Hot conspiracy

I believe my friends have entered in a conspiracy with my wife and the Lord… to kill me.

Not the deliberate “we are going to shoot you in the back with a shotgun” type of conspiracy. But more a bumbling/stumbling series of bad decisions that will wipe me out just the same.

It started the week before Easter. It was a beautiful 72 degrees in Phoenix. Warm in the sun, almost cold in the shade. Perfect.

“We are going to do Easter here,” the wife said, waving to the bricks in the backyard. “It looks like we are going to have about 40 people. You are grilling hotdogs and hamburgers.” This was not my first Savage grill. 72 degrees seemed reasonable.

Let’s see… I can fit 20 burgers on the 5 burner grill (about 4 rows for each vertical burner). It takes 4 minutes a side plus 90 seconds to get them on the grill or flip them. Call it 10-12 minutes a session — two sessions.

Plus 30 hotdogs, plus the 4 “veggie burgers” out of the freezer. Veggies are 7-minutes a side. Not sure what the hell is in them that needs to cook that long to keep you from getting sick — hot dogs are safe out of the bag (see microbiologist correction in the comments — joke killer) cook in about 10 minutes.

Shit, I’ll be in front of the 400-degree grill for an hour.

The wife and I agreed we would serve all the food at once. We had tried shifts with these people before — it was a Savage shit show. They just crowded around the first half of the food and complained. Never went back to eat the second half.

But if we were going to try shifts, it should be like an airplane. Children and old people board first.

“What time do we eat?”

“High Noon.”

hot grill shinny in the noon day sun
The noon sun heats the grill to more than 100-degrees without turning on the gas. Two hours later, it is completely in the shade of the pine trees and our carob tree and 25 degrees cooler.

Start the grill at a quarter-till, she said. As the day of our Lord rising from the dead approached, so did the temperate. First it was 78, then 85 and finally on the big day topping 90…

I was sweating before I lit the first burner.

The boy came out and stood between me and my little fan.

“Anything I can do to help,” he asked.

“Stop blocking my fan…”

The grill hit 400-degrees. Google said 3-4 minutes a side at 400 degrees. But opening the lid and loading 5 pounds of cold meat dropped the grill temp to below 300.

Shit there goes my timer. Now it was more like 6 minutes a side… I hadn’t counted on cold meat and open lid cooling the grill that much. I turned the timer up to 4:30 and restarted it.

It’s OK. I still had a plan. First four burgers get replaced by that veggie shit. Put first 20 burgers aside under foil. Then return them as the second set was done. Roll the hot dogs around (for 10 minutes) in between. Add cheese, and everything is done only a 2 minutes apart.

“What can I do to help,” the wife said, as she tried to grab the tongs and start putting hot dogs on the grill…

“Just get the veggie burgers,” was all I asked. She left. Timer went off. She hadn’t returned in 4 minutes. I went in myself to get them out of the freezer. She was surrounded and giving orders in every possible direction to people who may or may not have been there — I couldn’t tell.

Just as I threw the veggie shit on the grill… the wife was outside. “We are just waiting for the meat,” she announced in front of God and everyone.

Her other tasks done, she came to “help” me, because everyone knows I’m a little slow.

“You need to start adding the cheese now… People want cheeseburgers… not all the burgers you have on the side.”

Nope, cheese goes last, only takes 30 seconds to melt. I’ll put these back on when second set is done.

“You need to take the hot dogs off now…”

Nope. They just need to sit on top shelf, get the grill look and get warm. fully cook. They are already cooked. (fucking scientists ruin hyperbole).

“Just give me what you have done… We can start eating now.”

Nope, none of it was “done” yet. It was all going to come out together like we planned…

That’s not a sweat towel

Frustrated she asked what she could do. “I need a sweat towel.” She left.

I grilled and flipped and grilled. Flames shooting from the bottom as the burning gas hit 600-degrees. She dropped a dish towel on the table next to the grill. Useless.

The Boy, probably sent by his mother to speed me up, asked what he could do.

“Get me a real sweat towel — you know the soft ones I steal from the LJBTC Community.”

He came with the towel. Just as I finished the first soft swipe, cleared my eyes, and felt my blood pressure drop below “urgent care,” the wife was back.

“Cheese,” she said. “Cheese.”

She was right this time. But all the single slices were sticking together. “I can peel them,” she said. It made it so much easier. I was halfway done, when she was gone again.

“Where’s my wine…” I heard her cry in the background, and I went back to splitting cheese slices. Just as I was taking the second set of burgers off the grill — melted cheese and all, she returned.

“I can grab the hot dogs.” And off she went with half the hot dogs and half the burgers and loudly announced.

“All children and everyone over 70 can eat now…”

Here we go. The Savage shift-eating shit show. Only it wasn’t. They fed the children and the old people first. They even laughed at who was pretending to be 70…

A few minutes later, I cleared the rest of the meat off the grill and walked it inside to a calm, orderly line picking out salads, fruit, the wife’s potato salad and other sides. Burgers, hot dogs and those unholy clump of vegetable-like substances pretending to be meat all dwindled one at a time.

Unlike previous Savage-fests, I got to eat on time with the others.

I toweled off. Washed my face and hands in cold water, and settled into the leather chair under the air conditioner in the living room. I had survived the “Savage heat” to feed the multitudes. Unlike my car battery, the wife, our family and your fake god couldn’t kill me with their heat and pressure.

The other shoe

Checked my phone messages. My friends had signed me up to play tennis on Easter Monday. Fine we usually play at 6:30 or 7. But this week 4:30 p.m. — when the temperature was going to hit 98.

This “plan” had the Savage-fingerprints all over it, but I can’t prove the connection.

But it still feels like a conspiracy. Lord help me survive this next round in the heat.

8 replies »

  1. I’ve considered buying a barbecue grill. Thanks for the warning. I think I’ll pass.

    I loved the line, “Stop blocking my fan.” Often, the best way to help is to get the hell out of the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Former microbiologist here to tell you that hot dogs are not safe out of the bag. Yep, I grew up eating them cold right out of the package too. They are fully cooked, right? Yes, but can be contaminated afterwards by a bug called Listeria monocytogenes, leading to listeriosis food poisoning. There have been many recalls of hot dogs and other processed meats due to contamination with this bacterium.

    Who told you hot dogs were safe to eat uncooked? Feel free to add this nugget to your conspiracy theory.

    Now I want to hear your wife’s version of the Easter BBQ 😉. Enjoyed your post and sense of humour, as always.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Good to know. We do feed it to the dog uncooked. Guess we will have to nuke the hot dogs before we feed them to the dogs. I’ll bet uncooked hot dogs are still safer than uncooked vegetable concoctions made to look like meat.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not sure if listeriosis is a problem for dogs. They have a much shorter digestive tract which allows them to eat all kinds of disgusting stuff that would sicken us. But it certainly wreaks havoc on people. Yeah, I’m with you on most veggie substitutes for meat.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Keeping my microbiologist mouth shut on that one 🤣. I think you’d be hearing by now if anyone got sick so you are in the clear…this time 😉. People used to ask me how I can even eat food, knowing what I know about pathogenic bacteria and food borne illness. Fun fact: I eat my steak rare but my hamburgers well done. A steak comes from one animal but a store-bought burger can contain the meat from many, with a much higher risk of contamination by pathogens during processing.

        Liked by 1 person

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