My office takes our picnic very seriously. Two compulsive planners are in charge. No, I'm not one of them. I am but a peripheral picnic planner, a peon. I sit in on the meetings and try not to laugh inappropriately.
The two that are in charge are such compulsive anal-retentive planners that they insist on managing every detail down to extrapolating exactly how many napkins we will need based on the past sauciness of the barbequed ribs. I am so not kidding. Compared to them, I am laid back and relaxed, a real sloth who flies by the seat of her pants having never made a plan in her life.
Compulsive Planner One: "Let's talk about the napkins again. I'm sure we all remember the disaster at last year's picnic when Daniel (his name has been changed to protect the innocent) wandered around most of the afternoon with barbeque sauce on his face because we ran out of napkins. Oh the mess he made in the moonbounce!" Compulsive Planner One shuddered at the memory.
Compulsive Planner Two: "I'm thinking to avoid that problem we should assign the task of bringing napkins to more than one person. Hey! Maybe everyone should be responsible for bringing their own napkins! That way there will be no misunderstandings and we can't be blamed if we run out. Then it won't matter how much sauce Johnny Mac pours over those delicious juicy irresistible ribs!"
Me: "How about we bring that unopened package of 500 napkins and three rolls of paper towels from the kitchen along with the extra-super-duper-economy-sized container of Wet Ones someone gave Daniel as a gag gift at the holiday party? That should cover us nicely."
Compulsive Planner One and Two looked at me like I had just sprouted a second head. Then they looked at each other and scribbled in their notebooks. "Okay Suzanne. If you feel that will be adequate for the 50 or so guests that will be there, we'll go with your idea. But remember! If we run out of napkins it's on your head!" I nodded and smiled.
But seriously, they do plan a fun picnic. Every person in the office is saddled with at least one preparatory picnic task or is assigned a during-the-event duty.
This is the first year I am not in charge of the water balloons, which makes me a bit sad. I perversely enjoyed filling up several hundred water balloons the night before the picnic. Wendy would help. It was a real family affair. There's just something about huddling shoulder to shoulder with your loved one at the kitchen sink, a huge cooler at your feet, stretching colorful bits of rubber around the faucet and gently tying them off after filling. Of course the real fun is when they break loose and spray water in every direction.
Obviously I am still in charge of deviled eggs, which I prepared rather on a whim last year. Now it evidently shall forever be assumed that Suzanne will bring deviled eggs to the company picnic. That's fine because I make good deviled eggs and enjoy preparing them.
The recipe is not complex, yet I enjoy refreshing my mind by looking up what The Joy of Cooking has to say about deviled eggs. This line makes me appreciate the writing in this cook book. It manages to give instruction without really telling you anything specific: "Crush yolks without packing them and moisten them pleasantly." Alrightly then.
That may well become my new farewell greeting: "May your yolks always be pleasantly moistened." Yummy!