Saint John — The Easter Bunny myth isn’t the only lie that Sabrina and David Blanchard are telling their two sons, seven-year-old Caleb and five-year-old Patrick, this weekend.
On this Good Friday morning, the couple admits that they also “fudged the truth” when telling their boys about the content of McDonald’s menu items.
Sabrina says the family considers themselves “devout” Catholics. “Within reason,” David adds. While they don’t regularly go to church, their boys do attend Sunday School.
“Mostly on her mother’s account,” said David. “I swear, if we didn’t get those boys confirmed, that woman would call child protective services on us.”
“We visit my mom in Grand Lake every Easter Weekend,” said Sabrina. “We paint eggs, tie-dye shirts, hide chocolate. It’s fun. She doesn’t like to drive and we’re so busy — it’s the only time we really get to see her.”
Even with the day off, organizing the trip remains hectic, leading to a reliance on fast food for a quick meal solution. This time, however, there was a complication.
The couple recounted their experience picking up lunch at McDonald’s just hours before.
They had just ordered their food at the drive-thru. A McChicken for Sabrina, a Big Mac for David, and a pair of cheeseburger Happy Meals for the boys.
“Wait…McDonald’s is meat,” said Caleb, furrowing his brow. “At Sunday School, Ms. Olsen said you can’t eat meat today.”
“No,” Sabrina lied. “These are veggie burgers. They only make veggie burgers here on Good Friday.”
She handed back two red boxes. Caleb eyed them suspiciously. Patrick, however, grabbed his box and began devouring the cheeseburger within.
Caleb turned to his brother with a look of horror on his face. “You actually did it! You ate meat on Good Friday!” he cried. “That means you’re going to hell!”
Patrick’s eyes widened. “But Mom n’ Dad said–”
“Jesus is going to kill you,” Caleb reiterated, cutting him off. “Then he’s going to drag you into hell…by your wiener.”
“Jesus isn’t dragging anybody anywhere by the wiener,” said their father, annoyed, from the front seat. “Now eat your goddamn hamburger.”
“Veggie burger,” Sabrina corrected.
“Veggie burger. Whatever.”
But it was too late. The youngest Blanchard began hyperventilating, then let out a shrill shriek.
“AHHHHHHIDONTWANTTOGOTOHELLIWANTTOGOTOHEVEANIHATETHEDEVILIHATEHIM!” he yelled, frantically kicking the back of his father’s seat.
David turned around sharply, with a big bite of ‘mac hanging out of his mouth, and yelled. “You are going to eat that burger if I have to shove it down your throat!”
“And that’s final!” said Sabrina, backing him up.
“Well, then I’m going tell Grandma that you made us eat meat on Good Friday,” said Caleb folding his arms.
Suddenly, the car got very quiet. Sabrina and David looked at one another.
“Anyway, that’s why we’re here in Oromocto,” said David, holding up the two red Happy Meal boxes with his index fingers. “To see if the priest here will bless this crap so we can finally get on with our trip.”
The church bells chimed behind them.
“Ah, I think that means the service is getting out,” said Sabrina, taking her boys by the hand. “Thank you, but we have no further comment.”
The couple, with sons in-hand, briskly jogged toward the church parking lot, attempting to flag down the priest.
“Hey–Father!” David called, waving the meals in the air. “Got a minute?”