The temperature’s up, the homeless have emerged from hibernation, and the living’s once again easy—yes, summer is just about here. Now I’m not sure if it’s due to it being eighty-five and humid out or if it’s just because I’m straight jonesing at the prospect of the season’s first hot mouth-packing, but every one of my orifices right now is hyper-moist. That’s right, everyone, it’s Barbecue Season’s Opening Day and I couldn’t be more ready for this meaty, boozy bender.
Others may share my enthusiasm, but not everyone abides by my straightforward approach on cultivating the ideal orgy of sauces, meat cuts, and alcohol; I know, especially today, I’ll encounter some types who are detriments to any event focused on grilling and gorging.
Dressed in my finest, most-elastic waistband, I scamper up the front steps and ring the doorbell. I’m jittery; anticipation’s surging throughout my awful body. Overzealous Host (1) opens the door and, instantly, starts prattling on, fussing about shoes in the house and begging me to take a tour. Sweet Jesus, a simple greeting and gesture towards the meat would have more than sufficed. I am not a child, this is not my first rodeo, and I do not need instructions on how to effectively binge on alcohol and barbecue.
Instinctually, I rattle off a clearly-fabricated excuse and stride past the blatantly-novice barbecue host. Today is about meat, not him showing off his house and his belongings or me demonstrating actual manners. I hop in line with my plate behind Guilty About What I’m Eating (2) and right away I regret it. At every serving dish she’s adding up estimated calories and any eventual selections are followed up with her quipping, “I guess I’ll be a little bad.” Every one of her dietary decision is painfully belabored and it’s effectively delaying my feasting. I keep reminding her that this isn’t Sophie’s Choice.
By the end of the buffet her plate resembles a health-conscious smattering of Costco samples while mine’s more of a mountain of succulence that, by contrast, makes me look like the piggish, unrestrained pre-Biggest Loser contestant. Noticing the glares, I find a seat next to the Unflattering Guy Without a Shirt (3) and it effectively shifts all unwanted attention to him and his less-than-attractive style choices.
This party guest sans-shirt is obscenely hairy and already sweaty. He doesn’t have the kind of body where people look and think, “Oh, wonderful, he must have high self-esteem!” No, people stare at him and think, “Oh, yeah, he just doesn’t have shame.” Other times I’d be put off by his pudginess and body hair thicket that’s now glistening with sauce droplets, but, at least for now, I’m too engrossed with my one-man flavor fiesta to even care.
I pause for a second, momentarily halting the beefy torrent, and let my heart catch up. It’s right then that Networking Asshole (4) strikes from three seats down. With his gelled hair, stain-free corporate golf shirt, and outstretched hand with a business card, I can tell right away that we came here today for drastically different reasons. I’m sure he’s a nice guy and is here to schmooze his way into more LinkedIn connections, but, frankly, me and Obnoxiously-Loud Eater (5) over at the far end of the table have more common ground. I promptly shake my head in disgust at his business card and he recoils back into his chair.
Now, though, I can’t stop staring at the audible glutton groaning and spattering at the other end, like some sort of sweatpants-clad barnyard animal. Fortunately, I’m not sitting by him, as there appears to be a fine mist of meat and sauce emanating from his mouth. Yet, I know that he and I both came here today for the right reasons; Although he’d ruin my fun, appetite, and likely my shirt if I sat by him, I’m glad he’s enjoying Barbecue Season in his own way. Game recognize game, brother.
[Image via ShutterStock]