April's Real Blog

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Mike's Cookout

Mike wrote in 2 describe a family cookout they just had @ the big house:


[Dear formerly little sister], Since you are stuck in Winnipeg, I thought I would let you know about the great social gathering we had in the back yard of our new house. My lovely Deanna felt we should entertain, since we have the big house now. She said to me, “Who should we invite?” I said, “Naturally, my family and not yours.” Deanna said, “I mean who outside of your family?” I said, “We could invite Gordon and Tracey and their kids.” Deanna agreed. Then I said, “And we could invite my Grandpa Jim and his wife Iris, so Gordon and Tracey will have someone close to their age to talk to.” Deanna said, “I thought Gordon was only one year older than you.” I was confused for a moment; but then I remembered she was right.

Then I got a bright idea. I said to Deanna, “Let’s make it a weird hat party.” Deanna disagreed. However, when I was calling people up to invite them I would say, “It’s a weird hat party.” The only really odd call was to Grandpa Jim and Iris, because when I invited them, Iris broke down and started crying, “It’s been 21 months since we have been invited to Sharon Park Lane. Bless you Mike.” I started to take back my invitation. After all, who wants crying old people at a party? Then I remembered Gordon and Tracey would need them to talk to.

Then I got a call from mom saying how Elizabeth had managed to collar Anthony Caine, so we had to extend an invitation to him too; since he will be family pretty soon. However, I told him that we would not be serving any French food for his half-Quebecoise kid.

As the day arrived, I put on my funny blue hat and began the cooking of the burgers, dogs, and buns on the grill. Anthony Caine showed up and he did not have a funny hat on, but he did have possibly the whitest legs I have seen on a man. He said his daughter told him he looked old in a funny hat, so he decided not to wear one. Gordon and Tracey were there in their funny hats. I knew I could count on Gordon, even though he took his hat off every time Anthony Caine took off his shoes and socks. I didn't understand it, but I was too busy to question him about it. When he arrived, I gave him a beer, and said, “The old folks are back there, if you need someone to talk with.” He and Tracey sat down with Grandpa Jim and Iris. I noticed only Grandpa Jim was wearing the funny hat. Of course dad showed up with his choo-choo engineer hat for his weird hat.

The burgers were so sizzling, they sizzled with an extra ‘z’. I was master of my domain. The king of cooking. As I lifted each burger off the grill with my two-pronged fork, I realized that burgers fall off those pretty easily. Then I was the prince of picking up burgers off the ground before Edgar got them. I really wish mom and dad had left those dogs back at their house. They top my list of animals not to bring to a picnic.

Mom was an eating machine. While she was passing out shrimp, she ate almost half the entire shrimp plate. The first burger of the day went to Paul Mayes, Gordon’s oldest. Gordon held him in his arms and I said without thinking, "You and your grandfather look really good together." Of course, I corrected my mistake.

Later I put all the hamburgers and hotdogs into buns and ran though the mustard and Ketchup to make sure each burger was properly marinated. I passed these around to everyone, and I saw mom grab a burger while she still had her hands on the hotdog. Some people complained they didn’t want mustard or ketchup on their burgers, but they weren’t wearing a funny hat, so I ignored them.

Apparently, my son has never seen his grandmother eating before, and it was quite an eye-full for someone that young. This is kind of odd since we all lived together for 7 months, but I cannot remember a time when we all sat down to eat together in that time. Can you?

Then Mom pronounced, “Whooohh!! If I eat one more thing, I am going to blow up.” My son took what mom said at face value, and started screaming for me, when my daughter offered mom a marshmallow she cooked for her. I got to my son and said, “What’s the problem, and thanks for asking for me and not your mom this time.“ He explained to me why he was scared. I didn’t have to hear any more. I grabbed my son, threw him to the ground and covered his body with mine to protect him from the blast. Lucky for us, the blast didn’t come. It would have injured quite a few people if it did. I congratulated my son for warning us. We did have to ask mom to sit away from us, until she had digested enough not to be a threat to anyone.

Michael Patterson

LOL, Mike, U R just as literal-minded (no, not "literary-minded") as yr 2 yr, 9 mo old on! Yeah, I've described sum tymes when the whole fam have eaten 2gether, but I guess Robin had 4gotten.


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  • At 3:19 PM, Anonymous Paul Mayes said…

    April, you are so lucky that you got to miss that cookout. Your brother overcooked the hamburgers and undercooked the hotdogs. Your mom was eating everything in sight. I heard Dad saying it was a wonder anyone else got to eat anything! And your nephew Robin is really dumb. Francie is a cute kid, for a girl. Merrie scares me a little.

    I don't know why Rosie wasn't invited.

    Paul Mayes

  • At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Rosemary Mayes said…

    No fair! Dad made me go to a sewing class while everyone else was at the cookout! He said that one day when I was a grown-up lady, I would need to have a sewing room as a creative outlet. I said that I like to draw and paint and write, but he said, "No, those are creative outlets for men!" So unfair!

    Rosie Mayes

  • At 4:34 PM, Blogger howard said…


    I don't normally like to say anything to agree with your brother. However, I have observed your mother and her consumption of mass quantities of pastries on a number of occasions, and I don't think there was a time where I wasn't convinced her body could blow up. If I was standing next to her and she told me she felt like she was going to blow up, then I must admit, I would be a little worried, and would probably run for cover.

    There is one thing I need to ask, and I don't know if you know the answer or not. I noticed that your brother invited your Grandpa Jim and Iris over for the summer BBQ, and it made me remember they didn't get invited for the BBQ last year, and that was before your grandpa had his stroke. Is there any reason why your parents would intentionally not invite them, while your brother would?

    The reason I ask this is that I ended up having lunch yesterday with Lawrence Poirier and Nicholas Browne, my old bosses at Lakeshore Landscaping; since I was kind of lonely from Becky being on tour. Lawrence still lives in Milborough and he is an old friend of Michael's from years gone by. We were having lunch, and I mentioned Becky and I had bought a house in your neighbourhood and he could stop in whenever he was in the neighbourhood visiting your family. Lawrence said with some regret that he believes your family is prejudiced against him, because the last time he really did anything with your family was over 2 years ago.

    I was surprised by that, but then I remembered that neither Lawrence or Nick participated in my trial. Lawrence said he was a little surprised by that too, since he was your sister's employer and she was attacked by me at his place of business. I said to them, "Surely, you don't think they are prejudiced against you for being gay." Lawrence said, "No. Absolutely not." Nick said, "Perhaps." I said, "Do you mean that the Pattersons blame you for my attack on Elizabeth?" Lawrence said, "No. Absolutely not." Nick said, "Perhaps." I said, "Well what then?" Lawrence said, "It's fashion. A network wanted to do a show called Queer Eye for the Foob, and they picked Nicholas to be one of the Queer eyes." I said, "You do dress very well." Nicholas said, "Thanks." I said, "So how does that cause a problem with the Pattersons?" Lawrence said, "They wanted us to give them an idea of who we thought was the worse-dressed woman in Milborough..." I interrupted, "Elly Patterson, of course." Nick said, "Exactly. But Elly didn't take it very well. We've been on her naughty list ever since." Lawrence said, "And I guess that spreads to Mike."

    That conversation made me think, that maybe your grandpa Jim was on your parents' naughty list last year, but I can't think why he would be there. Could it be that having a stroke put him back on the nice list?

    Howard Bunt

  • At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Honoria Delaney-Forsythe said…


    Dearest future sister. Your brother's description of his outdoor barbecue was quite disgusting. It was almost like a horror story. Eating so much until you could blow up. It boggles my mind.

    Not to worry, though. Mater tells me that at the Delaney-Forsythe outdoor barbecues, your Mater would never be invited. We can have our barbecued watercress and celery, without worrying about anyone exploding from overeating. Brrr! The idea gives me shivers, just thinking about it.

    Honoria Delaney-Forsythe

  • At 4:50 PM, Anonymous Dagwood Bumstead said…


    Don't be too hard on your nephew. I, myself, have been known for eating my Dagwood sandwich. When my son Alexander was little, he also got nervous around the Dagwood sandwich, but it might have been out of fear it would topple over and crush him. By the way, if you like Dagwood sandwiches, there are still franchises available for my

    Dagwood Bumstead

  • At 5:10 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    howard, abt gramps an' iris being invited. i think the clue is in mike thinking that gordo wd want 2 talk w/gramps an' iris. u mite know that when we had a bbq last summer, gordo wasn't there. mike seemsta think that the mboro rapid aging has hit gordo so hard, that he's not mike an' dee's peer nemore, or even mom an' dad's, but gramps and iris's. it's weird, i know, but so is mike.

    honoria, u r not alone. few ppl can stand the site of mom feeding.

    no thanx, dagwood. my cuz laura an' i r doing the healthy-eating thing. we get fresh produce from the farmer's markets around here and cook the yummiest stirfries!


  • At 8:01 PM, Anonymous Tracey Mayes said…

    Hello, April! As you can see, my children are being quite vocal about their grievances. But I have my own problems! People are confusing me with Connie Poirier. I thought only the men in Milborough were subject to the rapid aging!


  • At 8:30 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    tracey, if it makes u feel ne better, there r peeps who saw pics from that bbq mike was writing abt, who thot @ 1st glance that sum close-ups of robin were ME!


  • At 8:32 PM, Anonymous Tracey Mayes said…

    Nope, that doesn't help. Or maybe it does. I can't decide.

    Tracey Mayes


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