August 21, 2006
Look what I got: a soft, spiky, bouncy thing. It was meant to be a prize for one of the kids’ games at the Purple Systems company picnic this past Saturday, but since it was raining more than a few people did not show up with their children and thus there were toys leftover. I decided that as an empowered employee I could just award myself a prize, so I did. There was a tense moment when a two year old who’d picked an orange thing decided he wanted my purple one instead and started to cry; I would have traded him (he’d dunked his in water and dragged it through the mud, so it wouldn’t have exactly been even up, either), but his dad told him needed to stick with his choice and I certainly didn’t want to interfere. This thing–I don’t know what to call it–is a feast for almost all the senses. It feels soft and squishy, has a bell inside to delight one’s ears, bounces up and down in a pleasing manner on its attached tether, has a wonderfully intoxicating chemical smell when brought close to one’s nose, and it even flashes blue and red when jiggled forcefully. That leaves out only taste; perhaps it is delicious, but I don’t want to risk being caught licking it to find out. (Yes, I didn’t mind being seen playing with it, but licking it was right out. One has to draw the line somewhere.)
Besides, taste was more than covered by all the food–a whole table of company-provided meat and a second of employee-provided potluck. Between rounds of eating, there were games, and not just the ones for kids. Mr. Karen and I failed to win either the egg toss or the three-legged race. We did come in third in our heat in the race, which I felt was quite an accomplishment considering I toppled over and dragged Mr. to the ground with me during our half a lap of practice just before the starting gun. Not a good thing when the ground is wet from rain, but afterward I was able to brush/wash/slap the worst of the dirt off. In comparison, the egg toss was a clean event–though if I’d gone for that catch instead of letting the egg drop off my hands onto the ground, it might have gone the other way.
After the picnic, we met Ro and Dave at a restaurant nearby. If I’d been thinking, I’d have suggested we meet them for a walk instead, since the last thing I needed at that point was to eat some more. I guess that’s what take home boxes are for–Mr. and I had quite a nice dinner with the leftovers.