch out keeper of Places of Historic Interest of Natural Beauty. Forget your annual £500 million revenues, your 4.24 million members, 62,000 volunteers and 6,000 staff. Because unless you stick the word 'Easter' in your egg hunt we're going to boycott your beautiful gardens and refuse to join the 403,000 annual visitors to Shropshire's Attingham Park. Ner ner ne ner nerrrr. And both Theresa May and Brian May will never, never, never, never love you ever, ever again. Ever. Got it? Good. So stick that in your Bohemian Rhapsody.
In many ways, we're disappointed. Theresa should have gone further. She should have sent in the Navy. Or got Michael Howard to duff up the National Trust, just like he got heated with the Spanish over Gibraltar. She should have Done A Trump, and used the nuclear option. After all, Easter isn't Easter without chocolate and God. And a holiday isn't a holiday without a good old ding dong.
The gist of the row is this. Cadbury and the National Trust have somehow led our God-fearing nation down by bowing to the political correctness brigade and dropping the word Easter. Obviously, it's all part of some plot by a different religion – which, incidentally, wasn't part of the marketing meeting that made the decision – to take over the world, or something like that. Our national football team will soon be wearing orange, instead of red and white, the white cliffs of Dover will crumble into the sea and we'll all be banned from eating pork scratchings. Or something similarly surreal, unlikely and conspiratorial.
In other important news: scientists have discovered a super massive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way – disproving our chewy caramel centre theory.
Happy Easter. And take it easy if you visit the National Trust. Innit.
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