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How to have a better picnic: Get servants

From my email box and courtesy marthastewart.com

Once again I have sought a way to break through my now chronic writer’s block, and once again Martha has delivered, this time not a mimsy little hand drill, but a great big motherfucker of a sledgehammer to blast through the creative dam. In the form of this:

How to Have a Better Picnic

As you might have guessed, Martha thinks crafting vastly improves the al fresco dining experience. I, however, beg to differ. So let’s just take this apart, shall we?

In the above image of picnic bliss — as well as all the others in the feature article — we see lovely refreshments in pristine natural settings where comfy pillows, tasteful linens, frosty beverages and delicious treats await the arrival of well-heeled, scrupulously upholstered guests for a glass of perfectly chilled rosé accompanied by lighthearted, yet penetrating discussions of  the great books, the events of the day, and Martha’s supreme wonderfulness. Heaven on a beach.

Here’s what we don’t see:

  • The army of cooks, sommeliers and stylists who provisioned the picnic over the course of three long, hellish working days
  • The legions of domestic staff who humped all the aforementioned picnic accoutrements and food across approximately six miles of burning sand to a properly secluded spot on the beach
  • The team of photographers, gophers and fluffers (for the pillows, people) required to get the one perfect snapshot of the perfect beach party setting
  • Bugs
  • The raging inferno of citronella candles necessary in any outdoor situation that entails humans and food
  • Whiny kids who don’t want cucumber sandwiches for lunch, and even if they did, wouldn’t eat them because they’d be full of sand
  • Sunburned adults being driven to madness by mosquito bites, the horror of appearing in a social situation in swimwear, and the insufferable domestic drill sergeant at the center of their party universe
  • The exhausted host and hostess throwing this shindig who have already had about six knock-down drag-out fights in the run-up to it and are well on their way to getting absolutely blind drunk, disappearing behind a dune with someone other than their spouse and eventually filing for divorce.

I hate picnics.

Quite simply, there is not enough vodka in the world to make a picnic — or any outdoor dining event — worth your while, especially if you have to hand paint the picnic basket, waterproof the blanket, make special cocktail glass flowers and create a collapsible dog bowl to do it. This kind of event requires staff, people. And pharmaceuticals, which can be carefully blended for each party guest’s particular emotional needs, then distributed in colorful origami baskets that have been personalized with decorative name tags! Now that’s crafting with a purpose.

Party favors, and the raw material for positive social interaction.
Courtesy disaboom.com

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