I hosted a big picnic in the park last week for all of my friends and family. I’ve always wanted to host a picnic. I feel like nobody does picnics anymore. You never see people carrying around picnic baskets. Nobody talks about picnics on Facebook. Even now, in just three sentences of this first paragraph, I feel like I’ve used the word picnic more than I’ve ever used it in the rest of my life. The picnic, I feel, is in danger of becoming extinct, and I was going to save it by hosting my own picnic. Let me just tell you, it was the worst event I’ve ever even hosted, a huge disaster. Nothing could have possibly been a worse idea.
Everybody had a huge problem with the chain of command. If I host a party at my place, then I’m in charge. Whenever people come over, I like to constantly reinforce this fact by bossing people around, but only slightly, just to kind of, you know, say without saying it, hey, I’m in charge. This is my party. I’ll be like, “Hey, George, would you mind using a coaster?” or “Steve, didn’t I tell everyone to take their shoes off at the front door?” And what are people going to do, start something with me? No, I make sure that all of my rules or so tiny as to not be worth getting into a fight over. It’s much easier to just go along with it. It is my house, after all, and I’m the host.
I thought that it would be the same with picnics, but it wasn’t. I had it at a public park, so I guess people got it into their heads that they didn’t have to listen to me anymore. But I was still the host, right? I’d be like, “Andre, didn’t I ask that all of the picnic blankets be laid out vertically?” and Andre was just like, “Well, yeah, but I wanted to lay out my blanket horizontally.” And then he just kind of shrugged at me and put his hands up halfway in the air, saying to me something like, what are you going to do?
So I got in Andre’s face and reminded him that I was the host. I started to move his blanket myself, but he just picked it up and stormed off. Fine, I didn’t want him at my picnic anyway. That guy’s a total loser. Fucking Andre. I shouldn’t even have invited him in the first place. I sent out all of the invitations on Facebook, and this guy had the nerve to respond with a “maybe.” Maybe? Maybe I should have rescinded his invitation right then and there. But I didn’t, because I’m a nice guy. But he just showed up anyway, without even bothering to change his RSVP to “Attending.” I checked on the picnic’s Facebook page a little later, and this time Andre changed it to “Not Attending.” What a big man, rubbing it in my face. I defriended him later in the day. And then the next day I refriended him, because I knew he’d accept it. And he did. And then I defriended him again. I’m telling you, that guy is a huge loser.
Then some other people took out this badminton set and started putting it up. “Whoa, whoa, whoa,” I told them while I confiscated the rackets that they had put over to the side while they were busy setting up the net. “Activities aren’t until later, and we’re not playing badminton, we’re playing kickball.” They were getting upset. I was getting upset. Actually, I wasn’t getting upset, I already was upset. I must have still been upset from that little tussle I had with Andre. They argued with me. I kept talking over everybody. Somebody tried to chase after me, to get back the rackets, but I’m the fastest runner out of all of my friends, so it was pointless. I’d let them get kind of close, let them think that they were about to catch me, but then I’d take off, really getting ahead of them. Then I’d pretend that I used up all of my energy on that sprint, and make it like I was out of breath. And they’d come up all charging at me, thinking they had me finally, but right before they could catch me, I’d take off again. In the end I just threw the rackets in the giant fountain in the middle of the park.
So they started undoing the badminton set. I thought I had won, but they were being such babies that they packed up and left. Good. I don’t know why I ever invited those jerks in the first place. That’s all your going to contribute to the picnic? A stupid baby tennis set? Take a hike. I told everyone else to get to work setting up the grill. They asked me where I had put the charcoal. I told them that I didn’t bring any charcoal, that was Denise’s job. Denise claimed she didn’t know she was supposed to bring any charcoal. It was right on the Facebook page, a link to the web site I had set up for the picnic. There was an excel spreadsheet that you were supposed to download to find out what you were supposed to bring. It turns out nobody downloaded it. Nobody brought anything on the list. People just brought whatever they wanted. I was so pissed. I told everybody that they were all uninvited from the picnic. And you know what? I told them, you’re not even uninvited. You were never invited in the first place. Invitation annulled. And you know what else? Picnic’s cancelled. Go home. Thanks a lot everybody. Thanks for nothing.
Then my phone buzzed. I looked down. It was an email. The email was from Facebook. It was a notification about a picnic. The picnic was being organized by Andre. I clicked on the link. “Hey everyone! Let’s have a picnic! Right now! Right over here, to your left! Bring whatever you want!” I look to my left and Andre was standing on the other side of the park, waving everybody over. Fucking Andre. That guy is such a poser. Always stealing my great ideas. I opened up the Facebook app and went to the picnic page and clicked on my RSVP, “Not Attending.” As I packed up my stuff and headed out to leave, I looked up and everyone was walking over to Andre’s picnic, those traitors, those fair-weather friends, and someone else took off their shoes and waded into the fountain and got the badminton rackets, and someone else was setting up the net.
I thought about calling up the cops and telling them that a group of people was loitering in the park, drinking alcohol out of concealed containers, and was that marijuana smoke I was smelling? But I decided against it. I’ll be the bigger person here. But by the time I got home I was so pissed all over again that I actually did call the cops. And I told them that a group of extremists was planning a terrorist attack in the park. Then I went on facebook and wrote a status update, “Anybody else hear about that failed terrorist attack in the park?”