It's not a completely true statement to say that rabbits make terrible workers. Just last week a rabbit mechanic worked on my Mustang and it's good as new.
No doubt there is a dark history between man and rabbits. Just look at the now horrifying Warner Brothers' Elmer Fudd and the very un-PC Bugs Bunny. I know that's wrong. When I see something as outdated as that, it makes me cringe as much as anybody.
I'm not against rabbits in general. Not at all. In fact, some of my best friends are rabbits. I think rabbits are really, really great. Just ask anyone. Anyone who knows me would say I say all the time that rabbits are really great and that I think they're treated unfairly.
But I've gotten a bad rap for what I've said about rabbits. It was completely misconstrued. They are hardworking, not lazy. That is not what I meant in any way.
Okay here's what happened:
I hired a rabbit to come over to my house and fix my roof. He looked like a clean rabbit, like he'd been eating his carrots and hopping a lot. So I went out to lunch with a friend. When I got back to check on his progress, not only he had he not done anything with the roof, but he had invited two pigs and a goat over to drink from a muddy puddle in my yard. I found them lying on the ground, mud stains around their mouths, talking about what shapes they saw in the clouds. The pig with the big ears said the cumulonimbus cloud looked like a spaceship. It looked nothing like a spaceship!
I cleared my throat to get their attention. The rabbit, Buck, I believe his name was, jumped up.
“Uh, Mr. Watkins, you're home early.”
“Our servant at the restaurant was very efficient. What are you doing? I'm paying you ten heads of lettuce an hour.”
Okay, I know what you're thinking, why was I paying him in vegetables? But I swear that is the currency he requested.
Buck eked out some kind of explanation that rambled and made no sense. Something about it being the small-eared pig's birthday, and they got thirty for muddy water, and they like clouds a lot. I wasn't having any of it! I fired Buck and told him he wasn't getting any lettuce.
Later my wife lectured me saying, “You know how rabbits are. They don't have a huge work ethic.”
“Nancy, I said, that doesn't sound very PC,” to which she rolled her eyes at me.
My wife, Nancy, was not one for being PC. She had a what I feel was a deliberate habit of getting drunk every December, stumbling into a local Jewish Shabbat service and screaming “Merry Christmas, you assholes!” at the service members. Last year was the fifth time she's done it, and after looking at their schedule for that weekend I noticed they very kindly etched out a thirty minute timeslot for her to drunkenly yell Merry Christmas at everyone. They really are an accommodating bunch (that particular group of service attendees, I mean, not Jews in general. I don't need any more trouble. And I don't mean Jews like “those Jews,” I mean Jews like Jews, you know. I'm sweating).
But back to rabbits.
I was talking later to a couple of friends of mine, who, I will admit, are not rabbits. They are humans. But that does not mean anything. Does it necessarily mean that a group made up entirely of humans who just happen to be talking about rabbits have ill will? I don't think so. I mentioned the incident with Buck to my friend Barry and he said he had had a similar experience when he hired a rabbit to repaint his fence. He said the rabbit painted half the fence in purple, half in gold, drew some pictures of rabbits dancing, and then spent the rest of the day eating weeds out of Barry's garden.
“It's a problem, he said.” We all agreed.
I guess someone at another table must have overheard our conversation, because now everyone in town is saying I hate rabbits, which is simply not true. I eat carrots, I own a copy of Peter Rabbit, I sometimes even wander into other people's gardens and eat their vegetables. I am a rabbit lover if anything. I once saw a girl walking down the street holding a rabbit and I thought, “Wow, that is so great!” I'm all for it. All for it. Really, it's so okay was me. Rabbits are great. Just great.