The Musical Sound of the Sizzle

By Keith Fisher

How could I resist? It was big and shiny, and it pulled me down, down, toward . . .

I exercise a ritual every spring—perhaps you do the same. I head to the home improvement store to pick up sprinkler parts. I also check out, (covet rather) the collection of new barbecues.

The store displays thousands of the little beasties, chained together to keep them under control. There are no gags on their mouths, however, so the units call out as they lie in wait for me.

I try to resist, really I do, but the voices are too strong. The price on the bigger unit makes me laugh. It costs more than my first car, but I don’t care. I secretly succumb to the testosterone driven desire to posses one of the little beauties.

My hand quivers as I read the tag. I learn the manly grill has all the features. Including the AM/FM, satellite radio, with surround sound and CD exchanger. It has chrome plated controls that think for themselves, making it impossible to burn anything. The grill knows the difference between medium and rare, and scoffs at the whimp who orders steak, “Well done”.

The manly grill is too large to carry home in the back of my truck, but for a few dollars more I can purchase the optional motor and licensing to ride my unit home, grilling steaks along the way. Oh, please . . . hold me back.

Finally, the practical side takes over when I realize I would need financing. I go home, hanging my head in dejection. I skulk into the backyard and find my old best friend, the barbecue I purchased years ago, sitting on the patio waiting for me to fire it up. I sigh, and lovingly strike a match.

You know, there’s nothing like good food with old friends, and I can get steak with the money I saved.
Men have been enjoying the art of charring meat since fire was discovered, but today the options are endless. We even have a choice of fuel type. Propane is perhaps the most convenient. A propane grill stands just outside your patio door, ready to be fired up.

Charcoal takes time to get going, but the smoke adds flavor to the meat. Natural lump charcoal tastes better, but pay attention to the container. Chemicals in some types of charcoal can actually be tasted in the food, and it isn’t good to breathe in the fumes. However, you can use charcoal almost anywhere. In a fire pit, even in a wheelbarrow.

All things considered though, if you really want to be a manly man, place a raw steak on top of the coals in a fire. Turn it over and brush the ashes off before you eat it. It works great, and you’ll have something in common with your thousand-year-old grandfather. It’s all about the musical sound of the sizzle anyway. Happy Father’s Day.

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