It’s the first warm weekend of the summer; a Bank Holiday maybe. Tribes of intelligent humans head to the park, where the Council, provide at divers places, small barbecues, the general public for the use of; shrines to listeria and botulism.
Apparently, one of the causes of the rapid increase in human intelligence was when our ancestors started cooking food.
Intelligent? Pah! These barbecues are concreted in; that’s right, they’re not portable. Well that doesn’t stop Mr and Mrs evolved intellect trying to nick them does it? Why? They’re in a beautiful spot already. Now some are missing and others are bent. Nobody leaves them clean.
Intelligent? My arse! Every sunny afternoon, almost without exception an argument of the, ‘You’re parked too near my barbie’, or ‘Your kids are kicking footballs into my burger’, type will break out. I’ve seen fists. No joke. Fists.
Intelligent? Oh please. These people arrive with packets of economy beef burgers. Bull seepage mangled, diluted, added to onion and served in a crusty bap. The difference between these and a cow-pat is hard to call.
Intelligent? It’s a culture desert. No-one listens to Radio 4. The left-open car doors release the strangled anti-crooning of boy or girl-band. Radio 1 eats out.
You’ve probably gathered that I am a snob; a popular culture terrorist. My barbecue consists of an oil-drum, divided down the middle and welded back together the wrong way round. This is serious cooking kit. A man can take on the world with a welded-together oil drum. I do fish. And I make my own barbecue sauce (the three reddest things in the cupboard added to a tin of chopped tomatoes and some onions – always interesting). And we have salad. We’re going to live longer than you; yes we are. I do however draw the line at tofu; or is that line the drawers with it? Never could remember.
Barbecues spoil the neighbours washing, cause the house to smell of charcoal if you leave the window open and are the one thing guaranteed to persuade the most culinarily inept male to don an apron. They are the extension of the rule that most fun things become more fun if you do them outdoors. Divisive? But of course. I have no idea whether I love ‘em or loathe ‘em. All I know is that I do ‘em. The only barbecue in the world worth being at is your own. Everybody else’s suck.