20. Walk into a tree.

What a simply gorgeous day. The sun is out. The birds are chirping. The carnage from last night’s gang war has been cleaned up in a timely fashion. It’s time to go outside. Time to celebrate the arrival of spring. Time to have a picnic, ants be damned!

You pack the sandwiches. Your picnic buddy packs the drinks, snacks, and anti-seagull spray. You meet up at a predetermined statue and begin scouring the park for a suitable location. There! You hurry over to a particularly lush patch, only to find that it is verdant for a reason, covered as it is in canine fertilizer. Over here! your buddy yells, as you both hasten to a table in the shade…that upon closer inspection has been commandeered by an unfriendly race of spiders hellbent on spinning the entire table up into one giant, pulsating web. You shout towards the heavens in frustration. Is Picnicpalooza 2008 just not meant to be?

To the contrary! You see it in the distance, practically glowing: the perfect spot. Fluffy and green, right next to the pond, colorful butterflies dancing through the air, a squadron of squirrels gathering an offering of nuts to accompany your spread of wine and cheese. “Quick,” you yell to poor Picnic Buddy, wracked by now with heaving sobs, “Get it!” You both waddle towards the spot, focused and determined. If anyone wants your newfound real estate, they’re going to have to pry it from your cold, dead, mayonnaise-covered fingers.

Almost there. You can almost taste those Sour Cream and Onion Pringles on your hungry lips. So excited, you are, that you turn around to convey this enthusiasm to Picnic Buddy. “Best picnic EVER!” you gloat, even going so far as to extend a hand into the high-five position. After you realize that Picnic Buddy is too busy wiping away tears (of happiness!) to join you in celebration, you quickly turn back to once again gaze upon the beauteous spot that you are about to seize. But, sadly, you’re not quick enough.

For since the fates have decided that no mortal shall be allowed to bask in the glory of such a brilliant pinnacle of natural perfection, they have employed the services of a low-hanging branch to spear you directly in the eye. You scream and wail and flail your limbs akimbo, as if this will ward off any other demon twigs that might find their way into the vicinity of your ocular treasures. You fall to your knees and begin clawing at your eyeballs in a vain attempt to reattach the retinas that have surely been rent asunder. Picnic Buddy drops the E.L.Fudges and runs. Picnic Buddy wants no part in a venture that has so clearly been doomed from the start. You end up a quivering pile on the ground, crying and wondering just how long it takes to gain a solid grasp of Braille.

So if you want to suck at life, walk into a tree. The scratched cornea will last for a few days, but the shattered remains of a picnic gone awry will haunt you for many springtime jaunts to come.

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