Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

The Cookout

In my last post, I mentioned that we were running a little bit late getting to the movie theater. Let me go into a little more detail.

See, these events took place on July 4, Independence Day. It’s traditional to have a cookout on Independence Day, right? So we had planned to grill hamburgers, hot dogs, and corn on the gas pit grill that our rental house has in the back yard. The forecast called for a small chance of isolated thundershowers, but we weren’t too worried, because it was mostly sunny as we began to prepare (you can already see where this is going).

Our plan was simple: have a cookout, then go see the movie. We reviewed the show times on the net, decided that the 3:15pm showing would be good, and I drove to the theater to pre-purchase our tickets. We were going to start grilling around noon, which would give us plenty of time to cook, eat, and even relax a bit before we left for the show.

As planned, I went out around noon to begin preparing the grill. There were some dark clouds about, and Susan wondered if we should just do our grilling indoors on the George Foreman Lean, Mean, Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine®. But we decided to take our chances outdoors.

Of course, seconds after I put the burgers on the grill, a few raindrops started falling. “Should we take them inside,” Susan asked? “Nah, a few drops won’t hurt anything,” I replied. It started raining a little harder. “Are you sure you don’t want to move this inside?” I looked up at the sky and frowned. “Well, it’s still not all that bad. I think I can stick it out.”

It started raining harder. Susan offered, “How about I bring you an umbrella?” I looked up at the darkening sky again. “Yeah, okay, that might not be a bad idea.” Susan ran inside. By the time she returned with the umbrella, the raindrops were getting bigger, and they were coming down more steadily. I huddled over the grill, shielding the food and as much of myself as I could, though my back was exposed to the rain, and my shirt was getting pretty wet now. Susan ran back inside and found a second umbrella, and tried to provide additional cover. As I croached, flipping burgers, the rain got harder and harder, becoming an outright downpour.

Susan said, “I think we need to take this inside.” Frowning, I reluctantly concurred. By now, my entire backside, from shoulders to socks, was soaked. Susan ran back inside to get a platter to transfer the burgers onto, while I continued my attempt to shield the food from the monsoon. I silently cursed the weather man. “30% chance, my ass.”

We moved the food inside, went upstairs, stripped off our wet clothes, dried off and changed into fresh clothing. Then it was back down to the kitchen to plug in the George Foreman Grill, and finish cooking the burgers. We decided that since we didn’t have as much cooking room now, we’d skip the hot dogs for now, and just stick with the burgers. As the first batch came off the grill to make way for the second, we glanced out the window into back yard. We looked at each other, then back out at the yard. The sunny yard. The nice, bright, sunny yard.

I sighed, grabbed the corn, and went outside to fire the grill back up.

The rest of the cookout went without incident. And the food was very tasty. Somehow or another, the burgers had remained on the grill long enough to pick up some hickory flavor from the wood we used. And somehow or another, the rain didn’t manage to wash that flavor off the burgers. However, the food transfer and wardrobe change had put us behind schedule.

And that is why we were running late to see the movie.

And of course, it didn’t rain again the entire rest of the day.

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
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