The Y (Chromosome) Files: A body for the burbs. A mind for the asylum.
By Marc Kaye
the perfect barbeque
One man slips from heat exhaustion into full blown delusion.
It wasn't only hot. It was humid. The type of humidity that sticks to you like the tough grease from a carburetor that you have read about real men working on - not you, but other guys. Humid.
It was 10:30 AM in the morning. Marc realized that denoting "AM" and then stating “morning” was redundant. It was just going to be that kind of day.
The heat was only going to get worse and nothing in the skies predicted that Mother Nature would release the weight of her burden onto the earth. She was a tough mother and there seemed no limit to her ability to refrain from expunging the tears that she carried around from too much work and not enough play, let alone reading garbage like this.
Marc was feeling dehydrated. His metaphors were not making sense anymore. Or, in his case, were making even less sense than usual, like an egg that was placed into a toaster. (Case in point.)
He stepped out onto the porch and slowly eyed the grill – steam emanating from her roof like vapor-filled garlic breath after a bad speed dating experience at the Olive Garden. "Yes", he thought, “that grill is definitely a 'she' for both ‘girl’ and 'grill' have the same letters in them.”
"Ah – it maybe mornin’ but it’s never too early for a cold, icy one," he thought, and so Marc walked back into the kitchen to grab a frozen pain patch from the freezer and place it on his neck.
Time passed and he knew it wasn’t long ‘for the ‘lil ones and their respective parental units would be “comin’ ‘roun’.
"Why am I talking like a 1950’s spaghetti western?” Marc thought, and then it occurred to him – “I forgot to add Newman’s Own pasta sauce to the shopping list."
Marc headed over to the fridge to grab the burgers, the dogs, the cats and a few hamsters. It was "grillin" time. As he headed back out to the porch he noticed egg shells encrusting his Kitchen Aid toaster. "That’s a-strange," Marc thought. Stranger still that even his thoughts sounded like a Bonanza episode. Even stranger that he couldn’t think of a reference from this century.
The grill waited longingly for her feed. He opened the grill and could hear the wisp of heat from the coals gasping: “where have you been, Marc? I am hungry!” Marc placed the day’s bounty on her carefully and with every initial sear, she breathed a deep sigh, as did Marc, for the doorbell was ringin’ and the cavalry would be ‘spectin’ their feed ‘fore nightfall.
Marc, having lost 12.5 pounds of water weight in 2 hours was starting to look a little like Kokopelli, hunched over god of fertility, he so often saw on everything from t-shirts to mugs during a long ago trip to the Grand Canyon. The only difference was that he felt more like the god of futility, not fertility. How to gain back that physical and emotional weight he lost? Oh, but to dream. Oh, but to come up with a better end to that paragraph.
The smell of grilled burgers, dogs, hamsters and a half mown tennis ball thrown on at the last minute wafted through the stale air like ….like….well, like the smell of grilled burgers, dogs, hamsters and a half mown tennis ball thrown on at the last minute wafting through the stale air. The folk seemed to come from everywhere and as they descended upon the freshly, bronzed grub that awaited their gastronomic fortitude, they migrated back to their posts – the picnic tables, porch steps, reclining chairs, and freshly cut lawn, until the grill stood alone – her knobs tweaked to “off”, her tarp cover dropped and draped to the side like a servant passed from master to master. Marc looked at her wistfully; “I am here, Bertha.” (Bertha - a name that he had waited a lifetime to bestow upon a worthy inanimate object.)
And on Bertha’s grate stood one lone burger – slightly overdone but illuminated by the latent fire of a single coal. Slowly and methodically, Marc walked over to the bag o’ buns and grabbed a soft one and in one quick shot, swooped up the burger and took his first bite.
With each bite, he could feel his abs getting more defined, his jaw protruded like Hugh Jackman in Wolverine, his gaze was strong and prolific like Glenn Close from “Fatal Attraction”, his metaphors more intense than ever – he was transforming into more than master of the barbeque …he was, in essence, “the man”.
And with his last bite, the crowd – once violent with the desperation of hunger – coalesced around him and carried him upon their shoulders, crowd-surfing over the neighbor’s fence to dunk him in their pool, wiping away the afternoon’s oppression – the heat, the expectations, the wear and tear of humanity and male responsibility – all gone with one plunge into the 8 foot deep end.
As he emerged, cleansed, he looked down and realized “it was all a delusion. I still can’t see my abs.”
Marc Kaye is a writer, comedian, songwriter and marketer who would gladly trade in writing about every single thought that arises in his head for some serious athletic skills. You can find out more about Marc at www.marc-kaye.com and follow him on Twitter @MarcKaye1.