Employee Picnic

“I can’t believe you were so stupid, Darren!” Maggie flung the paper sack filled with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and cabbage on the picnic table. “How am I supposed to prepare lunch for twelve people with this lot! I don’t even work with you guys and yet I’m the one that will look like a complete and utter brainless idiot!”

“I know…I know,” he said, trying to hug his wife and calm her down. “I’m sorry. What can I do?”

“What can you do! What can you do! What do you think you can do!”

Darren looked around at the trees and secretly pleaded for help. “Um…go to the store?”

“Dang right, you can go to the store! Right now before I do something you’re really not going to like!”

Darren looked at his watch. One hour. He had one hour to run to the store and get back up the mountain before his wife would divorce him. He could do it — if he really tried.

He sped down the mountain and nearly got in three accidents, but he made it to the store in less than fifteen minutes. He grabbed the first spot he saw and stole a shopping cart from a little old lady who was left screaming obscenities in the parking lot as he ran into the store.

First stop — meat counter.

“I’d like five pounds of tripe, a dozen tuna eyeballs, and six snails, please,” he wheezed.

“Ah, shucks, I’d love to get those for ya but we’re fresh out. I could –”

Darren ran off to hit the aisles rather than waste time explaining to the meat clerk that he didn’t have time to decide on alternatives. Cereal aisle yielded nothing, as did the bread aisle. He scanned the signs over the aisles and hoped a revelation would come to him.

“Aha! Deli!”

He sprinted to the deli and barged ahead of other customers who were waiting patiently. “Sorry. Angry wife,” he panted. “I’ll take two fried spiders and a bucket of your finest fried grasshoppers.”

The look on the deli clerk’s face said everything he didn’t need to hear. Time was running out, so he left his cart and sprinted like a mad man through the store grabbing whatever he could hold in his arms.

He was extremely thankful the store had installed self-checkout stands because he was in and out of line in moments. Whatever the clerk was yelling at him for would have to wait. He only had twenty minutes to get back up the mountain before his co-workers were set to arrive.

Driving like a madman got him back up the mountain in under ten minutes. He raced from the car holding a single paper bag and made it to the campsite before his coworkers.

“Here.” He threw the bag on the folding table and collapsed on the ground.

Maggie looked in the bag and screamed, then took a deep breath and started pulling the items out of the bag. “What on this good Earth am I supposed to do with a box of four Japanese wasp crackers, a jar of honey, a ten-ounce jar of Witchetty Grubs marinated in Soya Sauce, and…oh, good lord, you didn’t!”

Darren’s eyes opened wide. Didn’t what? Didn’t what? What did he do? Did he dare ask? He took a deep breath and held it. “Do what?”

Spam!” She held up a container by the campfire light. “You brought a can of spam!”

Darren’s coworkers started arriving and began laughing immediately at the sight that greeted them.

“Everything okay?” Jackson asked, watching Darren get up off the ground.

“Uh…yeah. Lunch will just be a little late.”

Lizzie looked at the items on the table and giggled slightly. She joined Maggie at the table who was too embarrassed to look at anyone.

“It’s okay,” Lizzie said. “Let’s see what we have to work with.”

Within minutes Lizzie had worked a miracle and whipped up a bowl of communal salad topped wtih spam, cracker croutons, drizzled with honey, and topped off with grubs.”

“May I have your attention please,” Lizzie said. ” I would like to thank Maggie for the great lunch we are about to receive and that I am so happy to be working with all of you.”

As she walked toward the clapping group, she tripped on a rock and sent lunch spreading across the dirty ground. Maggie gasped, Darren ducked, and the rest laughed.

“Hey,” Gregg said, “zombies are picky. Grab the grubs before they all run away.”

This was written for M.M.H.B hosted by A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip. The ingredients required for this challenge are in bold. *Note: I cheated with this one and gave them a bowl.


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