It's that time of the year again, when an entire aisle in your local supermarket vanishes overnight — what happened to your favorite coffee, cookies and chips? — and is replaced by "seasonal" goods, namely Easter inventory, which seems to increase in sheer size and variety every spring.
Each March and April, suppliers come forth with new lines of Easter-related foods, tchotkes and toys. In some superstores, you could spend at least an hour getting "egg-cited" by the new goodies. Which is exactly what I did recently.
Here are a few things vendors have come up with this year that should put a bee in your Easter bonnet:
• Three-point Easter basket: What could summon up the spirit of the sacred season better than an Easter basket bundled inside a poster of NBA long-distance sharpshooting champ Kyle Korver of the Atlanta Hawks? You might call this gift a long shot.
• Ham in eggs: This tasty new gift combo may be found inside the refrigerated-foods section (we hope) of your local store. It combines two Easter favorites: A tasty piece of ham, wrapped inside a plastic, colored eggshell. The perfect Easter breakfast treat — unless you mistakenly hard boil it.
• Hot, cross bunnies: This highly creative gag gift is a wacky poster
• Window Peeps: There are many incarnations of those sweet lovable ducks this Easter, but one of the newest and most original lines has the lovable quackers holding binoculars, a leer on their bills. They're designed to be placed in windows without melting too quickly. A great way to amuse your next-door neighbors!
• Receding hareline: This new seasonal spray-on product designed to conceal male-pattern baldness has a winking rabbit scampering away on the cover of the packaging — along with warnings not to use the fake-hair can near an open flame.
More "egg-citing" new Easter products available now in select stores include:
• Chocolate bunny ears (for those diet-conscious types who don't want to eat the whole bunny body)
• Eggs-r-cise (a new workout video featuring Bugs Bunny)
• Lucky Easter rabbit's foot (for those with a mordant sense of humor)
• Easter Egg hunting rifle (for quickly disposing of the hidden eggs the children missed earlier in the day)
• Hot chick (a new seasonal springwear line for women)
• 14 gold carrots (a charm bracelet festooned with faux-gold carrots)
• And, finally, Easter Parade Magazine.