The annual cameo appearance of the Easter Bunny signals four things:

1) It's spring.

2) General recurring confusion as to how a giant rabbit, allegedly male, somehow produces pastel-colored hard-boiled and/or chocolate-and-candy-yoke-filled eggs, conveniently laying them in easy-to-carry, tisket-a-tasket, green-and-yellow baskets.

3) That I have no idea what tiskets or taskets are.

4) That it's only a matter of precisely seven short months until Halloween, and we have not yet picked a theme for this year's over-the-top-of-the-tombstone, heinously hideous, fully fiendish, frontyard monstrosity-of-morbidity display. So we'd better get a' hoppin'.

The Easter Bunny: Deliverer of chocolate eggs, or harbinger of Halloween?
The Easter Bunny: Deliverer of chocolate eggs, or harbinger of Halloween? (Anda Chu/Staff Archives)

While few might view the Easter Bunny or his numerous bunny-suited conspiratorial agents as harbingers of happily horrific holidays to come, my spouse and I -- being huge fans of the Night Before the Dawn of the Day of the Dead -- take the furry guy's visit as a sign that we're way behind on designing and building things like mad scientist labs, giants sphinxes or entire Wild West ghost towns.

Inquiring neighborhood kids already want to know the theme. We have some ideas -- some we've considered before but never fleshed out, so to speak. So perhaps you can help out on this haunting problem and send in your votes from the following list of options:


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1) Undersea. Perhaps a massive, hideous, barnacled sea monster, rising up in battle with Nemo (the captain, not the clownfish) in a hand-to-tentacle, eye-for-an-ink-sac, squid-pro-quo clash of the plankton. There would be kelp, a lawn nautilus, seahorses, merpeople and maybe even Patrick the starfish, although he's cute instead of scary and would need at least a severed appendage or two. Hey, they grow back.

2) Swamp/evil plant life. This is similar, but more of a "Creature From the Black Lagoon" kind of thing, with lots of fog and bogs and haunted bayous and evil plants that envelop victims in their leafy arms of death, a la the botanical minions of Poison Ivy.

3) Retro space/UFO. Think "War of the Worlds" or "Flash Gordon." A crashed saucer and/or '50s rocket on the lawn, maybe some aliens running around like space chickens with their heads cut off. Perhaps some space slime.

4) Fractured fairy tales. The Grimm brothers' stories are already pretty, well, grim. And anything from "Alice in Wonderland" is straight out of a nightmare. But we could take all that a step further. Cheshire Cat's smile with bloody teeth, cauldrons full of Hansel/Gretel body parts, evil fairy godmothers. Come to think of it, the Easter Bunny would fit right in.

Other random thoughts include: caveman/dinosaurs; "Twilight Zone"; zombies from "Walking Dead"; superheroes; Greek mythology; medieval castle/skeleton knights/torture devices.

Voting is open from now until, oh, say Earth Day. Feel free to email me or post a comment here. Write-in candidates are also encouraged. Please do it soon. Time is mummy.

Avert your eyes

In other news about upcoming and equally frightening holidays, I just received this news release out of Kissimmee, Fla., from the American Association for Nude Recreation. The title immediately caught my eye, then soiled it: "May is around the corner bringing us National Smile Month & World Naked Gardening Day.

It is not clear why naked gardening is linked with National Smile Month, other than perhaps the notion of wearing only a smile. But it continues: "On Sunday, May 5, 2013 people across the globe are encouraged to tend their gardens, flower boxes and yards clothed as nature intended," the release reads. "Why garden naked? Because it's the Eighth Annual World Naked Gardening Day! Besides being liberating, nude gardening is second only to swimming as an activity people are most ready to consider doing nude. Besides body acceptance and personal freedom, nude gardening is comfortable, saves on laundry, and makes for a quick personal clean up -- just hose down."

Yikes. One can only hope recreational nudists do not raise lots of cacti or, worse still, a garden of evil plants that envelop victims in their leafy arms of death. At least cover your tiskets and taskets, people. Maybe in protective bunny suits.

Contact Angela Hill at ahill@bayareanewsgroup.com, or follow her at Twitter.com/giveemhill.