Thursday, November 4, 2004

The Holy Grill

  Well that’s that.  Halloween’s behind us.  The Homecoming comers have come and gone.  And Election Day has passed us by.  It’s been a busy week—a week fraught with potential fodder for this column.  None of the aforementioned, however, made the cut.  My week reached it’s pinnacle on Saturday afternoon.

  Let me back up.  I owe the merchants and shopkeepers of the world a small apology.  Last week in this column, I bellyached and bemoaned Christmas displays in October.  That was unfair.  Even though I may not be ready to decorate for the holiday season, there may be countless others who are.  I mean, asylum walls have a way of looking a little bare.

  But my apology is borne of entirely different reasons altogether.  Purely selfish reasons.  On Saturday, I got a smokin’ deal on a barbecue grill. 

  It was a lonesome little grill, tucked away with only one or two others, in a dark and dusty corner of the garden center.  It had been displaced by garland and tinsel and lights and wreaths.  It was outside in the cold, because within the warm walls were fake plastic snowmen atop synthetic snow.

   Fellas, let me share something with you.  Here’s something you may have yet to learn: there are few joys in a man’s life greater than buying a top-of-the-line grill on clearance.  You’re going to have all of your buddies over for barbecues, and you’re going to be able to brag about the steal you got.  And in Southern New Mexico, the grilling/bragging season is at least nine months of the year.

  You’ll start referring to your grill with feminine pronouns:  “She’s a beauty,” “Shall we get her fired up?” (and the best one) “She only set me back two bills.”

  Grilling is one of the simple pleasures of modern-day man.  It’s one of the things that separate the men from the boys.  In fact, it’s essentially the very crux of Darwin’s theory of evolution.  In this world, it’s survival of the fittest, it’s grill or be grilled.  If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the backyard.

  Stop and think.  What would a man’s life be without the grill?  Trips to the lake, Labor Day, Fourth of July, Memorial Day, tailgating parties—all would be empty without it.  They would all be, well, grill-less. In fact, I suspect that the only reason football games are scheduled on Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is to keep men inside and away from the grill.  (Eh, but let’s smoke a turkey anyway.)

  As it turns out, I was looking at the Christmas thing all wrong.  Rather than thinking about what was being prominently displayed, I should’ve been thinking about what wasn’t.  And, in turn, what was on sale.

  So with elections behind us, make friends again with all those neighbors who had the wrong signs in their yards.  Fire up the grill, you’ll have to live with them for the next four years.

-From Pulse
  November 4, 2004