If this column seems unusually subdued, it's because the author is still reeling from these ridiculous charges that he ate a chocolate Easter bunny belonging to someone else.
This is, of course, a familiar accusation.
Two Easters ago, there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth over a chocolate egg that I supposedly consumed in violation of some unwritten family rule.
Then last Easter there was that flap about the marshmallow duck found with his head brutally severed. The 9-year-old and 6-year-old accused me of gnawing off the head during a late-night feeding frenzy.
Now it's a chocolate bunny.
To which I respond (as I have so many times in the past): Where's the proof?
Nevertheless, an air of tension and mistrust has settled over the house during the past 48 hours.
I'll tell you, the Salem witch trials were positively low-key compared to the frenzied investigation behind this stupid bunny's disappearance.
The children, suddenly transformed into enraged, wild-eyed zealots, have not hesitated to use Gestapo-like tactics, including scattershot accusations, suppression of evidence, failure to allow cross-examination of witnesses, I could go on and on.
With the understanding that what follows is in no way an admission of guilt, let me say this: If people don't want their chocolate bunnies eaten, they shouldn't leave them out in the open where, um, other people might find them.
Common sense tells you that's a big mistake.
You wouldn't leave your wallet out on the sidewalk and expect nothing to happen to it.
You wouldn't leave your car in a bad neighborhood with the doors unlocked and expect everything to be hunky-dory on your return.
So why take chances with a chocolate Easter bunny?
If this chocolate bunny was so all-fired important, what was it doing with absolutely no security to speak of?
By way of a little background, the chocolate bunny in question stood about six inches tall, I'm told.
It was part of the children's Easter candy stash, a vast assortment of gooey junk that included chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs, jelly beans, Peeps, etc.
For two days, the bunny sat slightly to the right of the microwave oven, as I recall.
On the third day, the bunny was gone. At least this is what I was told when a sharp rap was heard at my office door and two kids swept in.
"Did you eat that chocolate bunny that was on the counter?" they demanded.
"My God!" I said. "Why don't you just break out the rubber truncheons and get it over with?"
"Well," they said, " did you?!"
"What's next, an electric cattle prod?" I said. "Cigarette burns on my back? Seventy-five hours with no sleep and a flashlight in my eyes the whole time?"
After a few more questions, the two went goose-stepping out the door to grill their mother.
About 15 minutes later, I was informed by my wife that the witch hunt (there is no other way to describe it) now centered on one person.
And, she added, that one person wasn't her or the baby.
If I may be permitted a slight digression here, it seems to me that we sometimes forget the true meaning of Easter.
Exactly when did Easter become a time for children to hoard great quantities of chocolate-based products?
Did I miss something here? Silly me, but I was under the impression Easter was a time to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, not for little kids to get so wired on candy that they start climbing the walls and baying at the moon and crying hysterically when their parents mention that it's bedtime.
Not to get too heavy, but here's another question that seems wildly appropriate: Whatever happened to the concept of sharing?
Would it really hurt for two children to approach their hard-working father one evening and and say: "Dad, look, we have an extra chocolate bunny here. Why don't you wolf it down?"
This is neither here nor there, but most people have an idiosyncratic method of eating a chocolate bunny.
Me, I chew off his little ears first. Then I go to work on his little feet. If his arms extend out from the body (most times they don't), I tear off the left arm first, then the right.
The torso I save for last, beginning with a savage bite to the stomach region followed by the systematic gnawing of the chest cavity.)
Not that I've eaten any chocolate bunnies lately.
But it's like riding a bicycle. Some things you never forget.