Utah’s Faux Spring

If you live in Utah and have seen tulips bursting from the damp soil, robins hopping around for worms, or teenagers sluffing in the park, you might think it’s spring. But natives of this state are well aware of Mother Nature’s wry sense of humor. It’s never really spring in Utah.

Here are some tricks Mother Nature keeps up her sleeve:

  • You look out the window and there’s a beautiful blue sky. The temperature is 55 degrees. However, you walk outside to get the newspaper and the wind is so cold your eyebrows freeze and fall off your face. “Joke’s on you!” Laughs Mother Nature. Skank.

wind(But the sun is shining! No fair!)

  • You’ll see bright green leaves gently pushing their way into the sun, soon to become daffodils, hyacinths or tulips. “Not so fast!” says Mother Nature, who then dumps a foot of snow on the poor flowers, and then runs off to bask in the Bahamas.
  • You walk outside with jeans and a jacket. It’s warm. It’s not windy. The sun is shining. You go back inside to put on shorts and flip-flops. You walk back outside into a blizzard.
  • The calendar might read March, April, May or June but any Utahn knows spring doesn’t start until June 30 and then ends on July 1 when summer hits and temperatures soar into the 90s.
  • Little girls in cute, spring Easter dresses huddle in down parkas whilst looking for Easter eggs. (Stupid Mother Nature. Stupid Easter Bunny.)

Just to be safe, keep two different sets of clothes in the car at all times, plus an umbrella, picnic basket, gloves, Frisbees, scarves and sunscreen. Just coverin’ the bases.

Egg-stra Fun Easter Traditions

It’s Easter-time again. Tulips are blooming. Birds are singing. Czech men are beating their wives with pussy-willows.

Yep. That’s right. Pussy-willow whippin’ is just one of many strange Easter traditions from around the globe. The idea is, pussy-willow whips will bring health and youth to anyone who is smacked with them. Don’t knock it. I might try it if it will take a few years off.

Here are some other great traditions to incorporate into your Easter holiday:

Watching The Ten Commandments: Every year, this epic movie airs on TV during the Easter weekend. Get your fill of Egyptian plagues, perils and punishments before enjoying a nice Sunday brunch with the family.

Don’t Forget the Bilby: Australians are not fond of rabbits. In fact, you could say the Aussies LOATHE the furry little critters. So instead of chocolate bunnies on Easter, Australian young-uns find chocolate bilbies in their baskets. (There has to be a vaccine for that.) Creepy, Flying Bells: Talk about unidentified flying objects, in parts of Europe (crazy place, Europe) the story is told that church bells fly to Rome for a few days of R&R before flying back to their home turf on Easter morning. The bells soar gracefully through the sky, bringing colored eggs, chocolates and toys to tiny tots. Uh huh. How much vodka are those Europeans drinking?

The Irresistable Butter Lamb: Ever wanted to sculpt a lamb made completely of butter, then eat it during Easter dinner? Well, if you love butter, this might be a fun (if not greasy) tradition. As everyone knows, the butter lamb signifies the richness of Christ. Although it seems a little sacrilegious . . . and cannibalistic . . . to spread Christ on a biscuit.

(May contain vast amounts of heart-clogging materials. Happy Easter!)

Burning Judas: No. That’s not the name of a really cool rock group (yet). It’s a fun, family tradition in many Orthodox communities that involves burning an effigy of the traitorous Judas. Kind of like lighting a pinata on fire. (Without the candy.) Some groups even have a trial for the much-maligned apostle before condemning the figure to hanging and burning. At times, Judas has even been filled with fireworks. (Something my brother, the pyro, would do.) Nothing like that Christ-like forgiveness while celebrating the Easter holiday.

So, if you’re tired of the same boring traditions like coloring eggs, dyeing chicks, hiding candy and eating too much ham and creamy potatoes, try some of these new traditions and bring a whole new dimension (insanity) to your family’s day. But don’t forget the bunnies. Or else. . .

(Death awaits you all. With big, nasty, pointy teeth.)