SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED – Living Retired #112
Do you know who the most naive and easily persuaded people are?
No, no, it isn’t the thousands of Toronto Maple Leaf season ticket holders who renew their seats each year– although they are a close second.
The most naive and easily persuaded people are the men who purchase a gas barbecue– and decide they will assemble it them self.
“Dear I’m home. I bought a new gas barbecue. While I pop open a beer and put the barbecue together, why don’t you marinate some steaks and we’ll throw them on the grill for dinner tonight?”
I’m not being sexist but assembling a barbecue is a job for a man. This is because it is men who have all the tools required to assemble a barbecue. Albeit these tools are unopened, laying on top of paint cans and a collection of little jars filled with miscellaneous nails and screws on a workbench… which is beside a treadmill that serves as a place to hang sweaters on hangers to dry.
First things first…
Open the box and spread all the parts out on the backyard deck.
Then, throw away the thick booklet entitled ‘Important. Read These Instructions Before Assembling Your New Barbecue.’ Reading instruction manuals is foreign to grown men; just like a Toronto professional sports team making the playoffs.
The truth be known, ‘Some Assembly Required’ means the instruction manual has been written by a person who hasn’t set foot in Canada; and English isn’t their second language– it is their language of last resort.
Any guy who has fallen for the words ‘Some Assembly Required’ printed on the barbecue box knows that before you begin, you suggest your wife go shopping. Yeah, she will know something is up when you proactively recommend a shopping trip, but that’s the sign of a guy who has assembled a barbecue or two in the past. She doesn’t need to hear all those four letter words again.
‘Some Assembly Required’ means before you scrape your arms and cut yourself on sharp metal corners, grab your iPad and Google the YouTube tutorial.
You can save yourself some time and a whole bunch of frustration: don’t bother hooking up the Instant Light switch— those things never work! Besides, men find its great fun to turn the gas valve to ‘ON’ and then toss a lit match and run like hell! The sonic, thunderous ‘BOOM!’ indicates that the barbecue is lit– and that the family dog is under the bed in the master bedroom and can’t be coaxed out! In a future LivingRetired column I will write about proven methods to clean pet urine from carpets.
An important feature of a gas barbecue is the heavy cast iron cooking grate. If you do it right, when you place the steaks on the smoking hot grate, you can char them with carcinogen marks to make it look as if you are a professional chef!
Another feature of today’s gas barbecues are the knobs to hang your barbecue cooking utensils. The intent is that when men misplace their tongs– I said tongs, not thongs!– they are supposed to reach for them on the holder on the side of the barbecue.
Of course, men find it much easier to just blame the missing tongs on someone else– usually their wife who hasn’t set foot on the deck while their husband has been barbecuing.
It’s amazing how a guy can keep track of beer bottles, martini glasses, a bottle of suicide hot sauce and a can of spicy steak rub at the barbecue– but a set of 18-inch long, bright silver tongs with black handles can go missing in action and never be found!
Now I’m not saying it is right, but have you ever noticed that after a barbecue, while your wife is doing the dishes, after making veggies and dips, a bean salad and baked beans, that everyone praises the guy for the barbecue steak? Go figure