Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Let's pretend it's Memorial Day Weekend.

Now, let's mix things up a little bit and pretend that you've invited some people over.

Hell, let's go totally nuts. We'll pretend that we're having a Memorial Day barbecue. I know, I know. Ludicrous. Bear with me.

Now, pretend that you don't have a big enough barbecue grill to cook all the food you need.

Hey, you're me! That was MY weekend!

So, what do you do? How do you fix this quandry? What sort of magic potion makes for a bigger barbecue?

Good question. You'd think the answer would be to buy a bigger grill. Easy, no? No.

All I needed was a simple charcoal grill, a big one, but a simple one. Stores should be JAM packed with these grills on Memorial Day weekend. Jam freakin' packed!

Store one, Target, had no such grill. Small grills? Yes. Gas grills galore? Yes.

Store two, Home Depot had no such grills.

Store three, Sears, had no such grills.

What the hell?! I know that Sunday night was a little late to be shopping for a Monday barbecue, but how could corporate America have sold completely out of large charcoal grills? Isn't their job to have the items that America wants in stock? Don't they stock lots of Christmas trees around Winter Present Tree Day? Around Halloween, stores are filled with costumes and candy! And on Labor Day you can't crap without seeing migrant-worker-filled window displays!

So, I bought a small grill to augment the medium-sized one that I already owned and I hoped that would be adequate. I also bought one of them fancy charcoal chimney things. Getting the coals heated is not one of my barbecuing strengths. I suppose barbecuing food is not something I'm so good at either, but I'm getting ahead of myself there.

Using the chimney starter seemed easy enough. You stick some newspaper in the bottom, charcoal in the top, fire it up and wait. Easy, no? No.

Actually, the first few steps went well. The briquettes got nice and toasty and per the chimney instructions, I had some hot pads ready so that I could grasp the chimney safely. I grabbed it and poured the briquettes safely onto the grill. I stood back to admire my work and a little metal handle on the grill flipped down onto my wrist.

This could have caused a serious burn. I say "could have" because, technically speaking, the metal handle was not actually hot. However, it COULD HAVE been! Just to be safe, I emitted a manly squeal and performed an even manlier hopping motion while violently shaking my wrist to get the not-hot handle to flip back up. Although this technique was not specifically recommended by the chimney instructions, it's a pretty classic emergency response maneuver for me. (It also works when squishing spiders!)

Anyway, as it turns out, ha ha, not all of the red-hot charcoal briquettes had been poured onto the grill. One of them was still lurking inside the chimney that I was now flinging around in an unnecessary panic. Naturally the briquette took this particular moment to fly out of the chimney and onto a nice pile of dead weeds and wood chips.


Wisely, I threw the chimney down onto another pile of wood chips, and grabbed our nearby garden hose. I blasted the briquette with many gallons of water, impressed that I had somehow smoothly recovered from the near-deadly inferno. Also, it didn't take me too long to realize that the damn chimney was about to start another fire. I handled that one too.

Zog smart!

Then, I burned the crap out of nearly all the food!

Fire hard.

That was my Memorial Day. I had a nice big cocktail afterwards though.


tinyhands said...

You really are pretty useless away from the computer, aren't you? Here I thought you were just being self-deprecating.

Mike said...

Louie, you've obviously misread my post. First, I didn't actually set the house on fire. I SAVED the house! That's very useful. Also, I didn't burn ALL the food, just nearly all of it. The kids burgers came through unscathed.

nrd2 said...

did you at least burn oxalis?

Mike said...

I actually spent some time on Sunday deweedifying the lawn. The oxalis had mostly died from lack of water, but other weeds were hanging in there.

Soon I'll post a picture of what it looks like now.

zelda1 said...

Remember, only you can prevent fires. Makes me wonder about all those california fires. Could be a clowning cook. But you were able to get the fire under control. Maybe there's a dormant urging to be a fireman nestled in that geeky brain of yours.

The Tart said...

Hey I wish I had been there, I like all my food items grilled to a burnt level ~ honest! I would have been a happy party-goer.

Big smokey smooch,
The Tart
; )

Psssst. I had jury duty yesterday ... wow, the peeps were unreal!

Janelle Renee said...

I take it that somebody else made the cocktail?

Mike said...

Zelda1, yeah! That's right! I <could be a fireman! If this software thing doesn't work out, I'm all over that.

Jocelyn, I look forward to reading your tales of jury duty. And if you ever make it out to SF, I'll burn you up some BBQ.

jr, yes! I would have burned it.

Leesa said...

Zog saves the day again, eh? I think someone else should cook next year ;)

Mike said...

I may have Zog start doing some blogging. That should keep him away from the grill.

Badaunt said...

You are definitely a frustrated fireman. Everybody knows that inside every fireman is an arsonist waiting to get out.

I should know. My brother, who set fire to a HUGE TREE in our back yard when he was only six, launching a career of firestarting activities, is now a volunteer fireman.

(Maybe that should be 'inside every arsonist is a fireman waiting to get out...?)

Mike said...

Badaunt, I'm not sure what's inside me, but when I find out, it'll be a blog post for sure.