© 2013 Aaron Atkinson

Red, White and Food

It’s the fifth of July. We’ve delayed holiday our celebration by a day to catch it on the Friday. Flags are flapping, kids are playing tag, the band is warming up, the apple pies are baked and the fireworks are ready to go. The annual Independence Day gathering in Laura’s parents’ neighborhood is like a scene out of a modern Norman Rockwell painting.

It’s 7 p.m. and 85 degrees. We’re in line for the potluck. As we near the table I see folks loading up their paper plates with salads, pastas, beans, fruit, smoked meat and a hundred other staples. Now, I’m not a picky eater but when the temperature is well past that inside of a refrigerator, and when a stranger has prepared the dish set before me, I tend to get a little leery.

To the guy in front of me…

Me: This all looks great, but it’s been sitting out for a while.

Guy: It sure does. (The sound of his drooling must have drowned out the second half of my statement.)

Me: All that warm mayonnaise looks like a recipe for food poisoning to me.

Guy: Maybe. But it’s Friday night. I’ve got all weekend to recover.


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