The Return of Pine Lake’s Party
The Chairman’s 3rd Annual Report on Community Catastrophe
by Allen Delaney, Party Chairman
I’d like to start by thanking Ida Mae Finley for sacrificing her cornbread for Uncle Sam. I also want thank everyone who helped with our annual Pine Lake community party, especially the vendors, the buffet committee, the model rocket club, the county park service and the firemen. It was a great 20 minutes of camaraderie before things went awry.
In their defense, I want to say the model rocket club was extremely well organized, right down to their automatic launch timers. They are also a safety-conscious group, having first aid kits, buckets of water and error checklists in case anything should go astray.
Each rocket was intended to launch at three-minute intervals, shoot skyward, deploy a little parachute and descend lightly back to earth. The first two went off fine. The third rocket, belonging to a father-and-son team, Frank and Jimmy Weston, had launch problems. Just as he lifted the rocket from its stand, its top erupted, deploying a flaming, crumpled parachute onto his head.
The young man jumped up and down, slapping himself on the head with his left hand while holding the smoldering rocket in the other. The rest of the club threw buckets of water at him, but as he darted around the field like a frightened squirrel overdosed on espresso, they ended up soaking themselves. As Jimmy sprinted toward the first aid station, someone was able to throw a wet towel over his head.
That’s when Ida Mae Finley sacrificed her corn bread.
Interviewing the 71-year-old Ida Mae, police were able to discover why she then walloped Jimmy with her cast iron skillet. It seems that when he yelled to his dad, “Where’s the error list?” Ida Mae thought someone yelled, “There’s a terrorist!”
She heard this as she was placing her skillet of fresh-baked cornbread on the buffet table. Looking up, she saw a fellow with a white cloth on his head, holding what she thought was a stick of dynamite, heading toward her with a bunch of people in pursuit.
So, she did what any, red-blooded American woman would have done; she swung high and hard. The bright side was that her actions caused Jimmy to lie still long enough for paramedics to determine that his hair was only singed.
The downside was her fresh cornbread got trampled. And the doctors had to shave Jimmy’s head to suture the wound caused by Ida Mae’s cast iron skillet. We all now agree, though, that Jimmy looks better with a crew cut, and the scar will be unnoticeable once his hair grows back.
Unfortunately during the melee, we had forgotten that the rockets were still on countdown. Some had been knocked off their stands during the fracas. Two of the rockets launched across the field and landed harmlessly in the lake. The last launched directly into the booth selling dried-flower arrangements. By the time the fire department arrived, there wasn’t much left.
Not wanting to waste a good bonfire, we skewered and cooked weenies over the glowing remains of the booth. The smoke from the dried herbal bouquets gave the ‘dogs’ a very nice flavor.
We’re looking forward to next year’s party, despite the county’s recent decision to ban us from all public parks for one year. So keep an eye out for new neighbors, specifically ones who are unaware of our past gatherings and who are willing to host next year’s event.
See you there!