Just a hare’s breadth apart

It was those teeth that impressed me the most. I couldn’t take my eyes off them. There were two of them, each the size of an iPhone.

About what you could expect in the mouth of a six foot rabbit, seated just across the desk from me.

He cleared his throat and I hastily shifted my gaze to meet his eyes. Big round soft eyes, framed by gold granny glasses. When my company had appointed me to be the one to deliver our pitch to the Easter bunny, I’d done my research. This guy didn’t look like the Easter bunnies of my childhood storybooks, but he did look like the photos that Wikipedia had recently published. I was in the presence of the real deal.

“Sorry about the Myxy-Mist, sonny,” he said, referring to the spray treatment I’d undergone as I came through the final length of the burrow. “It’s routine for all our Australian visitors. We can’t have you accidently bringing in the ol’ myxotosis, can we?” He looked at me intently over his glasses.

“Oh, no, sir,” I reassured him, feeling unexpectedly guilty. “The spray was nothing. No worries. Just what I’d expect, of course. I mean, we spray our own visitors when they arrive in the country.” I realised I was babbling and shut up. I was a bundle of nerves. “Sorry, I don’t mean to rabbit on,” I said, promptly groaning inside and biting my tongue.

“Well, we don’t want this to be hare-raising for you, do we?” he said solemnly. “But let’s proceed. I’m ever so keen to hear about what you have for me.”

“Well!” I said. I was feeling harried but took a deep breath and launched into my spiel. “We certainly appreciate the opportunity to show you an exciting new Easter product line. And we feel we can offer you the most astounding breakthrough in, well, in history.” He circled his paw in a move-on gesture so I cut to the chase. “As you know, my company GenuTech is a pioneer in the area of nano-tech gen-mod. That is to say, we use nano-technology to assist with genetic modification.” I paused to see if his eyes were glazing over, which often happens at this point. “Do you follow me?”

He held up a paw. A very large paw with very large pads and very large claws. “I may be a rabbit but I’m no dumb bunny,” he said, glasses flashing. “Speak, sonny. Show me the next generation Easter Egg.” He leaned in toward me.

I cleared my throat, trying to smile. “You will love this idea,” I said. “We wanted to keep the tradition of spring-time, of rebirth, renewal. We think that’s good.”

“I’m glad you approve,” he said drily, “as it IS a tradition of several millennia.”

“And we love the Easter colours that have been so popular over the last few decades.”

“How observant.” Dry as the desert. I could feel the perspiration building on my forehead.

I coughed and sped up. “So we’ve identified the genomes that give chlorophyll its green, that give tulips their reds and yellows and pinks and oranges, that give delphiniums their blue and irises their purple. And we’ve been completely successful at implanting these colour genomes into…” I paused for effect, “….into the cocoa plant.”

He raised an eyebrow at me. “So we now have…?”

“You guessed it,” I said, jubilation overtaking my nervousness. “Coloured chocolate! Chocolate in all colours of the rainbow!” I scuttled for my briefcase and popped open the latch. A cascade of eggs, bunnies and chicks poured out – a riot of coloured chocolate.

“AND,” I shouted, thoroughly on a roll, “not only that, we’ve identified the genome that gives chocolate its unique taste. So not only can we take any chocolate thing and make it any colour of the rainbow, but we can also take any organic thing and make it taste like chocolate! How’s that for an unbelievable Easter?!”

I paused, partly out of breath and partly to let the magnificence of this thing we had done sink in. The years of work, the manipulation of patents, the successes and failures, the children’s focus groups, the sheer wonder of those vivid chartreuse chocolate bunnies and the chocolate-flavoured spinach leaves!

The Easter Bunny rose majestically to his full height and hopped over to me, placing a paw around my shoulder. “That’s wonderful,” he said. “Good for you, very good work indeed.” He pushed his glasses further up his nose and began to lead me around the room. “But let me tell you a bit more about what I’m looking for. I’ve had this idea for something I’m calling ‘pet rocks’, and if I’m right, the children’s market is ripe for…”

“Pet rocks?” I breathed. “Pet rocks?!”

“Yes, isn’t it marvelous? How’s THAT for hare-brained?” he announced proudly.

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  1. Lenore Redfern

     /  March 12, 2013

    Sorry Heather, Can’t come to choc-coated spinach leaves. Love the story though. Lol Lenore

    Date: Sat, 9 Mar 2013 11:21:25 +0000 To: lenny_loo@hotmail.com

    • hbolstler

       /  March 18, 2013

      No, no, Lenore – you miss the point! Not “chocolate coated” but rather chocolate TASTING. Actually, that’s even more alarming. You definitely got the point.


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