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Imagine yourself in a multiplex movie theater. Curiously, no walls separate the half-dozen theaters that form the multiplex. Miraculously, you are watching six different screens all at once, thoroughly understanding and enjoying every scene, word, character.

Welcome to ADHD

[You in the Real World, be sure to click on the red underlined hyperlinks! And know these accounts are truewithout exaggeration!]

Three Bienemann generations   Lifetime pal Yogi, proudly joining the two generations below ours …

So, Black, asks Screen Three, are we going to catch the annual Easter showing of Harvey or just let a great movie pass us by?

“You do realize, Three, that your much-loved and too-often-watched movie about an invisible rabbit is from 1950, right? I mean, it’s older than I am, and I’m older than dirt.”

Ah, but that movie is a classic, adds One. And a Jimmy Stewart performance never disappoints.

“True, boys,” I reply, “as we have seen every Christmas with the reruns of It’s a Wonderful Life. But why watch an event … when one can live it?”

Taking their cue, all six screens unite in brilliant Technicolor hyperfocus and let an ancient reel play …

“Yogi” – Bill, by birth – Bienemann is a fast friend from the first moment he shows up at the Blackwell house to welcome the neighborhood’s newest arrivals. Delighted that both he and older brother, Bob, now have a variety of ages with whom to play –

There are, after all, points out Five, half a dozen of you … or will be when Barry, the last-born Blackwell, shows up a few years later.

– Yogi cooks up all kinds of nonsense in which to involve me.

And your screens, laughs Six, go right along with his game plans. Despite being a single-screen Real Worlder, Yogi is as close as they come to being an ADHD-powered pal.

Yogi and BlackieWith Easter swiftly rolling up, discussion between two fourth-grade buddies covers such wide-ranging topics as which Resurrection Sunday church service we will attend, the different candy types we expect to see in our celebration basket, and whether gifts of some sort possibly could accompany the much-anticipated chocolate egg hunt.

Abruptly, I see Yogi’s expression change. Dramatically.

“You know,” he says conspiratorially, “Chris Forte has those baby bunnies he’s trying to give away.” Wisely, time is given to let that thought race around the inside of my six-screen head before Yogi adds, “I sure would like to have one, but I don’t think my parents will allow that.”

“I already asked my folks. Mom said, ‘No, no, no.’”

Says Four, Imagine that. She does not want to add to a zoological collection that may well rival the San Diego Zoo’s.

“I don’t think I will ask,” murmurs Yogi, a wink of his eye cuing gears to grind inside two youthful heads. Though screens flash images of huge Mr. Bienemann – Tomzilla – a pro football player in younger days, I push past my fear of reprisals and lend ear to Yogi’s Brilliant Plan, hatched in just 30 seconds.

Soon, Mr. Forte surrenders one of his bunnies into our eager hands –

Only one bunny is contracted for, reminds Two, because you do not possess the stratospheric nerve levels Yogi  does.

– for safekeeping outside the Bienemann household until the Saturday night before Easter Sunday. Then Yogi smuggles the furball into his home, keeping the tiny creature hidden from prying eyes and punishing parents.

Nice that rabbits don’t peep, bark, squeak or cry, observes Five.

Early Easter morning, even before big brother Bob awakens, Yogi slips from his bed, silently descends the steps, withdraws the bunny from hiding, and places the whole kit-and-caboodle near the goody baskets. He attaches a note that briefly explains the bunny is Yogi’s pet to keep. At 32 Brook Hollow Lane. Forever.

That may be a tad over the top, critiques Three.

Yogi and BobYogi “finds” the bunny and shouts with exaggerated joy. Bob wonders how his little brother gets to have such a pet. Perplexed parental units wonder the same thing.

Per plan, Yogi delightedly calls me on the phone to express his amazement at the Easter gift “somebody” gave him. Per plan, I react with astonishment, saying once again how I wish my own mom would have allowed me to receive such a neat present.

Not per plan, laughs One, Mom smells not a rabbit but a rat and begins a cross-examination that whittles you to pieces.

Sighs Two, A similar process is underway at Brook Hollow Lane.

Soon the Blackwell Matriarch and two Bienemann forebears compare notes across telephone lines. “Gruesome discovery” insufficiently details all that is learned as two formerly tight-lipped youngsters sing like canaries. Mr. Bienemann, begrudgingly and with no small amount of accompanying commentary, procures wood and mesh screen, building an expensive but first-rate enclosure for Yogi’s self-administered surprise.

And this all ends how? asks Two, knowing readers will want the inside scoop.

Let me borrow immortal words penned by Yogi as an adult: “Two genius juveniles with nothing better to do came up with the perfect plan/crime. It was executed flawlessly … umm, flawlessly until later that morning when the recipient juvenile [yes, Yogi] witnesses the sun rising [along with a father’s anger], casting a shadow in what is known as a near-death experience.”

You do not get spanked, reminds Four. And Yogi gets to keep the bunny, which he names Harvey. I declare this a win-win … and no small Easter miracle of its own.


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First grandchildPostscript: Decades after the Great Bunny Balderdash, I ask my still-good friend Yogi if he ever thinks about what we almost pulled off that day.

Now a proud grandfather himself, Yogi first kindly wishes my family “the very best Easter possible.” Knowing my fondness for cocoa and chewy candies, he heartily encourages me to “eat too much chocolate and too many jelly beans.”

Only then does he answer my question, proving in his response that he thinks more often of that escapade than I had guessed:

“Thank the Lord we didn’t get scalped back in the day.”

Now, if we can just keep our own kids and grandkids from repeating the stunt ….

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Blackie’s Weekly Wonders

Have a sip of cuteness