When the opportunity comes to rail against political correctness, I take it.
This time, the target is the simple childhood joy of the Easter egg.
Annually, the Catholic churches of Toronto hold an Easter egg hunt where about 200 kids rail across the St. Joseph church grounds and claim the hidden Easter eggs for candy and prizes, looking for all the world like a joyous group of locusts happily ridding the world of plastic eggs.
No problems there. Yes, there's a religious overtone. It is, after all, a church, but it's not overt. It's fun.
It's OK to have an Easter egg hunt.
Not so everywhere.
The spirit that has caused Pittsburghers to shop in the "Sparkle Season" as Christmas pervades the nation, to the point where incidents in both Ohio and Washington state have struck me in the head this spring.
In Ohio, it was the unintended consequences of political correctness that struck. Rural Munson Township, an area near Willoughby, decided to put on its first hunt this year as a way to bring the community together, according to a trustee. Nice sentiment. Bringing people together in a sense of community. Kind of an Easter thing, right?
The Munson Township event was going to be called a "spring egg hunt."
Uh-huh. Spring egg hunt. As if children hunt, every spring, for eggs, just at random. Editorial outcries and community commentary apparently changed the minds in Munson Township to rename the event as an Easter egg hunt.
May the lesson be learned, but the ultimate death of political correctness regarding the hunting of Easter eggs will not be that easy.
Because via United Press International, out of Seattle comes the tale of "spring spheres."
A high school kid, fulfilling a weeklong commitment to a community service project required by her school, volunteered in a third-grade class at a public school. She had the idea of filling plastic eggs with treats to give the children, and the teacher said she could not refer to them as Easter eggs. They had to be called "spring spheres."
Fortunately, the kids themselves knew they were getting Easter eggs and said so.
You can't stop what is good, apparently. It was the effort of the high school kid that was laudable, and it touched the children's hearts with joy. Actions, not just words.
In the spirit of knowing what matters, it's good to hear a judge supported the word "boobies" in reference to a cancer fundraiser where kids buy the "I (heart) boobies" bracelets to raise money. Students in a Philadelphia school district were threatened with suspension for the bracelets.
Action, people. Kids raising money for cancer research at age 12, even if it takes an off-color word, surely trumps the off-color word that is much less harmful than what they've probably been saying on the streets of Philadelphia since they were old enough to speak.
And, I'll note that in the UPI story, the school district attorney chose to say that the court had to recognize "that the bracelets were meant to titillate." Poor choice of words? Or intentional, Barrister Beavis? Heh-heh, heh-heh.
But then comes a tale via the AP that restores hope.
In Winston-Salem, the police department bomb squad sponsored the Spring Eggsplosion, an Easter egg hunt for blind children. No apologies for the politically correct name, because the police openly called it an Easter egg hunt themselves.
The event included eggs containing beeping devices spread out in a large public garden area. The bomb squad prepared 88 beeping Easter eggs, not "spring spheres," by installing a circuit attached to a buzzer with an on-off switch in them.
Children from throughout the Carolinas were invited to use their hearing to locate the eggs and turn them in for prizes from the officers.
These are children who might not otherwise enjoy an Easter egg hunt, but for the good hearts and efforts of police officers who already are doing a job few would want to do in diffusing bombs.
So, though police probably were prevented from using the word "Easter" (the story didn't say) they were living in the spirit of service to others that surely is the deep, deep message of the season.
That's what it's all about. Action, which always is the stuff that backs up words.
An Easter egg by any other name still is a device filled with hope.
(Giannamore, a resident of Toronto, is business editor of the Herald-Star.)