Swine. Retarded Chickens. Whatever.

Cast not your pearles before swine.

Running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

Have you ever been on a field-trip with a group of retarded people?

Now that all those images are in your head, lets talk about the Sunday School Group Outing this morning. To the national park kids fishing event, sponsored by the Forestry Service.

Weeks ago I passed out the flyer in class. We talked about a meeting spot so we could all drive together, making it easier on those who had never been over to the national park before. We discussed how this would be a good opportunity to bring visitors into our class. I passed around the sign-up sheet for the picnic.

This morning at the meeting spot, there was great turnout! Including three different sets of visitors. Yay! Looking to be a fabulous day!

Things got ugly quickly. Several of the daddies kept saying "are you ready to leave yet? are we ready to go? time to go? can we go? when are we going to go?" So, I'm ashamed to admit, I allowed myself to be bullied into leaving the meeting spot a whole TEN MINUTES after everyone agreed to meet. We met at 8:30, left at 8:40, missed the people that showed up at 8:45. Because, we simply MUST get to where we're going. A whole five minutes away. Thats partly my fault because I was hesitant to just ... smack ... other people's husbands so early in the morning. I got over that feeling as the day progressed.

So. We lose some at the meeting spot. We get to the fishing spot. Parking is bad, but not horrid. By bad, I mean we didn't get spots all together. Which shouldn't have been a problem since we all had to go through the check-in-registration-get-your-fishing-license tent to get to the event. Doesn't it seem to you like that would have been a reasonable spot to meet? So when I got to the tent, I REALLY expected to see a familiar group of people. I swear I did. There was my immediate family. A visiting grandfather. A woman visitor and her son. Thats it.

Everyone else wandered off like unsupervised retarded people. I don't say that to make fun of retarded people. I say that to be accurate. Imagine a whole group of adult retarded people quickly and determinedly wandering away from the group.

But, you say, maybe they didn't know that the purpose of going to a group event was to do the event as a group! Anyone could make that mistake. EXCEPT FOR SIGNING UP FOR THE PICNIC. See, if you bring something to a potluck picnic you generally should expect to stay with the group so you can SHARE your food with each other. Does that sound reasonable to you? Because that sounds reasonable to me.

Now lets talk about Swine characteristics. I went all out for the picnic. Since I had invited several people from outside our class, I brought an extra dish for each of them. (When I invite visitors, I don't ask them to bring food). Checked tablecloths. Lemonade. Tea. Multiple kinds of PHENOMINAL brownies. Chips. Dips. Watermelon. Giant dill pickles. Every hot-dog assessory you can imagine. Ok, well, not pickled jalapenos. Color coordinated coolers full of ice. Do you get the idea? Because I do a pretty event.

Except that the retarded chickens had run all over the park willy-nilly and never did make it to the potluck picnic. I don't even think they're sorry yet. This is apparently "normal" behavior for our class in public group situations. Until tomorrow morning.

What happens tomorrow morning, your ask? I'll tell you. They're going to hear some plain talking. Blunt to-the-point talking. And I dare one of them to say something under his breath. This should not be the moment they confuse nice with stupid. THIS would be the moment they should repent profusely, throwing themselves on their knees and begging forgiveness, swearing it will never ever happen again. I'm Southern, and black-Irish to boot. If you think thats irrelevant to this post, then I can't explain it to you. If you know what I mean, you have a pretty good idea of the justice about to be reigned down on their heads. They have inadvertantly victimized their last event-organizer!

Note To Husband: Lets not delete this post. Maybe its not happy, for them. But its happy for me. This post isn't about anger. Its a little about humiliation and embarassment, but mostly ITS ABOUT ME ANTICIPATING TOMORROW. These people need to know that their petty selfish unthinking actions are creating a rather non-welcoming atmosphere for visitors. I get to be the one that tells them in no uncertain terms. Its going to be a good morning.


I'm a German midwestern, not an Irish southerner, but my mama raised me right so I understand the rudeness of this situation. I sense a good old-fashioned exhortation in the making and I know you will do it in a spirit of love.

earth girl | 05/21/2006 - 03:31 AM

Actually, I did some praying first. Having considered that maybe my attitude wasn't correct, perhaps that I was about to enoy it too much. However, God didn't have any visitors in class and I took this to mean he was providing an appropriate opportunity.

And yes, we discussed it thoroughly and no one (No. One.) said anything other than "we are SO sorry" and/or "it will never happen again" etc. It lead to a profitable discussion of how we treat visitors. People did seem a little shocked that I named names and mentioned places and dates.

I'm quite sure they'll be talking about this particular Sunday School lesson all week :)

Lucy | 05/22/2006 - 12:22 AM

Good job. I was kinda concerned that you may be too harsh on them, but it sounds like a little time with the Father softened your edges.
Yea, I'm Irish and Sothern--I totally get that!

Leah | 05/22/2006 - 03:53 AM

This Irish girl says GOOD JOB!!! This is why I don't plan events. I get SO mad when people can't follow simple rules!!!

*Remembering I promised to plan the Sunday School picnic in August...ugh*

Leni | 05/22/2006 - 04:19 AM

Midwesterner. Welsh, among other things. And as a pastor who grew up as a preacher's kid, yes, such group shenanigans sound altogether too familiar to me.

For some odd connect-a-dot reason, this reminds me of the wall clock which spontaneously appeared over in the church office the other day. Hanging there on the wall so as to cover up the top half of the calendar which was also hanging on the wall. I mean, hello?! There are three or four other unoccupied spots on the wall where the clock might hang and look normal. Have you ever heard of a clock being hung so as to obscure the top half of a calendar?

I ordinarily do my office work in my study, here next door in the parsonage, so I didn't catch this clock until it was already in place. And when I saw it, I thought to myself, that is just such a "church" way of doing things.

Now the question is, how to get the clock moved to a decent spot on the wall without ticking off the anonymous person who hung it half-covering the calendar.

Retarded chickens, indeed!!!

Paul Burgess | 05/22/2006 - 01:54 PM

LOL! The clock thing just cracks me up! My pastor once spent an entire afternoon redoing the church bulletins because they forgot and put "Pot Luck Dinner" on the events.

There is one lady in our church who will in fact pitch a fit if she sees that, and will try to call a board meeting about it!

I asked him if we couldn't just change ONE of them, and give her that one? He didn't want to risk it.

People lose site of the big picture, don't they?

Leni | 05/22/2006 - 06:06 PM

You are so weird... why are you commenting about retarded chickens?

Sammie | 04/27/2007 - 09:06 PM

I really dont know what this about, because thare is a twenty year old man next to me, and he thinks this is stupid... yes, I know, and just to say it, he wants to sue. Yes, truly a weird way to express his feelings, then again, he thinks he is the ruler if the universe! (laughs)

Sammie | 04/27/2007 - 09:10 PM

wow, just wow...

Sammie | 04/27/2007 - 09:12 PM
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