A.T. Smith’s  Picnic Fiasco “Slicing the Wasps”

A.T. Smith’s Picnic Fiasco “Slicing the Wasps”

The humor of Smith’s picnic fiasco “Slicing the Wasps” is obvious. The legend reads: “Suitable for both sexes, young and old. Fascinating, amusing, skillful exciting, and with that element of danger.” It’s also an allusion to  to...
O’Brien’s Ants

O’Brien’s Ants

Ants at a picnic always serve for picnic humor not because they have interrupted picnics but because it is cute to presume that they do. But who is really bothered by ants? John O’Brien achieves stasis in “Ants at a Picnic”: his picnickers and ants below them are...
Disney’s Mickey and Minnie Singin’ in the Rain

Disney’s Mickey and Minnie Singin’ in the Rain

Walt Disney’s seven-minute cartoon The Picnic (1930) packs as many picnic conventions as possible. There’s a motorcar drive to the country, a stream, shady tree, a wicker basket, a gingham cloth jammed with a gourmand feast of sandwiches, Swiss cheese, mustard,...
Twain’s Bats! and Wedding Cake

Twain’s Bats! and Wedding Cake

Mark Twain’s combination of bats and wedding cake adds suspense to Becky Thatcher’s “giddy and rollicking” picnic in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. At first, it’s all fun. Becky, Tom, and friends walk gaily into McDougal’s Cave where they write their names with lamp...
Byatt’s flying ants ruin a Midsummer’s Day picnic

Byatt’s flying ants ruin a Midsummer’s Day picnic

When flying ants fall into the strawberries, cucumber sandwiches, and the silver cream jugs the Midsummer’s Day picnic is ruined, everyone runs for cover. Cinematically Angels & Insects, directed by Philip Haas and his co-screenwriter Belinda Haas is played out as...