All up in my grill



I bought a new grill on Saturday, after two years of being frightened to again own one (more on that shortly). As a vegetarian, I’ll probably never know the primitive man thrill of searing flesh at temperatures topping 500 degrees. For what it’s worth, I did enjoy flipping veggie burgers and asparagus yesterday and today.


I hadn’t showered in between last night’s grilled dinner and today’s lunch. At the very beginning of my pre-work shower this afternoon, it became immediately clear that I stunk…like propane. Maybe more of a combination of burnt hair and butane. I’m not sure if that’s common in barbecue culture, but I felt lucky and relieved that no one had lit a match around me in the previous 24 hours.


Why did I wait two years to become the backyard Bobby Flay of my neighborhood? Here’s my blog from Thursday, September 1, 2005:


I decided that I just wanted a quiet, peaceful night of nothingness. The plan was to stay home and grill out with a couple of people. What a perfectly harmless, perfectly pleasant, idea. I turned the gas on and ignited the flames just like I always do, then let the grill heat up for ten minutes or so. During that time, I husked corn and let it soak in a sinkful of water. When that was done, I gathered the cobs on a plate, and went back outside to strategically place them on the grill. When I got outside, I almost dropped the plate when I saw the entire gas grill consumed by flames. I called back into the house, “Holy $*&@!The grill’s on fire!”
Someone from inside said, “Good, then put the corn on.”
“No, I mean the entire grill’s on fire.”
“Then turn it off!”
“I can’t.The knobs have melted off.”


Everyone then scrambled throughout the house to find a fire extinguisher. I knew there had to be one somewhere, I bought a 2-pack of extinguishers at Sam’s Club years ago…you know, just in case. After five minutes, we finally found the extinguisher, hidden underneath a pile of long-forgotten old clothes and action figures. I ran back outside, extinguisher in hand, pulled the pin, and hauled off on the grill. That seemed to do the trick, but I was afraid of a possible gas leak/further carnage–so I called 911. Meanwhile, I’d inhaled enough chemical dust from the extinguisher that I almost vomited twice. That is vile, vile stuff.


Less than five minutes after I placed my 911 call, three screaming fire trucks pulled up in front of my place. Firefighters in full gear marched over to my back door to inspect the scene, while neighbors poured out of their homes to see what that nice white trash boy on the corner had done. After five minutes, the firemen gave the “all clear” verdict–Everything and everyone was safe. I didn’t get to flame-broil the corn, but I didn’t blow up my home either. I pulled the dust-covered, burnt-out, grill into the alley, not sure what else to do with it. Conveniently, some deranged, inviting-disaster, person spirited off with it in the middle of the night. I think it’s kinda hard to work a grill without a faceplate or knobs, but maybe the person who took it knows something I don’t.

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