MAIN Home Life Holidays Father's Day
For the Perfect Father's Day Gift
Want Dad to improve his barbecue skills? (Hint, hint.) Get him
for Father's Day and keep everybody happy!
are only a few days that I consider truly great. On Christmas Day,
we spend time with family raking mounds of shredded wrapping paper
from the carper. At Thanksgiving, we gather with family and eat
and stretch our sweatpants to the limit.
And then there’s “Leave
Any Trash Except Nuclear Waste on the Sidewalk for Pickup Day.”
I always look forward to that annual day. If it came more often,
we’d actually be able to fit two cars in our two-car garage.
This year we had to put our old gas grill, a very faithful and reliable appliance, out to pasture. What a sad situation. And just in time for Father’s Day too. (Note the subtle hint.)
My kids will tell you that I have nuked many burgers and chicken breasts on that rickety and rusty thing. The weather battered it pretty hard. The grease build-up made it a simultaneous health and safety hazard. No one ever got sick from anything that I cooked on it and somehow it never blew up. It did catch fire a few times, but we never had to call the Elk Grove Fire Department.
The grill was past its prime. I got the old barbecue as a present for my 40th birthday. Yes, kids, propane HAD BEEN invented way back then.
The other day, I rolled our corroded old grill to the curb and left it beside several cardboard boxes and an un-repairable treadmill that had outlived its warranty as well as our desire to use it. Truthfully, I was glad to get rid of the old grill especially so close to Father’s Day. (Note second subtle hint.)
I told my wife that if she and the kids DO get me a grill for Father’s Day (third hint!) that I hope it is already assembled. And I hope that it’s easy to operate… like where the food actually cooks itself, without any supervision. I also hope it comes with a special feature that prevents the flaming of food beyond recognition.
“Dad, this chicken tastes like a burger… or charcoal, I think.”
I come by my poor barbecuing skills honestly. I blame my late father, just like I blame him for my baldness and total lack of rhythm. Dad was a bad barbecuer, but never admitted it. He could take the finest steak and reduce it to the size and consistency of a chunk of Duraflame log.
So, like so many men my age, I blame my father for my shortcomings
rather than taking responsibility for myself. It is because of Dad
that I am unskilled in the art of barbecuing. However, I am very
skilled in picking up Chinese take-out or double meat/double cheese
pizzas from the local pizza place. They are survival skills that
I learned on my own.
Maybe all it takes is the right grilling equipment. Maybe a brand new grill, with temperature control and a built in sprinkler system will help improve my barbecuing abilities. And if a new grill doesn’t do the trick, I will place the blame squarely on my father’s shoulders and then have some macaroni and cheese in his honor.
Tim Herrera is a nationally recognized family writer and the
author of "I'm Their Dad! Not Their Babysitter!" and "Where
the Dust Never Settles". His website - proudly built without his children's help - is www.timherrera.com.