The food is being assembled under the pavilion at “the great picnic table of feasting” where your family fills their plates as they pay homage to your grandmother and the family name with adoration and reverence…then they stuff their faces like a bunch ravenous hogs.
Your family is a gluttonous bunch.
Your uncle Gabe has prepared the meats with virtually no casualties. There were a couple of small side fires, but they were easily contained. (Your uncle Gabe is after-all a volunteer firefighter.)
He receives a smattering applause for his efforts.
Your aunt Minnie has added her famous Texas sheet cake to “the great picnic table of feasting.”
As a child you thought it was called Texas shit cake–you were more right than wrong.
Your aunt Jackal has supplied a bunch of homemade pies, creating a horrible dilemma for you: you love red raspberry pie, but your aunt Jackal is a twisted wreck of hatred and soul-devouring evil…but you love red raspberry pie.
The so called slackers bring chips, vegetable trays, or maybe a watermelon. If you’re really a slacker you bring the marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate bars.
There are the assorted Jell-O molds, cole slaws, deviled eggs, and macaroni salads–your typical picnic fare.
What isn’t typical picnic fare is your aunt Zelda’s potato salad.
She brings it in a giant cauldron that she locates in the center of “the great picnic table of feasting.”
Nobody else is allowed to bring potato salad lest they fall under the wrath of Aunt Zelda. Your cousin Patrice brought German potato salad one year–it is now affectionately referred to as the ugliness.
“But this is German potato salad,” Patrice kept saying under her heavy sobs. “It’s a completely different thing.”
She was forced to approach every family member and apologize for her presumptiveness and insolence. It was also difficult because she covered with German potato salad.
Every person is required to take part in aunt Zelda’s potato salad–there are no exceptions allowed.
The main thing you notice about Aunt Zelda’s potato salad, apart from the strange texture, is that it tastes like a diseased monkey peed on a bowl of death.
One year your cousin Bucky tried to surreptitiously feed his potato salad to his dog, Baxter. Baxter went into spasms, bit Bucky on the leg, and now it has a horrible fear of potatoes, or any type of prepared salad.
This year your aunt Zelda has made sure you’ve gotten a triple serving of her potato salad. “You should have Roscoe and Rodney’s share since you’re the reason they aren’t here,” she sneered at you.
It’s going to be a long day.