Harvey and Shirley Wallsteadter, and their kids, really wanted to go to his family’s annual picnic on the Memorial Day weekend. Each year they make sure they pinch all their pennies, foregoing all luxuries, howsoever slight or trivial, so they can afford this one big annual trip. It’s the only time they get to see all his relatives together so it’s the absolute highlight of eveyone’s year.
The big day finally arrived. They made the three hundred mile drive to Hecksher State Park in East Islip, on the south shore of Long Island. Unfortunately they’re only allowed to get the park for one day each year. If the weather isn’t good enough on the appointed day, there’s no second chance. All the relatives gathered together in their favorite spot very early in the morning so the could set up all the picnic tables.
Finally it was noon and everyone wanted a nice hearty lunch. The people on k.p. duty set the tables so nicely. Just as they were about to put all the food upon them, cousin Elmer noticed some terrifyingly black and grey clouds upon the horizon. Aunt Flo Pauline’s complexion blanched entirely. There were people there from all over the country and they couldn’t afford to make any changes.
Of course, being the industrious bunch that they’ve always been they managed to figure something out quite soon. First and foremost they made sure they all shut their car windows. Cousin Leroy reminded them that they could always go to the gift shop, buy an umbrella for each of them, and spend the day shopping in all the gift shops and enjoying all the other indoor attractions. Conveniently, since they always spend the entire weekend together each year, the food wouldn’t be wasted. They’d just have to make sure they took it all over to their hotel rooms.
In a way it was all so depressing because they were forced to miss out on the single most significant part of the entire weekend. Nothing’s ever struck them as so enjoyable as the picnic. In spite of all the initial frustration and resentment, Harvey and Shirley, along with all the others, got quite a kick out of their bad break.