Thank A Grill Monday


Many people forget we celebrate Memorial Day to honor those who’ve given their lives defending our freedoms. They  think a family barbecue is somehow a fitting tribute. They should just go to McDonalds instead.

Typically, the Dad drags out the Webber grill, fills it with old charcoal (vintage: Memorial Day, 2011), dumps on too much lighter fluid, and then jumps back from the 2-foot flames.

“I’ll be ready for those steaks in about 10-minutes!” he shouts to his eye-rolling wife who’s just thankful he didn’t set the house on fire. The kids groan when they see a backyard inferno like they haven’t seen since the California wildfires.

“MOM! Can we go to McDonalds?”

”No!” she yells back. “We’re a family – and families 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 paper plates from plastic containers.

“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 steak?”

For a much more appropriate tribute to our holiday, see tomorrow’s post: “A Vietnam Vet Looks at Memorial Day” by Joe Belle-Isle and rochester_veteran’s piece on Monday.

3 Responses to “Thank A Grill Monday”

  1. Bill says:

    Nowadays dads in the burbs pay big bucks for deluxe outdoor grills and feel the need to justify the expense a few times per year. Our summertime national holidays provide the perfect excuse. Most men are unable to grill a decent steak, primarily because they don’t know how to get a nice even flame over a large enough area, so they use the old flamethrower strategy. Black carbon–how yummy. They are better off going with burgers, hots, and marinated chicken breasts.

    You are right about the wives rolling their eyes, but the kids don’t give a damn. They can be as joyously sloppy as they want to be out in the yard. Pig out kids; be happy.

  2. Joseph Belle-Isle says:

    Ahh the old crap when we were kids from our Daqd’s who said, “When WE were kids…….”
    But the truth is WHEN we 60+’s were kids our Pops and Moms had just survived the most frightening times America has weatherred since Osamaobama and his safe deposit bank raiding homoland security. Fireworks and the waterfront slapping flies BUT the MAIN difference of differences in outdoor steak grilling was the STEAKS WERE STEAKS. The crap the supermarkets pour on the poor fathers of today are just a tiny sample of what a real steak looks like, the kind you can only get for $25.00 in a fine restaurant that buys their meat from the people who get first dibbs-the fine restaurants-they are graded morons and YOU CAN’T BUY ONE at the supermarket-an inch thick after it’s cooked that didn’t have an equal to it’s original weight in water cook off of it. One that is mouthwaterring tender all the way through. The Brothers fought for your right to enjoy this weekend even if you forgot, they want to forget too. But we’ll never forget a a platterfilling steak an inch+thick that was so tender old folks didn’t need teeth to eat it.

  3. Joseph Belle-Isle says:

    I’d bet Bill even knows the waters around Sacketts Harbor and Henderson Harbor and Snowshoe bay. And the always repaired and then mutilated-every summer as you went over the last hill and got the first view of Henderson Bay the giant little billboard that said HENDERSON HARBOR-THE HOME OF THE BLACK (b)ASS-perpetually mutilated and repaired. and the West View Inn. They don’t have family bars like that anymore-where on Memorial Day weekend Dad would get you up at 6am so you could get out early and catch the big ones, then sit around the bar till 10am, fish all day on the Galoo Islands, come in and get the fish cleaned, and buy a grand supper in their dining room for everyone in the Family and usually his two close freinds that loved to fish, Helen and Les Sager from Syracuse. Rocky woul’ve envied the parties at the West View Inn but money wouldn’t buy an invite. But if he knew what a purple aboo was durring spawning season and had a spinning rig he’d fit right in. Ontario BEFORE it turned black.

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