The Picnic Table


Dad in Taunton with Chris

In this story, the sisters are grown and most (all but me) had started their families. The grandkids had taken over center stage and my parents (Papa and Grammy) were loving every minute of their rapidly expanding family. They had recently left the City and moved to Taunton. This was a few years before Dad died so that puts us early 90s. It was all very Green Acresey! Not kidding. Well except Mom doesn’t look like a Gabor and they were poor and they didn’t have a pig. But you get what I mean!

Dad got it in his head one day that he needed a picnic table. Not just any picnic table. No that would never do for Dad. It had to be the perfect picnic table. This picnic table was to be an object admired by all who saw it. It was to be a stunning work of craftsmenship.

Dad designed it. He had it built. He brought it home. It took priority in the yard. You would see it, there in the yard. Silent. Empty. Simple.

As you approached the table, you felt more and more uncomfortable.  Something was off. Weird. Unsettling. Wrong. So very, very, wrong.

It was a freaking monstrosity. The kids were afraid of it. How can you get something so simple so wrong. Seriously, it’s a table and benches. Not rocket science.

The proportions were a mess. I’m 5’1″ and I needed a stool to get on the bench. Or a running start. Which I could affect much easier back when I was 25. Small children trembled when they were called to eat.

In order to sit at the table and have a meal, you would first get the tallest person in the yard (generally Jay) to place your food on the tabletop. You would then get a running start and leap onto the bench. Hoping it wasn’t wet so you wouldn’t slide off the other side. Once you were firmly in place you would look, longingly, at the plate of food you couldn’t reach. That’s right. In order to have the correct angle, the benches were about four feet away from the tabletop.

Picnics were a blast!!

Oh, can’t believe I forgot the most important part. Weight distribution. Yep if the distribution of weight was not carefully calculated by NASA you would tip the whole thing over. You had to sit diagonal from someone and you had to sit in even numbers. If you dared to try sitting side-by-side, or across from one another, you would tip the contraption over and fall to your deaths.

Seriously. I think I lost two boyfriends that way.


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