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The Grill Master

I’m up to my eyeballs in writing deadlines, homeschooling, and laundry.  That’s where I’ve been.  In the event you thought maybe I took a little well deserved vacation.  Unless you consider a long extended crying session in the walk in closet a vacation.  So.  Because I’m fresh out of working brain cells, I thought I’d trot out something from the archives.  Circa when I was allowed near fire.  A long long time ago.


I’m in charge of all the cooking in the House of Fiddle. It’s a big responsibility. The keeping of everyone alive, and all.

I have a grill that I use with frequency. Because I’m from the south, where grilling is a way of life. And since the grill keeps me from heating up the kitchen to a balmy 116 degrees, I’m a fan of the grill.

I have a certain way that I grill. My own little technique. And for the last 8 years, since I took over all the cooking duties, it has worked well for me.

Until last week.

I was on the phone chatting with my dad. The same dad that still grills a mean Brisket. I’ve never been able to match his grilling prowess. So, with the cordless phone cradled between my shoulder and ear, I walked onto the back porch to heat the grill, in preparation for the nights chicken fest.

I whipped off the grill cover.

As an aside, the act of whipping off the grill cover use to fall on Fiddledaddy, after the unhappy discovery of a family of rats living beneath. Then, when a snake moved into the grill, I relocated the grill to the inside of the screened porch.

So, the screaming is minimized.

While the lid was still closed, I turned on the propane, and turned the knobs to HIGH, while flipping the auto switch to light the grill.

The auto switch has long since worn out, but I keep forgetting that factoid, and neglected to bring out the flame thrower with me.

The flame thrower is that handy long skinny Bic you find in the checkout aisle of Walmart.

So, I went inside to retrieve it.

Keeping in mind, the grill is on, and the lid is closed.

This is where you might begin to shake your head and wonder in amazement how I made it this far in my life, and wonder also why God saw fit to entrust me with children.

And you wouldn’t be alone.

While still making small talk with my dad, I went back out to the porch, and attempted to light the flame thrower. It took a minute or two, but I managed a flicker. Which I then stuck into the little hole where one might manually light a gas grill.

From the front room of the house, Fiddledaddy heard a loud explosion, and saw a bright flash of light.

From the front of the house.

I was on the backporch.

He came running, to find me sitting on by backside, still talking to my dad.

Only I was calmly saying, “Um dad, I need to go. I just blew the grill up and I’m kind of shocked I’m not on fire.”

A bit dazed, I hung up. Evidently, the force of the blast had knocked me backwards.

I was then able to listen quietly to a rather freaked out Fiddledaddy walk over to the grill and READ THE DIRECTIONS OUT LOUD TO ME AND ANY NEIGHBOR WITHIN 100 YARDS. SEVERAL TIMES IN CASE I WAS HEARING IMPAIRED.

Directions? There are directions on that thing? Evidently, the grill cover is to remain open during the lighting of said grill. Who knew.

I dusted the soot from my shoulders, and continued with the grilling. Get back on the horse, and all that rot.

And all the while, I was offering up a prayer of thanks to God for saving me from my own stupidity. It wasn’t the first time, and hopefully won’t be the last.

A bit later, over a delicious chicken dinner, Fiddledaddy looked at me and said, “What’s with your hair?”

I really could benefit from a mirror now and again.

I reached up and felt the left side of my bangs. It seems that I flash fried my hair. It had melted from the heat of the grill explosion.

Well. So I perfect the comb-over. It coulda’ been worse.

My new grilling cookbook will be out early next year. And it includes a fire extinguisher to the first 50 people to pre-order. Oh. And a hat.

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