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Things That Turned Me Against Picnics

Updated on May 31, 2017
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth has been a member of HubPages for five years. He is retired from a 23-year career in the weekly newspaper business.

Is this photo telling you to take the spouse right away to have a nice picnic?
Is this photo telling you to take the spouse right away to have a nice picnic? | Source

I've Often Wondered

what my life would have been like if, God had in His infinite widsom, had designed me to have tons of patience, understanding, and a high tolerance for aggravation. You may be thinking that my life was destined to be a soldier on the battlefield or maybe in police work, but do not freak out. I am talking about how in 2017, I do not like picnics. Not a wild bunch of boisterous guys and girls wearing little of nothing wielding bottles of whiskey, smoking controlled substances, and yelling lyrics to some rocker named, "Sweet Home Alabama."

For many families, this one event, the picnic, defines "family-based event." The picnic started in circa 1930s and might have started one homemaker (by choice), who had a fantastic idea. This homemaker thought to herself, Hey, my husband and kids will eat pretty much what I prepare as long as they have food to munch on, so why can't I load up this picnic basket with great eats, hit the family and find a restful place to enjoy nature, our family, and of course the food?

Just think. All that one hard-working homemaker had to do was stop long enough to prop on her broom handle and look at the picnic now. Sure, the picnic may not look as it did in the genesis of this American event with the homemaker wearing a pretty dress, heels, and pearls with her husband wearing a fashionable hat, suit, and kids in tow with proper attire, but no matter what the people are wearing, all in all, a picnic is still in its base meaning, a picnic.

The picnic. What a great time to be with your wife or girlfriend--bonding with each other.
The picnic. What a great time to be with your wife or girlfriend--bonding with each other. | Source

If You Want to Know The Truth

I really don't like picnics. I hate to admit this. But it is the truth, so help me. Don't get me wrong. I love the smiles, laughter, talk and of course the delicious food that goes with a picnic, but there are some things about a picnic that really turned me against picnics.

So here I go with another outdoor tale that would shame Bill Dance, professional bass fisherman in fish tale telling, as I entitle this hub as: Things That Turned Me Against Picnics.

In My Early Years: when my family and I would go on a picnic, this event would always end with a fuss because I, in my twenties, had a big problem of staying focused on listening to what my wife was talking about when every time we would have ourselves a picnic, there would be numerous young folks picnicking and most every young woman would be scantily clad and as a normal, heterosexual man, those pretty girls always distracted me and when I would apologize to my wife, she only got that much angry. But all of that is over with my age now of senior status and scantily clad pretty girls do not bother me that much, so picnics for us are not that much of a problem. But me having to stand after I have sat on a blanket for hours and devoured her food, is the problem, so we don't picnic anymore.

The Sharp Blades: of grass would always stick my ankles, shins, and thighs when the grass blades would manage to work themselves through the blanket my wife would place on the ground to present the meal and more than once, I have had to get up and sit on a stump in order to keep my lower legs from being stung by sharp grass blades.

I Never Packed: the Coppertone. Remember that beach favorite? And yes, every time we would go on an outing to have a picnic, I would be the one with a severe sunburn. But I am thankful that when our daughter, Angie, (who is now with Jesus), and wife, Pam, must have had a super chemical make-up in their bodies for they never got sunburn. Only nice tans.

It Never Failed: that no matter the day or time, when we wanted to have a pleasurable picnic, some misbehaving dog would always run up with our food, bark loudly and pester us until my wife would feed the dog until his stomach touched the ground and then he would leave. Speaking of leave. We never had that much food to leave after the nosy dogs got finished with our picnic.

Besides The Dogs: aggravating and mooching us out of food, I was like a bullseye on my backside and the wasps and honeybees would make a (pardon the pun) bee line to sting the fire out of me. I always balked after Pam and Angie would start planning (on a Friday night) about us going to a nice springtime picnic. All I had to do to get them to leave me at home was show them the swelling in my body and the painful welts that were still showing on my backside.

No Matter Where: we would choose to have a peaceful picnic, there were no restrooms or places where "Nature's call" would be summoned. I am not one for hiding behind poison oak and ivy in order to try and relieve myself instead of soiling my underwear and pants. What an embarrassing sight--it might have been. I had a choice: suffer the poison oak and ivy or ruin my clothes.

And No Matter What: food Pam prepared, I was the one about to take a big bite of her tasty chocolate cake or southern fried chicken and sure enough, somehow nature or earth's gravity would cause my hand to drop whatever food I wanted to land on the ground.

When My Family: would set up for a nice, lazy picnic, this had to be a government conspiracy, for there would always be from one to two annoying toddlers crying, shouting, and tossing their toys right at my face. Of course we adults could not be thought of as troublemakers and be arrested, so the irritating toddlers would always run on the blanket where our food was sitting and sweet wife, Pam and daughter, Angie would softly tell them to go back and play with their parents but how could they when their parents were laying on the ground in a heated make-up session?

Each Time That: we would go out for a picnic, there would most times be folks who love to guzzle beer or liquor. Then our peaceful time and quiteness would be shattered by their loud talking, vulgar talking and joking and as soon as they would see me, they would literally crawl over to our picnic area and try to talk to me about boll weevils or Red China's economic woes as their thick tongues would waste the hours that we had to enjoy our picnic. These folks had to be spies for the C.I.A. to keep an eye on me. You can tell me the reason for I gave up years ago.

The Very Moment: that my family and I would get away to have a nice picnic time, I promise you that I have seen this happen: a pickup truck loaded with rowdy children would back up (without looking where the father was driving) and all but park in the middle of our picnic area. Then before we could say in a civil tone, would you mind parking away from us? The kids would zero in on our food and yell, "Free chicken! Free cake!," and that would be the end of our picnic.

And finally, "THE" most-absolute thing that I despised about my family and I going out on a picnic, was after all of these irritants (above) was the time that we were in the throws of putting down the food, laughing, and just having a good time when a city police cruiser pulled to a stop where we were preparing to have lunch when an office got out of his car and came to where we were about to picnic, and said "you are gonna have to move along for if you do not, I will have to give you and ticket for loitering." This shocked me to a turn. "When has having a picnic being considered as loitering?"

"The moment our Park Department cut off that bush over there that was obscuring the sign: "No Loitering."

No words were exchanged. Frustration does that sometimes.

Good night, Tuscumbia, Alabama.

Good times and great memories.
Good times and great memories. | Source

© 2017 Kenneth Avery

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    • kenneth avery profile image
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      Kenneth Avery 2 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dianemae,

      Terrific point made in your wise comment. No picnic action for me in this day and time, unless we call a sit-down with great food served by friendly, professional service personnel and give me refills.

      I would name (a) restaurant with a certain name, but HP might take offense as me being overly-commercial.

      Write me anytime you like and we can talk about ants, who took over the American joy of going on picnics.

    • Dianemae profile image

      Dianemae 2 months ago

      Brought back many memories--some good some not good. Laughed at many of your situations. Keep enjoying out doors but not as a picnic.

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 2 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear Liz,

      Reading your comment about your picnic days was more of a mis-adventure than a happy outing. I am very sorry for the swarm of yellow jackets. I was wondering if I was to be impressed with your dad, although brave to swipe those stinging insects from your body, I was more concerned with your pain and how deeply the pain went.

      It's funny (now) now so many memories can be unearthed by one simple, mostly-obscure event as a picnic.

      Write me soon.

    • kenneth avery profile image
      Author

      Kenneth Avery 2 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Elijah,

      Thanks for the information, but no it was not needed.

      Actually I do not see the point of someone as intelligent and in touch with life finding pleasure or pride in somehow thinking that outdoing even with a correction would harm me. By the way, I wish now that I had written the references, I found my reference about "picnics" and they had no reference of slavery.

      And when you are tempted to reply in your usual intelligent, philosophical way, please don't.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 2 months ago from Oakley, CA

      Oh, my! You had quite the misfortunes in your picnicking days!

      Your #1 mistake: the blanket on the ground. In our family, my dad had a bad hip, so we always sought out picnic grounds with picnic tables and benches. No one was going to cruise over our food with feet, toys, or dogs.

      Your #2 mistake: trying to have the outing in a remote setting, with no rest rooms!

      When I was a child, I loved picnics; there were 'special' obligatory foods that went along. Hard boiled eggs were one; fig newtons were another. And sandwiches--mom made us each our favorite. There were, after all, just the 3 of us, as I'm an only child.

      However, when I grew up and married my first husband, the fun went out of picnics for me, because then, instead of being a planned-for "adventure," there was nothing to them but the same basic everyday food, because taking our own was in lieu of buying food on site, that we could not afford. Bah!

      I did have to laugh at your 'beelines,' though. There was one picnic in particular I recall, and I did NOT have a good time. We were en route to a campground in the mountains, and we stopped at the halfway point for lunch. I don't know why, but the area was swarming with yellow jackets! They were in our faces, landing on our sandwiches, and, having been stung in the past, I was having a fit. My dad calmly swatted them away, my mother, ever the trooper, managed to put up with the pests. But I, terrified that I would be stung again, took my lunch away from the table and went and shut myself in the car to eat in peace!

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 2 months ago from Washington DC

      Kenneth,

      Worthy of my "laughing out loud and long" (LOLAL) to say the least but you know me, I'm a spoil sport.

      Your "a picnic is still in its base meaning" along with it having its beginning in the 1930s is misinformation. The term actually began during slavery, as most American words containing "nick" did, and the definition is "pick-a-nigger" to buy a slave that often took all day so they would pack a lunch and bring the children old enough to train in the art of buying a slave.

      From that it emerged into one of the things done to slaves as punishment where the punisher would invite others to watch and the children were brought along to attempt to introduce them to how to treat them.

      Sorry if I spoiled your very humorous pice but that correction needed to be made known.