The Oaqui Family Picnic Revealed

by Bernie DeKoven on June 23, 2003

to: Major FUN

Dear Major FUN,

I/We once again congratulate you on your having so clearly and cleverly deduced and transmitted the true nature of Playful Games, and thereafter so charitably made their truths available world-wide, via Web. I/We with this transmission hereby reward your dedicated diligence by revealing unto you yet another part of the one and truly Oaqui reality. We/I hereafter bestow upon you and thereby to the world a revelation of the inner nature of the Oaqui Family Picnic. Saying unto you, may ye truly understand the nature of the Oaqui Family Picnic, and nurture that nature into the natural world, and in so doing may ye learn and manifest the one and only Oaqui Way

Yours, mine and ours.

The Oaqui

On the Nature and Nurture of The Oaqui Family Picnic


When We Eat

It’s pretty much all the time. Eating is something we pretty much do from the time we get there to the time we leave.

What We Eat

Actually, we taste.

We taste, for example, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Teeny sandwiches, made from various combinations of any of five different kinds of bread and six different kinds of peanut butter and several more different kinds of jelly and jam, not to mention cream cheese and celery.

And for dessert, we taste perhaps Smores. Five or four different kinds of graham cracker, nine or eight different kinds of chocolate, three or more different kinds of marshmallows. And perhaps even a random assortment of jellies and peanuts butter.

Then there’s the cookies and milk, the chips and the dips, the crackers and the spreads, and the ice creams and pies.

While We Eat

We play games. Though of course no picnic is complete without the traditional games of Oaquiball (from three-team volleyball to one-team badminton), most of the games we play are the games that we can mostly play while we’re eating.

For example, there’s your M&M** games: M&M Checkers, M&M Table Olympics, M&M Fork Pass, et, obviously, cetera. M&Ms have a special significance for the Oaqui and are classified as semi-sacred candy-coated play objects. Hence a great many of our games involve the gathering, sorting, moving, stacking and flinging of M&Ms.

We also might play, for random example, the infamous card game known variously as: Elephant, Elephant, Elephant, and Rhinoceros, Rhinoceros, Rhinoceros, and Elk, Elk, Elk.

First, we select three different cards, a king, say, a queen perhaps and even a jack also. Then, as a group in consensus and harmony, we decide on an animal name by which we will identify that card. Thus, all kings become Elephants, Queens Rhinoceri and Jacks, for example, Elk. Or any animal of such ilk.

The deck is placed face down. The first card turned over. And the second turned over on top of the first, and the third etc. If it is a named card, the first player to say that named card aloud three times (saying, for example, “Elk, Elk, Elk”) gets that card and all the cards beneath it.

Now, to add intrigue, we might be using a double deck, or a pinochle deck. To add complexity we might find new names for the ace, and the ten, and the nine, and so on, even unto the three and two. To add danger, we might even consider playing this during a cracker-and-peanutbutter tasting. As you can imagine, this is an hilarious game to play while one is eating, all choking aside.

Of course, during those lulls between moments of gagging and hilarity, we might start singing a traditional Oaqui chant, naturally making up the songs, and words, and instruments as we sing along. Or, we might engage in the even more traditional practice of the Oaqui Family Picnic Gift Exchange.

We pair off cross-generationally and make things to give to everyone else. We make things out of candy and toothpicks, fabrics and masking tape, bread and food dyes. Little love sculptures. And then we give them to each other and then to everyone in the whole Oaqui family. And then we exchange them with the greater Oaqui family. Which often leads us to engaging in large scale construction projects for the creation of Greater Oaqui family monuments, shrines, and edible statuary.

How We Eat

We frequently make it the rule that we can’t ask for food or take for ourselves. In other words, we can only eat what and when someone else offers us. It is exceptionally delicious, being there for each other, at the right time with a forkful or sipful or handful of just the right stuff.

Or, we each simultaneously reach for the taste of our choice, and consume it utterly. We do this repeatedly until two or more of us happen to fork the same item. The more forkers, the merrier. For variety, we add more items Or, we might each try to select the food that we think our partner wants, take a forkful, and then try to feed each other simultaneously. To increase the challenge, we might add reservoirs of condiments (bowls of whip cream, crushed nuts, non-fat fudge), making taste-forking a two-stage operation. Or we might actually forget the fork and use our fingers to feed each other.

Then, when we are ready for our aftermeal (sic) snack, we sometimes find ourselves playing the traditional game of Guess my Chew. We prepare at least five or so finger foods, each with a different crunch. For example: grapes, hard pretzels, ginger snaps, roasted sunflower seeds, cheese nips, and garbanzo beans. We then momentarily pick a partner. One of us puts an ear to the other’s cheek. The other takes a small piece of one of the foods, and chews as necessary. The goal, if one is needed, would be to identify what is being chewed, and perhaps how much of it, along with some estimate of swallow duration. Or perhaps both of us chew at the same time whilst simultaneously attempting to identify what the other is eating. To make this game almost involuntarily amusing, we then play in stereo: ear to ear, cheek to jowl, as a whole Oaqui family.

After We Eat

We clean up and leave. Usually together. Usually unusually together.


*The “o” in Oaqui, since you asked, is pronounced “oh” (with a short “h”), the “a” like the “a” in “ack”, combining to create the sound: “wa.” The “qui,” “cky” as in “wacky.”

**M&Ms are the Official Candies of the Oaqui Family Picnic Inititative.


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