Stepping away from politics. It's hard to do... I have so much more shout about, but unfortunately I can't type any louder than the gazillion idiots who are merrily declaring that South Africa is the most unstable country. Ever. Apparently, we are the only country to EVER suffer from political tension, and crime, and high-profile people doing stupid things and possibly being targeted for the trouble they cause. And because we are the first - and only - country to ever be inflicted by wounds of the past and subsequent differing points of view, the whole nation is clearly going to implode in the next few weeks (oddly enough, this hasn't happened yet, despite this doom being declared with certainty on a monthly basis). On the bright side, such implosion would spare SA from enduring the apocalyptic crisis that the world is going to experience in two years time.
Anyway. While ET was inadvertently making the wrong kind of headlines this weekend, I was in the UK moors with Mills and his siblings. I feel I need to educate you all on what it means to spend Easter with the Mill-family.
Argue about where you are going to spend Easter. This has to be somewhere where you haven't been before. It does not matter if it is in the house next door to the house from last year, you cannot revisit a location.
Once suitable accommodation is found, Easter Eggs must be purchased. This is not a simple case of one egg, one mouth. There are various categories of egg entry to be considered. The first is the Most Impressive. This is normally a collaboration of one ostentatiously large egg, with a selection of fine chocolates in a basket the size of a shoe box. Bonus points are awarded if the giant eggs are individually labeled, with the recipient's name hand-painted in icing. The second category is Quantity Over Quality. This entails sourcing the smallest - but most numerous - eggs commercially available (these will then be hidden individually). Shopping completed, the eggs must be transported with care to their final destination. Breaking eggs en route is considered sacrilege and will be result in a loss of status at the family gathering.
Set aside at least one full evening before Easter Sunday to coordinate the rules and allocate hiding areas for the Mills' Annual Yolk Hunting Easter Madness (MAYHEM). The first and most prominent rule of MAYHEM is to take MAYHEM seriously. Jokers and non-Mill family members who do not demonstrate the expected reverence for the occasion are not welcome or appreciated.
Once each couple has been allocated their hiding location (i.e. one pair will have the kitchen and garden, the next will have lounge and driveway etc), the pairs divvy up their collection of eggs and hide them for the various seekers. There are no rules as to where eggs can be hidden. Removing light bulbs from ceiling fittings and replacing them with appropriate sized eggs is accepted - and applauded. Curtain linings, dustbins, vacuum bags and full baby bottles are also on the list of approved (and used) locations.
Note: Attempting to peek at another couple's location prior to hunting is NOT appreciated, and will result in severe reprimands.
Eggs hidden. Now everyone must gather to listen - and pay close attention - to what they must each look for. Serious participants will have pen and paper ready to take notes. "Koekie - you are looking for nine thumbnail-sized eggs, three have white wrapping, three are red and three are black. You are also looking for two bunnies - one with gold foil, one with green. You must also find seven Milka eggs, about the size of your pinky nail. Mills- you are looking for nine thumbnail eggs (two white, five red and two black). Your two bunnies are in gold foil and red foil. You have five Milka chocolates and one marshmellow egg...." Each couple will do the same respectively for their recipients.
The hunting can begin. Shoving, tripping and snatching are allowed but considered unsporting if done to small children.
I generally just grab whatever I see and stash it all away like a rabid squirrel, whether I'm supposed to find it or not. That's how we did it in my family and old habits die hard. I also find it comes in handy at the end, because I have tons of leverage to barter with. This is considered good game strategy by non-Mill family members, but is not appreciated by MAYHEM founders.
Every event will end with a MAYHEM audit to check that each participant has in fact collected the correct number - and colour - of eggs. This audit is also used to tally how many eggs are still outstanding.
Eating eggs before the final audit is completed is frowned upon, as consumption of Easter Eggs is not the MAYHEM objective. If all Easter Eggs are found and accounted for, the MAYHEM event is deemed a monumental failure by true participants.
The ultimate goal of MAYHEM is to hide the eggs so well that the only chance of them being uncovered will be during a future spring clean, or archeological dig.
MAYHEM. The True Easter Spirit.