EASTER EGG COMPETITION 2017 – PART 2: RESULTS, REACTION AND ANALYSIS
Earlier this week I reported on the fun, family friendly activity of the annual Easter Egg competition. In that hard hitting work of investigative journalism, I talked about the amount of stress it can bring to your home. Stress that can AND WILL lead to discord, actual physical fighting, and potential intervention by local authorities.
I used the title – “EASTER EGG COMPETITIONS: A PAIN IN THE ARSE FOR ALL CONCERNED.”
…Well, it seems that I forgot to add a little something to the end of that. Namely, a question mark. Like this:
COMMENTARY / REACTION
Well, a fair few of you (as many as four people, myself included) shared that article around – and let me tell you, it sparked something of a debate. I’m paraphrasing, but the counter argument runs along the lines of:
“No it isn’t! The kids love it!”
“cullad eggs with bits stuck on im is the anly fun some dissavantaged kids get!”
…Stuff like that, yeah? If nothing else, it provided a steaming bowl of food for thought.
IS the humble Easter Egg Competition really a pain in the arse?? Well? Is it?
…Kind of, yeah. In addition to purchasing and heating eggs up in a bit of vinegary water – which I’ve already elaborated on – I certainly had stuff to do. Stuff like:
- Dig my old acrylic paints, brushes, etc. out of a box in the little room – which is a right shit hole.
- Source and / or mix correct colours
- Wash the brushes properly, in the sink, afterwards
- …And so on
In the main though, the hardest part was in simply carrying out my original plan – simply to Do Nothing. Fortunately, some clever use of errands, and a pre-organised Parents Evening kept me out of the house for a bit.
That was clearly in the best interests of everyone concerned.
WHAT DID SON 1 END UP MAKING?
Let’s roll things back to Wednesday afternoon, a couple of hours after the original article went out:
Having “decided against” the Back to the Future homage, Son 1 set about creating instead his new vision: A kind of pastoral scene, featuring the Easter Bunny and a large chick carrying a basket full of eggs. Stood in front of a tree. A tree with some eggs in it.
Luckily, for the task of applying a base coat of white paint to each egg, I was able to outsource this to my wife (whilst the kids were out). A second coat was then applied to one side of each egg – with one of those being yellow paint, for the chick – just before I set out on the afternoon school run.
…That approach bought us vital drying and preparation time.
The minute my eldest son set foot back inside the house, he immediately got to work.
During the time it took to dry some paint, we produced what you might call the “egg accessories” – namely the arms and feet and beaks, and that. And the basket. And the tree… All of which would later be attached with a mixture of PVA glue and double sided sticky tape.
These separate elements were sketched in pencil onto card; painted with acrylic paint, and then cut out.
Arguably this was the most hands on I got. Initially, I was called on to illustrate what a bunny ear looks like, and then have Son 1 replicate that design. That aspect went smoothly enough…
However, things soon got tense. My design for an anthropomorphic Easter Bunny arm was rejected – quite literally – out of hand… He didn’t like that I’d drawn a hand on it. My work was then callously scribbled out, wearing the graphite of the pencil down to a nub – a nub which would later require sharpening.
Instead of that, a more realistic paw design was implemented – albeit with arms that for my money, were a bit too thin. Fortunately, to alleviate this clash of artistic approach, I was obliged to leave the house and collect Son 2.
SON 2’S EGG
Now, with the second born’s egg, I had no involvement whatsoever. The wife handled that one, in full. The four stage design employed there was pretty much as follows:
- Paint the egg white
- Whack some glue on it
- Smother it in cotton wool
- Draw a face on it
Done. One sheep, as ordered (see above, or to the right – whichever).
I popped into nursery with it the following afternoon, taking Son 2 along for the walk. We’d stuck it in an egg box with his name daubed on the front in marker pen.
Clearly, a lot of other “kids” had adopted the same approach, i.e:
- Roll an egg in some fluff
- Leave to dry
- Enter into competition.
Son 2’s minimalist sheep design was easily on a par – if not marginally better – than some of those plopped on the shelf. Once again though, food for thought.
….Well, that was that done. However, you’re more interested in getting back to Son 1’s thing aren’t you? Let’s get back to that.
BACK TO SON 1’S EGG SCENE
Wednesday afternoon, around 16:15: After dumping the youngest back in the house, and keeping him from grabbing at the painted eggs, I could see that the pastoral scene of Son 1 was coming together.
The tree was built – using just two bits of brown and green card – alongside the base, which was a shoe box with the side hacked off, painted green. The paw/arms and and ears were painted, and at least 85% dry. My wife and son were busy hacking away at things with scissors, and lengths of sticky tape were dotted about the table.
I nodded my approval, and buggered off to the Parent’s Evening (which, to be fair, was a hoot).
SOME STUFF ABOUT A BASKET
On my return, 40 minutes or so later, the scene was just about in place. The Rabbit and Chick both had little cardboard belts on them, with their feet sticking out, which the eggs would then stand on. The tree, taped up at the back, had been successfully glued into place.
At this point, I again returned to the creative process. I was called upon to try and sort out the basket, which had been cut out and stuck together, but turned out to be considerably too large. Initially, I sliced away at it with the super dangerous craft knife we keep hidden away – but this turned out to be fruitless. It was too thin and flimsy. Instead, I quickly sketched out a NEW basket in marker pen, and then sliced it out of the card. Some pre-made miniature eggs (created by Son 1) were then artfully pruned to appear as through they were IN the basket. Clever stuff.
Anyway. There. It was done, and it looked like this:
ON THE TRANSPORTATION OF EGG DISPLAYS
And lo, on the following morning I did carefully walk the pastoral egg scene to school. It was wedged into a large Tupperware container, at an angle, and – well… It proved to be flimsy.
Now, normally, it takes about 10 minutes to get to the first school on foot, but on that day it took an extra five. Easily. I was forced to walk slowly and deliberately, as though transporting old, sweaty dynamite. Mid way, the tree broke its moorings; the back springing free of its sticky tape. The arm, which had also dropped off during the night, did so again.
Never mind, I thought. We’ll fix it when we get there.
HANDING IT IN
On arrival at the school, there was a lengthy queue coming out of the reception. I had no idea what it was for, but I could somehow sense that we should join it. That sense soon proved to be correct.
In front of me in the queue were three or four sets of parents and kids, each bearing a ceremonial egg display. At a table just inside the reception, a system had been established to process each entrant – apparently organised by members of the PTA. There, a blonde woman would:
- Accept the egg based diorama;
- Record the name of the entrant, and
- Assign a raffle ticket stub as a form of receipt.
Furthermore, a small girl – perhaps the daughter of the woman manning (or womanning) the table – was busy flogging additional raffle tickets to the captive audience. I bought a quid’s worth using one of those new pound coins.
This in itself caused a bit of a stir, as up to that point no bugger in the room had laid eyes on one.
Looking behind me, the queue had swollen exponentially… Well, not exponentially, but it had certainly grown. It was now a good twenty people deep, and snaked back from the entrance all the way to the road – a distance of about 30 ft. Something like that.
Lot of people digging the whole egg thing.
Anyway, I managed to repair any transportation damage – just about – and handed the bugger in.
There, it went to join hundreds of other eggs, covering three or four tables at the back of the room, plus the floor of the reception. A lot of the designs shared a similar, “stuff happening around a tree”, theme. Some of them were fucking massive… One had a swimming pool.
“We don’t have a hope in hell here,” I thought. Out loud.
Also we didn’t win the raffle.
We won fuck all, in either competition. Didn’t even make the podium. The thing that did win (the school competition) had at least TWO trees… So that’s clearly where we went wrong.
History makes no mention of who or what won the nursery comp. Who cares?
CODA – PLUS Q&A
Q: So, given all that, is decorating eggs a pain in the arse?
Q: But is it also fun, and something for the whole family to work on?
A: Kind of. If nothing else, it certainly provides something to do.
Q: Isn’t drawing and cutting out a little basket thing a form of cheating?
Next year, we’ll scale it up. Add a bit of spectacle. Maybe something from Back to the Future.
Something like that, yeah.
University educated (in media, so nothing useful); former propagandist for Hewlett Packard; now redundant, scrap heaped dole scum / full time mum of two.