The Great Bunny Run of ’21


MARILYN and the fruits of this year’s rabbit roundup. We’re surprised she hasn’t named them, yet (OC Tribune photo).

You may have read in The Tribune or elsewhere that Target made a profit of $15 billion last year despite the COVID-crippled economy.

I think Marilyn and I, by ourselves, contributed to most of that.

We have re-named our favorite Targets as “The 99 Dollar Store,” because regardless of our intentions on crossing the threshold at the one at Harbor and Chapman (as well as locations in Westminster, Cypress, Seal Beach and the one at Westminster and Brookhurst), we always seem to spend at least $100 by time the receipt tape comes chattering out of the cash register at the checkout stand.

Too often there are just too many gosh-darned things we didn’t know we needed until we saw them. There’s not supposed to be such a thing as a left-handed Phillips head screwdriver, but if I was going to look for one, I’d know where to start.

This brings me to the Great Bunny Run. Each year, Marilyn prepares an Easter event for the grandchildren that involves only slightly less preparation than the Normandy Invasion.

Marilyn always does things up big for Zachary, Nolan, Zoe and honorary grandpersons Scarlett and Samuel. But then, again, that doesn’t just happen around Easter.

At our house we have a pantry that is chock-full of the three pre-teen basic food groups: jelly beans, lollipops and gum drops. The kids have recently reached the ages when they determined that they didn’t have to ask for those sugary treats … they could just wait until the Old Folks’ backs were turned and liberate a handful in the interests of life, liberty and the pursuit of sugar.

Truth be told, Marilyn is – at the very least – complicit in this small fry larceny. She is so handy with the sucrose that I have given her the alias of “The Candy Gran.” Remember that song by Sammy Davis, Jr., about “The Candy Man?” Same thing here, only a bit off-key.

Now, son Michael is a bit concerned about how much of the sweet stuff is being smuggled to the youngsters as they zone out on episodes of “Henry Danger” and “Paw Patrol.” But as grandkids and grandmas know, they make common cause against the enemy, the actual father and mother, especially as regards opportunities to lavish attention and M&Ms on those who will someday – I’m pretty certain – turn into teenagers with loud music, slammed doors and unusual hair fashions.

It was in the interest of planning another sugary explosion that Marilyn began scheming for a holiday that is a month away. We had to find five plush bunnies to serve as prizes during the traditional Easter egg hunt. But, of course, the bunnies had to be the same size, shape and price, lest favoritism enter into the gathering of the faux cottontails. There had to be three brown ones for the three lads, and two pink ones for the lassies.

On a rainy day we set out to round them up. Three and only three were found at Chapman and Harbor. Also striking out were Targets at three other locations. Finally, after offering up a plea to the patron saint of Out-of-Stock Toys, we eventually tracked down our prey at the Seal Beach store as the sun was setting over Rossmoor.

Am I a prince of a fellow for gamely trooping down alleys of toys and “seasonal” items to bring a smile to the faces of five munchkins? Well, let’s just say that it’s definitely worth it to see the smile on Marilyn’s face as we completed the Great Bunny Run of ‘21 successfully for her “precious” ones.

Happy wife, happy life, right?

Jim Tortolano’s “Retorts” alternates with “Usually Reliable Sources.” He claims that, as a child, he only got sweets on odd-numbered election years, at which time he could consume hard candy while walking barefoot through the snow – uphill both ways – on the way to school.




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