When we were young, and then even when we weren’t so young, our mum used to buy Ned and I as many Easter Eggs as she could reasonably fit into a shopping basket at Asda without attracting the attention of the manager who would think that she was the owner of a rival supermarket out to corner the market in Easter Eggs.
We had lots, lots and lots of Easter Eggs every Easter. Easter Eggs of all shapes sizes and descriptions, Cadbury’s Easter Eggs, Rowntrees Easter Eggs, I even had a “Seven Boys Chocolate” Easter Egg one year (look it up on t’interweb), and they’d all sit on top of every piece of furniture in the house during the weeks leading up to Easter.
Its a little known fact that the practice of giving Easter Eggs to children more than two days in advance of Easter is now actually outlawed through an Act of the European Court of Human Rights, it being deemed to be one of the more cynical, nay downright evil, forms of torture.
We’d sit there for weeks would Ned and I, staring at our numerous Easter Eggs. They’d start arriving shortly after Christmas for our mother used to like to buy them in as soon as they went on Asda’s shelves believing them to be cheaper the earlier you bought them, demand rising as we approached Easter meaning that the manager would put the price up – she may have been correct too.
So we’d sit and stare at them, Ned and me, drooling for weeks at the thought of breaking every single one of them open on Easter Sunday and pigging ourselves on chocolate until we were sick as dogs but not regretting our actions one bit.
And then one year I had a master plan.
One year whilst counting our Easter Eggs, for you counted them every day, I noticed that one of my Smarties Easter Eggs had a loose flap at the back of the box, and while our mother was in the kitchen Ned and I carefully, ever so carefully, pried the back of the box open and removed the clear plastic packaging which contained the egg.
By means of very careful and very quiet unwrapping it was possible to pick out the back of the Easter Egg, eating it and the packet of Smarties therein, then ever so carefully and ever so quietly replace all of the packaging and the front half of the egg in such a way that no-one would ever know.
That is, they’d know if they looked around the back of the egg of course and they’d know as soon as they opened it on Easter Sunday, but as it was our egg anyway we wouldn’t be the ones to complain to our mother that someone had had it away with the back of their Easter Egg would we ?
We did this every year and every year we got bolder and bolder until all of our Easter Eggs would have the backs and their sweets missing on Easter Sunday and we’d have to try very hard not to laugh out loud as we unwrapped them on that sacred day, Easter Sunday, Saint Easters Day, the patron saint of chocolate, the day that you unwrap your Easter Eggs and try not to laugh at the fact that you ate half of it three weeks ago and your mother never noticed.
One year we even went so far as to eat ALL of one of the Easter Eggs and carefully moulded the colourful tin foil wrapping into an egg shape so as to fool our mother – it worked too, she was dateless our mother.
She bought Easter Eggs for us until we were well into our teens and we ate them as they came in the door, placing the carefully remoulded but empty wrappings on the sideboard every year, until one year our posh Auntie Doris came to call the day before Good Friday.
She’d brought us an Easter Egg each, an act of kindness that our mother had not reckoned on because our posh AUntie Doris had a posh daughter, our posh cousin Christine, and our mother had been caught without buying her an Easter Egg in return.
Quick as a flash she went to the sideboard and saying out loud, “Oh I think this one is Christines egg”, handed our posh Auntie Doris one of my Smarties Easter Eggs.
Ned and I said nothing, but if you’ve ever had to try very hard not to laugh for an hour or so while your posh Auntie Doris sits and gabs away to your mother, and all the while an empty, remoulded Easter Egg box sits in her shopping basket then you’ll know how hard we had to try.
How I wish I’d been a fly on the wall that Easter Sunday, the day that our posh cousin Christine opened her common Auntie Joyces Easter Egg gift to find that her very common cousins had already been there and snaffled the egg and the Smarties, it was like a Trojan Horse in reverse.