Why do I keep having parties? All they do is stress me the fuck out. And you know, this time, I was trying to be more lackadaisical about it but all that did was make me wake up Saturday morning to a constricted chest and a build-up of pre-party heart palpitations. And it wasn’t like there was a ton to do — Henry just had to make two pies while I roamed around the house, looking at my imaginary Swatch watch and calling him a motherfucker.
“I don’t know why you get so stressed out when I’m the one who has to do everything,” Henry called out from the kitchen, elbow-deep in butterscotch, while I zoned out to Chiodos and buffed my fingernails. Finally, he finished his pistachio pie and deemed the butterscotch pie as “getting there,” so we packed it all up and split for the pavilion; upon arrival, Henry had already written a list of a hundred things he forgot, which meant Chooch and I got to hang out alone in the pavilion while he “ran real quick” to the store.
I. False Hope
While I was chastising my son for being 5 and incapable of using a swingset on his own, a car pulled up the dirt part alongside the pavilion. Chooch and I ran a Special Olympics practice lap toward it just as a man was emerging from the driver’s side. It wasn’t anyone I recognized, but I am never one to turn away a pie aficionado.
“Do you mind if I take some pictures of my wife?” he asked. That’s when I noticed that in place of a checkered bib fastened around his neck and a pie fork in each hand, he came equipped with his camera, his very pregnant wife, and a young kid.
Hopes crushed, I gave them the green light and Chooch and I moped back to the playground with our heads down. Maybe that was just me. It was already past the start of the party and no one had arrived, so what did I care if some weirdos were taking lovey-dovey family portraits over by the porta john.
Then another car pulled down and around the pavilion, so Chooch and I jumped up and cheered just in time for the two strangers in the car to leer at us as they drove back up the road.
“What the fuck?!” I yelled to the party gods, who were clearly angry with me for some reason. Not sending thank you cards fast enough after my birthday party? God, fuck off.
Finally, Henry came back at the same time my brother Corey and his girlfriend Danielle arrived, so they were here for the next fake out, when a pick up truck pulled into the lot across the street but then it turned out to be some assholes bringing their dog to the park for a walk. It was nearly 2 at this point and I started to cry a little.
II. The Horse
The incredibly affectionate family/pie party crashers had taken a break in their photo session long enough to plop down for a picnic in the grass. We were sitting at a table under the pavilion, openly mocking them, when Corey noticed a horse coming out of the woods. Atop the horse sat a poised older woman in some kind of fucking safari hat and chambray shirt. Corey could not stop talking about how poised she was, like she was expecting to be photographed or draped with a champion’s sash. Everyone (but me) took turns telling her how beautiful her horse was as she clomped off toward the playground.
Chooch decided that he HAD TO GO TO THE SWINGSET at this moment and he would have to RUN AS FAST AND AS LOUDLY as he possibly could because it might not be there much longer. Off he ran like a madman, ignoring Henry’s warnings of “Don’t run near the horse——aw, shit.”
The horse got spooked and started to buck. The bitch on his back was suddenly less than poised as she tried to get him to calm down. We all just sat there and stared, and then I had to turn away because I was laughing so hard. We’re all so incredibly irresponsible when it comes to that kid.
At least she wasn’t thrown off the horse, I guess.
III. This Is My Brother, Corey; He’s Color Blind
Since there still wasn’t a party happening, Corey, Danielle and Chooch sat down and colored some Star Wars pictures. Thank god for crayons and coloring books.
“You know I’m color-blind, right?” Corey asked me.
“What? No!” I replied.
“Yeah, I found out when I was like, 7 and got my first pair of glasses. The doctor was basically like, ‘You’re color-blind as fuck.’ I can’t believe you’ve known me for 21 years and didn’t know this!” Corey said, mock-offended.
Meanwhile, Chooch was chastising Corey for coloring Luke Skywalker totally wrong and I was like, “Dude doesn’t know his colors, Chooch. He can’t help it.” I tried to give Corey a sympathetic smile but I couldn’t stop laughing long enough.
Anyway, the point of Corey’s story is that his color-retardedness is affecting his ability to excel in one of his classes, so his adviser intervened and told the professor about Corey’s “condition,” at which point he was sent to the disability office and had to sit among suicidal students and a guy with one leg.
This was so ridiculously funny to me that I could not stop laughing and talking about it. All day long, whenever someone new would arrive (and yes, people did eventually arrive), I would introduce Corey as “my brother; he’s color-blind.” Show me your weakness and I will mock you relentlessly.
IV. The Butterscotch Blunder
People were finally beginning to arrive and Henry let me set out the pistachio pie (which was like spooning a cloud from Heaven into your mouth; I bet angels get breast implants made from this sweet fluff) but said that the butterscotch pie still wasn’t ready.
“Don’t touch it!” he barked preemptively when I made to open the weird helium-balloon looking cooler stowing the runny pie. “I just checked it and it still hasn’t jelled.” He tugged on his coller a little and then took another swig of his iced tea jug.
This pretty much went on all day, this dance around the reverse pie-incubator, until finally it was 6:30 and everyone had left with nary a slice of butterscotch pie (which is one of my all-time favorite pies and I haven’t had it in years because my mom doesn’t care enough about me to bake me one, but she’ll still bake them FOR HER EX-HUSBAND WTF). I was devastated. Yes, I had shoveled multiple varities of fruit- and cream-filled desserts between my oscillating lips, but there was a void that couldn’t be filled by any berry or Nutella. I needed that fucking butterscotch.
(Two pies came close though: Kaitlin made a black forest pie and then told Henry to suck it; and Laura’s fiance Mike baked one of the best apple pies with a crust soaked in some sort of sex nectar, I don’t even know but I think I may have broken a few laws with it in my mouth.)
V. The Park
Everyone is always bitching about how hard it is to find park pavilions, no matter what park we’re at, so fuck that: the next pie party will be at a strip club. Maybe then people will actually show up.
And then there won’t be any stink bugs to freak people out. Just crabs.
VI. Where’s the Avocado Pie?
Henry didn’t make the avocado pie this year and of course everyone was like, “Did Henry make the avocado pie?” No, Henry didn’t make the avocado pie because he was too busy fucking up the butterscotch pie.
VII. Pictures of People Eating Pie
- Me me me me
- Henry and Chooch
- Corey and Danielle
- Robbie and Karen
- John, Jennifer, Abby and Gavin
- Nancy and her baby, Joey
- Jamie and her baby, Crosby
- Sandy and Elena
- Sean and Kylie
- Joy and John
- Kristen and her dog, Joey
- Blake and Shannon
- Henry’s mom Judy
- Henry’s sister Kelly
Henry bought some sort of pie shower caps, except I thought he said they were for vaginas. I was so confused, but figured it was something he saw his ex using one time, so I didn’t question it.
Since it was an open house-type of party, people came and went all day. Henry kept trying to make everyone take pie home with them, because the pie:person ratio was totally ridiculous this year. There were some pies that hadn’t even been cut into by the end of the day. Was everyone on a diet this year?
We even considered handing off some pie to the picnicking pregnant family down by the porta john.
Joy’s fiance John asked me what started the whole pie party thing. When I told him that it was basically because I wanted pie and wondered how I could trick people into bringing me some, I think he believed me but I’m not sure. It’s kind of cool how much people enjoy pillaging a spread of pies in a park pavilion on a beautiful autumn day, though.
Laura actually likes having her photo taken, so she doesn’t care when I sneak up on her.
Overall, it was a great day, great weather, great pies, and great people. But by 6:00, I was writhing around and yelling WHY DID YOU LET ME EAT SO MUCH PIE!? because everything is Henry’s fault.
The next morning, Henry finally admitted that he fucked up the butterscotch pie, which had never jelled, not even after a full 24 hours. There goes your spot on the Food Network, Henry, you fuck-up.