The Joy of Cookout


I don’t understand people that make a special effort to take a trip to the park with their family, scout out a great picnic table, and then break out the McDonald’s or Subway sandwiches they purchased on the ride over.

I observed this phenomenon today. Mickey and I decided we needed some air and some sun; the day after the 4th seemed like a perfect opportunity to do just that while simultaneously avoiding the crowds of the holiday weekend. We purchased the makings of a BBQ yesterday and set out to have a relaxing Sunday at Stonybrook Park. For the uninitiated, Stonybrook is a beautiful state park area with playgrounds, wide open spaces, beautiful trees, a makeshift swimming pool born from a blocked river, and barbecue pits sprinkled all over the place.

With some charcoal, a baggie of dryer lint, and a minimum of real effort, we were enjoying hot dogs (red and white), cheeseburgers, and grilled corn on the cob. It didn’t cost any more than a family dinner at Subway, but the taste of the char could simply not be beat. The joy of scrubbing and seasoning the grill like a soldier shining his armor before battle, the thrill of waiting for the flames of the coals to slumber into the rocket-hot embers, the hiss and sear of the meat when it first hits the metal… glorious. It boggled me when I saw over half of the other families in the park eating Big Macs. Why bother? Of course, I’ll be the first to knock myself off this pedestal I’m so happy to stand upon, for I imagine those same families are staring at this asshole with his laptop wondering the same thing, “Why bother?”

No, there’s no wifi here, but I can just as easily open up Notepad and jot down my next blog entry to publish when I do find myself with an IP number once more. As far as “Why bother” goes, well… you may (or may not) have noticed that it’s been a little bit since I published a new blog post – certainly since publishing anything of any real merit. Mostly, I haven’t really been able to get my thoughts together. My nights have been consumed with frozen pizza and episodes of Columbo – whenever I make any attempt to write, my mind is clouded and I find myself easily distracted. I figured that some fresh air and a quiet atmosphere might do me some good.

And so, with lunch (and dinner) now behind us, we sit and relax. Mickey reading “A Beautiful Mind”, and myself reading “Einstein’s Dreams” and “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”. At the very least, I’m now able to get two thoughts together along with the synapses firing well enough to get them down in some coherent format. We’ll see if it yields anything beyond this post.

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