"Excuses are the nails that build the house failure."

Paul Bunyan's Beard

The Grill.  Men's "Water Cooler Talk" For the Outdoors.

The Grill. Men's "Water Cooler Talk" For the Outdoors.

As usual, we're all finding ourselves plowing through another summer season.  Having said that, your grill should have already been well acclimated to the plethora of fine meats this earth has to offer.  My hope is that you've also had the privilege of enjoying some delightful company while dancing those delectable dishes (love me some word alliteration) over a searing heat.  Let's just leave Peter Piper to his peppers which he seems so keen on pickling.  Preposterous.  Alright, I'm sorry.  Let's forge ahead.

I'm going to begin with a gripe.  This one isn't a huge issue of mine, I just find it to be more entertaining than anything.  Grill size.  Some fellows out there attribute their cooking skills directly to the patio surface area their grill might encompass.  Same guys who probably feel as though they're in a world all their own when driving around in an expensive import.  Hey, I'll tell ya something; I don't care what kind of car you drive.  A shitty driver is still a shitty driver.  Let's apply this logic to the grill.  I don't care what kind of grill you own or how many knobs it's got on it.  If you're a shitty cook, well then guess what my friend?  You're still a shitty cook.  As a man I do find other men's choices of when to "pound their chests" fascinating.  The takeaway?  Think of those ridiculously over-sized trucks racing around out there.  The bigger the car, the smaller the penis.  Class dismissed....after a few fun examples! 

"Check out my car!"  Don't care.

"Check out the clubs I just got for $2,000!"  Don't care.  You're still not that good at golf.

"Check out the babe I brought home last night!"  Don't care.  She'll never love you.

"Check out the grill I just got that takes up half of my backyard!"  Don't care.  What I DO care about is how badly you just burned my steak.

See my point?  Sometimes it's OK not to care.  

Now I don't know when this "big/expensive grill = best" mentality was adopted but my guess would be it has something to do with our initial creation of fire.  I'm sure that was a proud moment in our lineage.  Perhaps a small piece of our inner animal still cries out for recognition when we see those flames leap into the sky.  Guess I'll let it go.

Cooking on.... 

Grill etiquette.  If there's a grill huffing and puffing out there then there better be a group of men congregating around that piping hot workhorse.  That grill is a member of your group now.  And really, it's like the friend everyone wants around, for he's bound to supply the glory.  Now, I know we've all grilled in solitude.  It's impractical to think that every time we cook there's going to be a culinary flashmob surrounding us.  What do YOU do in this instance?  I'll let you in on my little life secrets which in no way, shape, or form need to be followed or respected.  All I ask is that you consider.

First, I need some audio stimulation.  One of the many beauties of your grill is that he doesn't discriminate.  You want to belt out some Whitney Houston?  Sing it to your grill like it's Kevin Costner.  Perhaps you need to catch up on some podcasts.  Maybe a little jazz might give that extra spice to your kabobs.  Rock and roll your own way.  I'm usually covering the entire spectrum.  Can't afford to discriminate if my grill won't.  Also, it never hurts to use your cooking instruments like drumsticks, a conductor's wand or even a violin.  Get creative.

Second, and perhaps most important, there needs to be a beverage within arm's reach if it isn't already wrapped securely in the palm of your hand.  Beer is my leading candidate.  It usually wins the election in a landslide.  Bourbon is also good company when tending to the flame.  Hell, it's hot out there.  Keep your core temperature balanced kids.

Next up, and we could consider this a subcategory; apparel.  If you drape an apron over your body there best not be anything underneath.  You read that properly.  The only outfit which compliments an apron appropriately is the birthday suit.  Wear it with pride.  Outside of that ensemble everything else is fair game.  This isn't a private school folks.  No uniforms here.  Having said that, for any of you damsels out there, don't let me hold you back from grilling in a short little skirt with knee-highs and a pencil holding your hair back.  I'll head to the principal's office now for my bad thoughts.

Alright, we're all set up to this point.  Only item left on the list is throwing up that bat signal and amassing the brethren.  Choose wisely, for there's nothing more cynical than a wet blanket being present at your BBQ.  Alas, there's definitely a chance you'll be preparing food for an undesirable guest.  When those situations arise you need to be prepared.  Hosting a grill out is the adult version of throwing a college party.  Invites go out and like dust in the wind they spread far and wide.  Gargoyles are going to show up.  Now, you COULD be what some might consider an ass and give that shitty party favor the boot, but it's high risk/low reward.  Sure, the majority of patrons at your shindig would appreciate the gesture but there's a good chance this snake has a significant other or friend who's in good graces with the rest of the group.  Dammit all.  Adapt.  Take advantage of your setup.  This is your turf hombre, and it's where your closest friends come into play.  Deflect any and all conversations away from the soul-stealer.  He wants to talk about his Beanie Baby collection?  Tell him if he keeps it up those suckers are going on the grill right next to the wieners.  He's offended by the topic of conversation happening among the boys?  Fine, point your spatula towards the ladies and tell him to go take a seat and perhaps adjust his leggings on the way over.  Establish dominance.  This is a crucial move and one not intended solely for the choad in the group.  Your friends must respect that you run the show behind this fence.  You're the king of this stainless steel castle.  No need to be overly aggressive here, just offer up a few "friendly" reminders.  A dig here, a change of tunes there, a quick shot of water from the hose on an unsuspecting victim.  Keep them on their toes.

Let's head toward the finish line.  Permit me to reiterate a smidgen.  The grill IS sacred to a man, much like mowing the lawn.  If a grill is being used it's being used by a man.  Simmer down ladies.  I'm not saying you can't EVER use the grill, but the man of your house better not be around when you do.  Call me chauvinistic if you must.  I stand firm.   

Now if you've listened to any one of the words I've written, take this to your backyard bash the next go round:  The company you keep.  Respect the grill congregation.  There may be no better place to find good old down-to-earth hearty man conversation.  Some, if not all, of life's best chats happen around a fire.  Embrace these moments.  Don't take any of the experiences for granted.  You're on sacred ground.  This may not be historically accurate but I believe electricity was invented over a bed of hot coals.  I'm also certain that on the seventh day God rolled out a grill, fired it up, and slapped down some of the best meats the Garden of Eden had to offer.  And Eve had the audacity to eat a freaking apple.  The nerve.  This could explain why the grill and a man go hand in hand.  After creating the heavens and the earth and life as we know it, the Almighty goes one step further and throws a BBQ for his freshly created guests.  How does Eve show her appreciation?  "Thanks but no thanks Yahweh.  I'll take the fruit."  And so on the eighth day God forbid women from ever using a grill AGAIN.  Is it all making sense now?  I sure hope so.

Our train may have corralled off the tracks a bit but I think we did alright today kids.  Enjoy your weekends.


The Axe

Life Rule #905 & #587:  A Combo.

Life Rule #905 & #587: A Combo.

Edwin Starr.  Today We Boogie.

Edwin Starr. Today We Boogie.