Grit Blogs > My Bad Sheep

Spicing the Pot(Luck)

A photo of DianeOur hamlet of Bloomfield has held fundraising potlucks for years to support our Community Club’s efforts to maintain the Community Park and other publically-held structures.

And over the years Mrs. Smith’s Apple Pie and other attractors has paled – possibly since Mrs. Smith’s daughter, who hates baking, sees nothing different about Mom’s homemade vs. Sara Lee’s version; and possibly because nobody in our town can eat another bite of Martha’s Mystery Casserole (especially when rumors began to fly about the mysterious decline in the town’s rat population and the hitherto-unidentifiable meat centerfold of said casserole. It’s all a mystery to me…).

So the Community Club has been charged with increasing attendance at these fund-raisers. A combination of new, younger (braver) blood and over-charged imagination has led to several successful embellishments on the common potluck theme, to wit:

1. The annual January winter potluck was transformed into Hawaii with an Aloha Feast. Flowers both donated by Rosie’s Posies and scavenged from local gardens (willingly and unwillingly) transformed the lowly (and boring) Town Hall into a tropical paradise, colorful paper parrots abounded (we had no idea whether parrots occupied Hawaii – but given their colors, they should), and the grand finale of the event was our resident Volunteer Fireman Volker, who cautiously agreed to appear in a Hawaiian skirt and shell bra for the ‘watch Hans dance’ raffle. (I believe some gentle coercion involving food and sex – or the lacks thereof – was applied by Wife Roz). The raffle was so popular that the town netted more money than in 6 years of prior potlucks – especially since Hans posited that this was to be his FIRST AND ONLY cameo (or shell) appearance. Despite the ‘no photos’ rule, a few flashes were espied and thanks to YouTube, Volker’s short-but-sweet performance is forever immortalized.

2. The Spring Fling – also usually a potluck – was transformed to the Mad Hatter’s Tea – complete with a March Hare, a totally Mad Hatter, and a whimsical Alice. I missed this event but suffice it to say – it, too, attracted much of the town, where the typical potluck-nee-Spring-Fling had been losing members since the 1970s (mostly to old age and death).

Among the hitherto-unused ideas posited by SOMEBODY (who shall remain anonymous):

1. Cow and Alien Daze. Tired of those extraterrestrials tipping and snatchin’ cows? This celebration can easily be combined with ‘herd the cows into the barn day’ to demonstrate support for our local farmers. Dress like an alien (green) and hit the fields for the Cow Herding portion. BBQ to follow (compliments of the straggler cows too stubborn to be called in from the Back 40.)

2. WaterWorld. Having just attended a professional water park, I can apply some useful inspiration to a town event involving a water balloon fight, giant water slides (contributed by the Airline Pilots’ Shute Testing Association), and an alluring game of Bikini Strip Poker (well, it WOULD be alluring were not everyone in town well over the age of 50…and shameless…)

3. Karaoke Day. Elvis and Judy Collins wanna-bes exist all over town, as proven by the events at Chateau Moya years ago, when people who obviously had NO BUSINESS carrying a tune re-enacted dances and songs – at frighteningly full volume - from Saturday Night Live. Stayin’ aliiiiivvee….(some of us wished for a quick demise.)

4. Pie-Eating Contest. Everyone wants to believe they can eat as much as they did 40 years ago. The reality: nobody can. Contestants can purchase a pie from the town, consume what they can (which goes down 1 slice per 10 years – leading most ‘o the town only able to consume 3 slices max), then the remainder of the uneaten pie goes up for bid for bigger bucks at the local Teen Center (and be advised: at that age, they can INHALE 1 whole pie per each 4 years of life…)

I see no logical reason why our potlucks are dying, given the wealth of ideas running rampant like diseases through this here town.

‘Cept that Generation T. wants the same ‘ole same ‘ole. Which is why Mrs. Smith’s Pie and Martha’s Mystery Casserole continue to be the main (dubious) draws at these semi-annual potlucks.

And why our town remains (mysteriously) rat-free while farms outside our town limits suffer from lemming-like waves of rats fleeing the sinking ship we fondly call home...