Sunday, June 3, 2012

Grills Will Be Grills

As summer approaches, so does barbeque season. I love barbeque season, but I lost my Triton Grill in the divorce. I got the house…he got the Triton. I wonder who came out of that one the winner? [Although I paid him off for the house, he didn’t pay me for the barbeque.]

But I digress. I thought it was time to splurge for a new one. I didn’t want to go gas for fear of setting my house on fire with some gas explosion. I didn't want to go with another Triton because,'s just too expensive and let's be honest, way too much work. So I set out on a search for a simple user friendly one to serve enough family and friends during each get together. You know, one that uses charcoal and matches, so I can light my house on fire that way, instead.
Off to Target I went since I had a gift card I could apply to the cost. As soon as I got to the outdoor section I spotted the perfect one for my needs: easy to use, good size, great price and in stock. The only downside was I had to assemble it myself. But…no problema! I’m a pro when it comes to handy work. I can pretty much assemble anything. I’m a jack of all trades. I can snake a drain, change out a faucet, hang anything on the wall without it falling off, set up computers, TV’s. You name it…I can make it work. So a barbeque? Piece of cake. And it came in one compact box so no problem getting it in the car to come home. Looked simple enough.

I was so excited to have a barbeque again. I couldn’t wait to get it out of the box and set it up in time for our friends to come over later that day. After about eight minutes of wrestling with the packing tape that must’ve been super-glued to the box to hold it together, I finally got the box open and attempted to pull out all the contents, which seemed never ending. It was about another 8 minutes until I could loosen that first piece to get it out since it was so tightly packed in there. I grabbed 2 sides of the box with my hands, and took my foot to push the other side loose. It only took about 4 attempts until I finally got one piece free. Then it was clear sailing. We won’t talk about the bruises I got on my ass from losing my balance and falling over while trying to extract the pieces that were shoved in there like sardines cemented to the sides.
There were so many teeny bags filled with screws and washers and toggle bolts, and they kept coming and coming. Where the hell were these all going? It didn’t look that complex that I was going to need 500 pieces of hardware to put that thing together. There were leg bolts and handle bolts and damper bolts and winged nuts and lock nuts…and so many other nuts. Are you f**king kidding me? I wanted SIMPLE…but by the time I was done…I was a little nuts.

I planted myself cross-legged on the kitchen floor, surrounded by all those parts and pieces. I started reading the directions and was immediately lost. I lined up the bags numerically, since they each had a number with their parts inside that corresponded to various diagrams. And when I say ‘various’ diagrams…we’re talking about 20 different steps. Staying organized lasted just about until I opened the first bag and then the contents ended up all smushed together in one pile. The bags were so tiny with zip-locked closures, it took me about 4 minutes to get each one open trying to separate the top flaps and another two minutes to get each piece out of its teeny, tiny frickin’ bag. My pinkie couldn’t fit inside any of these bags and they expected each piece to come out the pinhead opening? I had no clue I would be in a wrestling match with barbeque parts.

The first step was to attach the legs to the bottom bowl. Seemed easy enough (yeah…sure it did) until I realized I couldn’t hold up the bottom bowl, put the leg through a leg bowl, then through the bowl hole while trying to screw a bolt with two washers to a winged nut. Huh? First of all…how do you balance a bowl that you’re trying to attach the first leg to if there are no other legs to balance it to begin with? I couldn’t turn it upside down because I couldn’t get my hand underneath it without scratching the shit out of my arm to grab the bolt through the hole on the other side. So I sat there with my legs bent up to my chest, trying to hold the leg of the barbeque between my knees and balance the bowl on top. The bowl leg kept slipping out from between my knees and the bowl was starting to get a little heavy. Trying to hold up the bowl while feeling around for the dropped leg and bolts, was a feat in itself. I felt sweat dripping down my face and neck, and my back was killing me from trying to balance myself while balancing the barbeque. I didn’t think to maybe lean against the wall to help balance my own body. I’m not sure how many times or how long it took to attach each leg, but I worked it out. I’m a genius. Or an idiot, depending on how you look at it. Probably would have been smarter to work on it with another person. 

Attaching the cover to the bottom bowl was no easier. Another balancing act except this time, you had to try to attach two moving hinges from the bottom to the top. They kept bending one way when you needed them to bend another way, and at one point, they were so loose the whole thing came apart. Again…patience and perseverance prevailed! Not to mention the dents and scratches that now are a permanent part of my wood floors.
About two and a half hours later (yes…that’s right…two and a half f**king hours later)…TAA- DAAA. Finito! It’s amazing how incredible you feel when you succeed at such a difficult undertaking. And it was truly beautiful. I was so proud. I'm sure everyone will be quite impressed.
Me not being the cook, as most people know…I left the chicken prep to my daughter. I had bought a couple of packages of breasts and as I showered (since I had worked up such a sweat putting that f**king thing together) she prepped them and I paid no attention to what she was doing.
Once our friends arrived, I lit the grill in anticipation of a yummy dinner: Chicken, hamburgers and hotdogs, along with various sides. We were about 10 people and everyone was starving. The coals only took about 20 minutes to get hot and then she brought out the chicken. Who the hell bought chicken breasts the size of Jupiter?

OMG, seriously? I could only fit 3 on the grill at a time. The barbeque was just a tad smaller than I realized. The breasts were so thick…they took about 45 minutes to cook the first batch. I was able to stick a couple of hot dogs on there, too, balancing them on the rim of the grill hoping they wouldn’t fall off. Fortunately, nobody saw me pick them up off the ground when that didn’t work out and put them back on the grill. [The 5 second rule, right?]
By 10PM, [about 3 hours later], we finally finished dinner. The people who ate first were already hungry for another meal by the time we wrapped it up. But my barbeque DOES looks pretty impressive…dontcha think?

Maybe next time I'll invite fewer people...or buy smaller breasts. But there's no f**king way I'm getting a bigger barbeque…especially one that says ‘Assembly Required.’