Violent storms rolled through the area during work hours last Friday bringing rain, wind, hail, and tornados. Not an unusual occurrence for a typical Midwestern spring day, except that on this particular day the annual office picnic festivities were in full swing, with food, games, and gossip galore.
The primary event of the day would be a game of washers, similar to horseshoes where contestants attempt to toss metal washers into a pit or box to score points. Unfortunately, the organizers could never have predicted the danger that such a seemingly harmless game of washers would later present.
However, not to be intimidated by the meager flailings of Mother Nature, the courageous employees continued with their joyful activities. When questioned as to why no one took cover when the winds began to wail and sirens sounded, replies ranged from the ultra competitive (“And forfeit my game of washer toss?!?! Are you nuts?!?!”), to the rather pathetic (“Who cares? There’s free food!”), to the simply lost (“I rode here with you because I didn’t know how to get here, so where the heck would I go?! Tell me that, you idiot!!!”).
Undeterred by flying bratwurst and potato salad, the perpetually optimistic office staff played on, boldly declaring “As long as the burgers don’t take flight, we’ll be fine.” It was only later on when the wind really picked up, though, that things began to get dangerous. Metal washers that had been the source of hours of endless fun became unidentified flying objects of death, more dangerous than any alien probe from the X-Files.
Just then the rain and lightning started in force. Fortunately, someone noticed a large metal structure nearby that the entire group could use for shelter. However, it was not big enough to hold the group of employees and the seven-year old girls soccer team practicing nearby, also on their way to the shelter.
It quickly became clear that there was going to be a winner and a loser in this race, and the seven-year old girls were much closer to the shelter. Ever the ultimate team players, the office staff hatched an impromptu plan of sabotage. The younger and fastest employees caught up to the girls and distracted them all with Hannah Montana CDs and what appeared to be Jonas Brothers tickets (actually nothing more than baseball cards, but once the words “Jonas Brothers tickets” reached their ears the girls seemed to lose all semblance of rational thought). Meanwhile, the other employees took the nets from the girls’ soccer goals and somehow managed to pen them in without the girls noticing.
Though that took care of the menace of the little girls soccer team, the employees still had to dodge the flying metal discs of death, projectiles of pork sausage, and plastic forks zipping by at tremendous speed. Eventually, with only minor cuts and bruises they all made it safely to the shelter where they waited out the flying debris and the lightning, which for some reason seemed eerily close there in the security of that metal building.
There the office staff finished their games. After the physically grueling washer toss event, they were glad to turn their attention to the trivia contest, thus giving the nerds in the office an opportunity to shine. After all, it is not often that one can take pride in possessing vast amounts of useless knowledge, such as exactly what speed the De Lorean in the Back To The Future must reach to time travel (88 mph, for those of you not nerds).
As the trivia game ended the skies began to clear and the heroic office workers raced to their vehicles as fast as they could to join the rest of the city’s lemmings on the rain soaked roads and highways only to creep home at 10 mph in rush hour traffic. So concluded this year’s annual office picnic, the second consecutive picnic without a fatality.
On the long ride home each of the employees was already looking forward to next year’s picnic.
Rumor has it that the main event may involve lawn darts!