Once upon a time, a grandma pondered how to bond with her teen grandchildren. Neither she nor Grandpa were into Super Smash Bros.™ or Korean rap groups.
Then Grandma envisioned a blue-sky, summer day, when they would pick strawberries together. Afterward, she and Grandpa would reward their darlings with lunch out. Then Grandma would bake the perfect strawberry pie for dessert. The grateful grandchildren would visit every week forever.
Driving to their home on the blue-sky day, Grandpa said, “You think they’re awake?”
“Of course,” said Grandma. Privately, she wondered how many times they’d hit snooze.
Whoa! Their granddaughter immediately opened the door. Her brothers, also fully dressed, stood behind her. All were silent, eyes shut.
On the way, Grandpa whispered, “Is this the Morning of the Living Dead?”
In the enormous Yuppie U-Pick patch, berries looked as if they had been polished. Clumps of pickers in designer clothing dotted the pristine landscape.
A lifelong addiction to fresh fruit blinded Grandma to prices. Un-bedazzled Grandpa, however, emphasized picking limited amounts — unless they wanted to spend the grandkids’ college fund.
To the grandparents’ delight, the Living Dead picked like the hardworking kids they were. Despite steamy heat, boxes filled quickly. They talked and smiled. When Grandma was funny, they chuckled.
Eventually, though, Grandma heard subtle hints like: “Um, this box is full,” and “I’ve shriveled into jerky.”
Hadn’t they ever heard of strawberry fields forever?
Nevertheless, if she wanted a happy-ever-after, they’d have to quit.
Grandma helped organize the exit: “Kids, you carry the 70 pounds of strawberries. I’ll carry your water bottles.”
However, she forgot hers and searched the patch, “I think it was this row — the one with the strawberries.” Meanwhile, the teens suffered sunburn, and Grandpa forked over their college fund.
The reward lunch took place at a restaurant run by sloths.
Weary Grandma cheated by buying store-bought crusts, something no respectable storybook grandma would do. She found an easy recipe on whats-an-oven.com.
The pie’s juices overflowed, and clouds of smoke billowed throughout the house. Would the neighbors call the fire department?
Having thrown open windows to suck in oxygen, everyone sat down to soupy pie with crust hard as a sidewalk. Not a storybook ending.
Grandpa whispered, “Oh, well. If they visited every week, we’d have to clean the house and be good role models.”
Before they left, though, Grandma and Grandpa received over-the-top hugs.
Who could wish for a sweeter happy-ever-after than that?
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have your storybook plans ever gone up in smoke?