Memorial Day: Don’t Forget to Thank a Grill


Are you having a cookout today? Many Americans do because it’s a tradition – and you “do” traditions whether you want to or not.  People who mindlessly, unthinkingly accept traditions are called “sheeple”. And there are plenty of herds in America.

The husband (usually) drags out the Webber grill, fills it with old charcoal (vintage: Memorial Day, 2008), dumps on too much lighter fluid (a definite lack of creativity naming this product), lights it, and then jumps back from the 2-foot flames.

“I’ll be ready for those burgers in about 10-minutes!” he shouts to his eye-rolling wife who is just thankful he didn’t set the house on fire. Then Dad grabs another beer – his third. He thinks, “if I can just get through this shit before 1:00 PM, I can still catch the first inning of the Yankee game”. The kids groan when they see a backyard inferno like they haven’t seen since the newscasts of the California wildfires. Ahh, charred rawhide for dinner again this year. The charcoal briquettes might be easier to eat.

“MOM! Can we go to McDonalds?”

”No!” she yells back. “We’re a family – and families cook and eat outdoors together on Memorial Day. It’s important to your Father.”

Louder groans. “Why?” one yells.

“God friggin’ knows…,” she thinks as she scoops salads onto serving plates from plastic containers bought at Wegmans.

“Go set the table! Use the paper plates and plastic silverware.” More groans. Even before the kids find the long lost picnic supplies, the wind picks up and a new species of aggressive fly is attracted to the smell of burning meat. Finally the family is seated. Paper plates are held down by mayonnaise salads and one hand – as the other tries to shoo away the unrelenting pests.

And despite the fact that everything on the grill is now uniformly burnt to a crispy black, Dad asks the punch line question, “How would you like your burger?”

(A few people got upset today when this post appeared in “This isn’t how we’re supposed to celebrate Memorial Day!” they whined. No shit, Sherlocks – it’s called satire. To see how I really feel about Memorial Day, please read my previous post, “The United Stakes of Halliburton.”)

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5 Responses to “Memorial Day: Don’t Forget to Thank a Grill”

  1. Joe Belle-Isle says:

    Why would they get upset at a perfect picture? Except when we were kids Dad got those inch and a half super tender steaks cows don’t grow anymore, straight from a butcher who had a clean floor and didn’t have to treat the meat with radiation like they do today. And we wanted to run off and play and dad would get a little angry and say,”EAT YOUR STEAK!! He made his where the cow wouldn’t yelp when he put his fork in and our well done was really medium rare/medium. It really was an honor to wear a poppy.. Why a poppy Daddy? Opium and all it’s derivative painkillers come from poppies. I was not an infantryman, just a guy who was 1-A and deliverred messages and people by truck before landmines and rockets became considerred dangerous. I can just barely imagine what it must have been like for guys like Herb Schu to wade ashore at Bougainville in blood red water with dead guys floating waist deep all around him moving with the sea. Herb can just carely remember it because he drank a quart of whiskey before he got in the landing craft. When 75 yr old Herb hit the Legion hall and took his pants off to get up on a table and danced- showing off his outlandishly designed boxer trunks with big red hearts and flowers NOBODY said no. He always had a machine gun in his truck. And every drink was a toast to the guys who didn’t make it It’s OK to celebrate.

  2. Steve says:

    People probably got upset because they don’t want to be told that, for the most part, EVERY holiday is celebrated on “auto-pilot” and people have no real clue what any of them are about…
    “Well, because this is what we’ve AWLAYS done.”
    Personally, I’m pretty much done with holidays and the feeling that I HAVE to do something because Hallmark tells me to.
    “What are you doing today?”
    “I dunno, nuthin'”
    “Nuthin?! But ya gotta do somethin’?”
    “Why!?!? Why, it’s “Over-commercialized St. Whatshisname’s Day!”
    Memorial Day? Remember our fallen soldiers? I have a better idea, how about the government of the US remember them and give them the benefits they deserve, instead of a stupid parade.”Um, sir,we did enjoy the parade, but you do still owe over $100,000 in medical bills, and after all, we ARE a business, you know. You understand, don’t you?”

    I’m waiting for the “Buy her a diamond for Arbor Day” commercials from DeBeers. “You love her. You love trees. She loves trees. Why not celebrate that love with just two month’s salary for a beautiful diamond in an Arborverde pendant from DeBeers. Don’t you OWE it to her, and the planet, on Arbor Day? Financing available.”

  3. amy stahl says:

    Everytime my cousin and my brother see each other; the first thing they say is hey man. yeah happy fucking arbor day…

  4. Brenda says:

    Rock on Herb!!!! Too bad I wasn’t at the legion with him. I would have gotten up on the table and danced too, with my clothes on of course. I hope when my husband is 75 he gets on a table and dances for me. I’ve told him, I will have my dollar bills ready:)

    We should celebrate like JBI says! The most important thing is to remember what we are celebrating like Steve says!!!

    For the record Steve, any day is a good day to give a woman diamonds, including Arbor Day! It doesn’t need to be worth two month’s salary, though. It only needs to be a shiny, pretty little bauble so when the woman looks at it, she is reminded of who gave it to her:)

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