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Here comes Purple Peter Cottontail…

A twue story about a wascally Easter wabbit:

Decades back in a universe far far away I worked as the Director of Drama and Literature for the FM KPFA/PACIFICA in Berkeley. One of my innovations in that job was to take the station’s remote broadcasting equipment and set it up in People’s Park as an open microphone so that anybody in the community could come by during its hours of broadcast and say anything, do anything, PERFORM ANYTHING, that they wanted. Once we hosted five stoned hippies doing a foghorn symphony using five horns made from long dried tubes of kelp. Another time we had a kind of choral rant by a local commune that called themselves “Third-World Lesbian Mothers for Peace.”

It was, dare I say it, “Open-Source Radio” long before open-sourcing would become popular.

Then came the open mike I scheduled for one Easter Sunday thinking that the natural religious “diversity” of Berkeley would make for an interesting mix of talents. So we had somebody on the bagpipes, then the Krishnas showed up, then there was I believe a group of folks using Kazoos as their backing organ for some of the worst sung hymns I’ve ever heard (and I was an Episcopalian until those churches got too empty.).

And then, just when I thought it was safe to flip the broadcast back to the KPFA studios, a van pulled up to the curb near the microphone in the park.

The back doors opened and a woman dressed in a purple bunny suit sprang out and began hopping about ululating with plaintive screeeeees. The notable difference in her otherwise normal purple bunny suit was that there were hemmed holes in the chest so her naked (purple painted) human breasts flopped about in time with her floppy ears above as she hippity-hopped along.

Did I mention that the crotch of her bunny suit was also missing so that her (dyed purple ) bushy muff gleamed in the light? No? Well, now I have.

Did I mention that I was gamely describing the hippity-hoppity event to the KPFA listeners at home as this was happening? No? Well, now I have.

After she had hopped about in front of the microphone with her breasts flopping and her bush… well, never mind… the door to the van flew open and a hippie with his face painted purple and inside of another purple bunny suit hippity-hopped out.

As he hippity-hopped about the microphone in the park I noted that he carried a very large stuffed purple satin penis in an engorged state above two satin testicles that were also stuffed tight. This odd phallus he bounced about in front of him as he hippity-hopped behind the purple female bunny with huffs and puffs as she ran circles around the microphone still screeeing at the top of her bunny voice.

Did I mention that he needed this stuffed set of equipment held in front of him as he hippity-hopped because his purple bunny suit was also missing the crotch out of which his not-all-that-remarkable human equipment did dangle? No? Well, now I have.

The dynamic purple bunny duo hippity-hopped about in the park around the KPFA open mike for about five minutes and the people who lived near the park had started coming out of their houses for a closer look.

My engineer said to me (It was the intolerant and still sane 70s that had laws against this sort of exposure), “Isn’t that illegal for him to be running around with his dick dangling?”

“It can’t be,” I said. “He’s a bunny.”

When I got back to the station that afternoon, the KPFA Station Manager informed me that the open-mike experiment was over.



Comments on this entry are closed.

  • brinster April 10, 2020, 1:34 PM

    Verlander married well.

  • Jack April 10, 2020, 2:47 PM

    Reminds me of Arlo’s comment at Woodstock just before he started in on “Coming Into Los Angeles”…. lotta freaks, huh huh….

  • Rick April 10, 2020, 4:32 PM

    There is just no point in telling stories here. Whatever we have yours are better!

  • Anonymous April 10, 2020, 5:20 PM

    Peoples Park. Wow. That brings up a few memories. I missed out on your radio experiment.

    Wasn’t Mario Savio the first filthy speech promoter at Bezerkley-

  • Terry April 10, 2020, 5:23 PM

    Sorry. Did not intend to make the above comment anonymous.

  • Vanderleun April 10, 2020, 5:26 PM

    Nope. Savio, whom I knew briefly from my red diaper baby girlfriend (now a lesbisan therapist to other lesbians in LA), Savio was the head of the FREE Speech Movment (FSM).

    The FILTHY Speech Movement was a sideshow that started around the same time.

    Filthy Speech Movement – Everything2.com It all started when John Thomson, a radical who had been attracted to Berkeley because of all the publicity surrounding the Free Speech Movement, sat down on the steps of the Student Union and held a sign across his chest that read ‘Fuck.’ He was arrested for obscenity.

  • Vanderleun April 10, 2020, 5:28 PM

    Rick, no no no. I love the stories my commenters tell. I collect them and at times form a whole item around them. They are always fascinating and fine for me to read. Ev eryman is a book if you take the time to read him .

  • Vanderleun April 10, 2020, 5:46 PM

    One of these days I’ll tell the story of what I saw from the window seat in my house over the driveway and into the parlor floor of the Sexual Freedom League. Especially those Wesson Oil parties.

  • Jewel April 11, 2020, 12:50 AM

    Our fourth daughter, born ten years after my twins, came on Easter Sunday. On a day of a total lunar eclipse. While there was a comet. Truly a blessing.

  • JoeDaddy April 11, 2020, 3:31 AM

    https://youtu.be/8wL6eIxMtuA RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!!!

  • Rob De Witt April 11, 2020, 6:24 AM

    Remember that old residence hotel on the NW corner of the “park?” A guy I played country music with dubbed it the Crazy Arms.

  • Uncle Mikey April 11, 2020, 6:41 AM

    They still had Pudding Joy parties at Cal when I lived there in the mid ’90s. California girls really are the greatest

  • Callmelennie April 11, 2020, 7:43 AM

    So how did you respond to the station manager, G-Man? Did you go full Late Sixties hiptard? Did you resort to the hippie nuclesr option — the fully weaponized “Man” …. man?

    Hey Man! Whats your PROB- lem, ma-a-a-a-an? Why so up-TIGHT, ma-a-a-a-a-an! And how long did you stretch that short “a” in the last “man” .. man? Did you go for five seconds to score that full hippie Tsar Bomba effect

    Asking for a mid-boomer friend who had four asshole older brothers

  • mmack April 11, 2020, 8:53 AM


    Reading your posts, apparently you’ve lived the type of life where right about now, you’d pay good money for an hour of boredom. 😆

    The deadpan last sentence makes the whole story. 👍🏻 Grace under pressure sir, grace under pressure.

    A Blessed Easter to you.

  • James ONeil April 11, 2020, 9:20 AM

    Sigh, some images, once described, are next to impossible to bleach out of your mind. I put your purple rabbits right up there with Lady Gaga’s meat dress. Thanks for not including any olfactory notes.

    Speaking of which, I’ll keep my seal oil in the Top of the World hotel, in Barrow, Alaska and durian fruit in Chiang Mai, Thailand stories to myself.

  • Vanderleun April 11, 2020, 9:52 AM

    mmack, thanks for noting the tone. I do try to keep those notes subtle.

  • Vanderleun April 11, 2020, 9:53 AM

    Don’t remember lennie. But I probably went out to the back of the station and smoked a joint and then across Shattuck to the hotel for a double scotch.

  • Gordon Scott April 11, 2020, 10:37 AM

    Man, that song “Jump Around” with that distinctive squeal that starts every bar is now stuck in my head.

    I hope it is now stuck in yours.

  • Skorpion April 11, 2020, 2:29 PM

    These “Easter Bunnies” were part of a Bay Area-based “performance art” troupe, and eventually got busted for their antics:


  • Rob De Witt April 12, 2020, 12:48 AM

    I bet you think the ’60s are over, don’t you?

    Check this out from 15 years ago:

  • Casey Klahn April 3, 2021, 5:29 AM

    I used to walk around Aberdeen with the hippies when I was a young teenager. It was muchly for show. The real hippy shit was kept under wraps, and at that point in time I was too young for that shit. I guess for that reason I claim that the hippy movement pre-dates me; I was after the hippies, and before Kurt Cobain (who used to walk around Aberdeen, doing hippy shit).

    I like the redneck way of managing free speech. You can say anything you like around here, but we’re still going to beat you for it.

    Seriously (well, not seriously but anyway) I love comedians who say anything and especially the worst possible stuff. Right now, I am enjoying Trailer Trash Tammy. But the humor makes it unguent. Remember, good taste is a gift, and bad taste is a privilege. It sounds like the bunnies were privileged, but Gerard pays it forward with humor.

    I once lived in a free country.

  • Kevin in PA April 3, 2021, 8:31 AM

    Whoa! Reading that was like a flashback to a bad acid trip.
    I did enjoy the Kate Upton bit though, I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t be thinking about T&A on Holy Saturday.

  • Lance de Boyle April 3, 2021, 9:06 AM

    “five stoned hippies doing a foghorn symphony using five horns made from long dried tubes of kelp.”

    Little known fact. Dried tubes of kelp—or kelppen tuben—have LONG made the best horns.
    “Hey, Man. Dig that foghorn. Quite forlorn, that foggy horn.”
    “Yeah, and tubular.”
    “Let’s get tubular, man. Pass the roach.”

    “After she had hopped about in front of the microphone with her breasts flopping and her bush… well, never mind…”

    Hey! Less of this, “well, never mind”! What happened to the aforementioned “bush”? Did IT start singing, in a muffled sort of way? Don’t get us all worked up and then leave us, well, hanging there.

  • OneGuy April 3, 2021, 11:54 AM

    I also attended an Episcopalian church with quite a large congregation. My favorite thing was we sung a lot and with so many people and the high ceilings the noise was awesome and I could sing loudly and no one knew that I actually could not sing. My favorite song back then was onward Christian soldiers which for reasons I never understood was always sang after they had placed all the offerings/fees extorted cash on a platter and the ushers would proudly march down the aisle while we all sang at the top of our lungs and they placed this platter of cash on the alter. Onward Christian soldiers is still one of my favorite songs and I have a few recordings I play sometimes but none of them do it justice like the 2000 church goers singing at the top of their lungs in a church seemingly designed to amplify sound. Oh well, it would probably get you arrested in half the cities in America today if you sang it outloud.

  • gwbnyc April 3, 2021, 2:57 PM

    Marion Barry, one of the greats, was on the Pacifica Board of Directors.

    “gleamed in the light”, did it?

  • gwbnyc April 3, 2021, 5:25 PM

    and then…

    post above reminds me of an Easter morning I was sitting in Father Demo Square 7-8 AM, the area pretty much deserted. a police cruiser on Bleecker St approached the intersection of Carmine with a quite tall transvestite sitting on the driver’s side fender belting “Onward Christian Soldiers”, the two cops occupying the car continually laughing as they made their way further east on Bleecker across 6th Avenue at moderate speed.


  • ID Gent April 5, 2021, 4:53 PM

    Wow, my Easter bunny story sounds tame by comparison. My girlfriend (now wife) went hiking in the Grand Canyon a few days before Easter. We drive to Las Vegas, take much needed showers, and hit a show for Saturday evening. The next morning we go downstairs only to see a huge Easter bunny wandering around the gaming tables. I’m wondering if I’m on Candid Camera and Alan Funt would show up over my shoulder (this is 1997…Funt was still alive), or if I ingested something I shouldn’t have in the canyon. Turns out the bunny was real and I was sober. At the moment.

  • Vanderleun April 6, 2021, 8:04 AM

    Funt? Candid Camera? Let me tell you a story ab out that…. Oh wait, I already have.