Uncle Donny’s Picnic

When we last saw Uncle Donny, he was focused on making Monopoly great again, with rather mixed results.  Donny and Uncle Vladmir were mainly focused on making Monopoly great for them.  Neither of them is ever concerned with making things great for anybody else.

Uncle Donny, it seems, lives on golf courses.  The picnic was at his villa on one of his golf courses.  He boasts that he owns several golf courses, but the whole family doubts this is true.  Don’t you need to be smart to accomplish things like that?  Donny talks a big game about competing in the business world, but we have never seen him actually play a real game.

Donny invited Uncle Bill, his lawyer, to join the family picnic.  He’s not our uncle but Donny insisted we call him Uncle.  I asked if we needed to call Polly, his twenty something personal assistant, Aunt Polly.  He said that was up to us.  I have never called Aunt anyone in mini shorts and a spandex top.

There was a sumptuous spread on several tables near Donny’s immense pool.  I was eager to sample, but Donny’s security detail kept everyone away.  Why was a security detail needed for a family picnic?  The main security risks were running out of watermelon or diapers.  But, Donny likes to feel in control.  He likes you to know that he is in control – not you.

It turned out that food was the second item on the agenda.  The first item was Donny’s opening remarks.

“I’m so glad you are here.  I love spending time with my extended family.  We have a really great buffet for you.  The best ever.”

Very mild applause followed.

“How about more enthusiasm than that!”

The clapping became a bit more pronounced.

“Surely you are hungrier than that!”

A standing ovation emerged.

“Ok, good job.  Before we dig in, I would like you to meet my lawyer, Bill”

Uncle Bill rose and came to the mike.

“It’s nice to be here with you.  Let me remind you that everything said today is privileged information.”

“Really?  Even my side conversation with my daughter about her daughter’s new dress?”

“Cannot be too careful.  What did you say your name was?”

The two women stood up and left the room.  One of the members of the buffet protection squad followed them out of the room.  Everyone had stopped talking.  The silence was deadly.

“Ok, folks.  Let’s eat!” Donny announced with enthusiasm

Aunt Nancy had wandered in a bit late, so she, by happenstance, was at the head of the line.

“Always weedling your way to the front, eh Nancy?” Donny confronted her.

She stepped out of line.

“I will wait to see if others survive your food.”

“Do you think I would poison people?”

“No, but I do remember the party where you served everybody dishes laced with Ex-Lax.”

“That wasn’t my fault.  The food came that way!”

“And then you charged people to use your bathroom.”

“I had to manage the demand.  People would have hurt each other.”

“I remember.  Highest bidders went first.  $20 usually won. $50 was a sure thing.”

“I gave all that money to charity!”

“Yes, your family foundation.  Very convenient.”

“It all went to scholarships!”

“For your children.”

“They had the best essays.  I couldn’t help that.”

Nancy peeled away from Donny to get back into the buffet line, catching up with family members as the line inched its way forward.

Donny turned to Bill.

“She always irritates me to no end.”

“She certainly doesn’t defer to you.”

“She does not understand and appreciate how amazingly successful I am.”

“She acts like a know-it-all older sister.”

“Six years older, but she looks a lot older.  Not my type at all.”

“I can see that.”

“I prefer younger, taller, and much less argumentative.”

“The analytics guys at my office are projecting your 4th wife will be 35 years younger than you, and your 5th wife will be 45 years younger than you.”

“Why the hell would they do that?”

“They are constantly playing with data and you generate a lot of data.”

“The funny thing is that Polly is 45 years younger than me.”

“So, No. 5 is all set.  Just need to find No. 4.”

“You are such a planner.”

“Not my plans.  I will be long on the sidelines before any of this will happen.”

“I need to go check out what Polly is eating.  She needs to stay in shape if she wants to keep her place in line.”

“She may be checking out what you are eating!”

“I can’t worry about that.  I need to focus on my business empire.”

Donny started wondering around checking out everybody’s plate.  He reencountered Aunt Nancy.

“Piling on the calories, Nancy?”

“I’m just trying to make sure some food is saved for you.”

“There is plenty for everyone.  This is a really great buffet!”

“Oh, I know.  It is so nicely uncluttered by vegetables.  Almost everything is deep-fried.”

“Even the ice cream!  Can you believe that?”


He ran into Polly, who was eating a falafel and tabouli salad.

“What’s that?” he asked looking over her shoulder.

“Falafel and tabouli, favorites of mine.”

“Was that on our menu?”

“Of course not. I brought it with me.”

“You don’t like my food?”

“Why don’t you try on my mini shorts and spandex top?  Then, look in the mirror and tell me whether I should eat from your menu.”

“That’s pretty insulting.”

“Have you heard about the emperor’s clothes?”

“Yea, I get it.  I am not as svelte as my mind’s eye remembers.”

Polly simply arched her eyebrows and walked away.

“Damn it,” Donny reflected, “Now I need to find both No. 4 and No. 5.”

He gazed around the room.  Most people had finished eating and were headed for strolls on the golf course.

“At least, this is easier than thinking about healthcare, the economy, and climate change.  I am glad those aren’t my responsibilities.”

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