“I’m running to WalMart to get some shampoo” NewWifey(tm) called over her shoulder. “I shouldn’t be more than 10 minutes.”
An hour later she pulled back into the driveway and beeped the horn.
“Come down and help me carry something up” she yelled.
I put my fuzzy rabbit-ear slippers on and trotted down the stairs. NewWifey(tm) had the back of the SUV slung open and was struggling to un-wedge a massive cardboard box from the bay.
“Get up front and push!” she said.
I climbed between the front driver and passenger seats, braced my butt against the dashboard, and pushed. The box was huge, heavy, and to my great surprise, soaking wet. Pushing it was like trying to force Mama June Shannon out of a Dunkin’ Donuts on Free Ham-n-Cruller Day.
But between the two of us we did eventually manage to drag, push, pull, wiggle, and curse that sodden block inch by inch until it was halfway out the hatch. At that point I hopped out and ran around to help angle the box down and stand it on end. And once it was vertical and stable I was able to see the shipping label on the backside.
It was (insert trumpet flourish sfx) a grill!
A big, honkin’, completely inappropriate for just two people, combination gas and charcoal grill with a side burner, wrap around prep shelves, chimney, underhanging utility racks and storage bins, and a grilling surface the size of our bed. We eased the box onto its correct side and tore the cardboard away. Once freed it looked like a shiny steel submarine parked in our driveway. A big one.
“Um, honey” I said. “Why did you buy such a big grill? For that matter, why did you buy a grill at all??”
“It was on sale!” she chirped.
“Yeah, but, I mean, we already have a grill” and I pointed to the completely-appropriate-for-two-people sized CharBroil on the corner of the porch. “On top of that, I have two BBQ smokers, both of which can also be used as grills if we ever, I dunno, bag a rogue wildebeest and need the extra cooking surface.”
She looked at me hard. “It was on sale.”
I knew from years of experience that whenever she said that it was fruitless to argue.
“Besides -” and she pointed to the CharBroil “I’m scared my arm and half our house is going to get blown off every time I light that thing. You’ve had that stupid grill longer than you’ve had me! It’s corroded in so many spots it looks like mesh. It takes half an hour to cook a fucking hotdog for christsake, it lets so much air through!”
I had to agree that Ol’ Charry was on the downside of her cooking arc. I’d replaced almost every internal part at least twice over the years, but the cover and sides were indeed decidedly lacking in structural material. The good thing was, you could look at the food cooking without lifting the lid. The bad thing was that, yeah, half an hour for a single dog. I gave in.
“Ok. So how much was it?” I braced myself for an upper 3-figure hit.
“Ninety dollars!” she practically giggled.
“Ni…did you say ninety dollars?” I stared at the 9 foot wide steel sub. “Are you sure you’re not forgetting a digit? Or two?”
She shook her head. “On my way back from WalMart I decided to stop at Home Depot, because, y’know, porn.” (It’s true. NewWifey(tm) can spend hours dreamily wandering the aisles of a home improvement store the way some guys can get lost in a Victoria’s Secret catalog. It’s all about the possibilities.) “Anyway, outside the store was this big pile of grills in soaked boxes with a sign that said ‘CLEARANCE: $90!’ So I went inside and asked a clerk if there was anything wrong with them, and he told me no, that they were just accidentally left outside during yesterday’s storm and the boxes got soaked. They can’t sell them as new, and they can’t ship ’em back to the factory, so…” She folded her arms across her chest and gave a triumphant look. “So I got a FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLAR GRILL FOR NINETY FUCKING DOLLARS! How fucking great is that?”
I kissed her hard on the mouth. “Let’s get this thing up on the porch.”
Well, that was easier said than done. But after more of dragging and pushing and cursing and lifting, we did finally get USS Grilly McGrillface up onto the patio. The old CharBroil got tossed over the rail without so much as a look back.
“Ok” I said. “What should we -”
I didn’t even finish the sentence before she answered “CHAO TOM!”
Yes, that Chao Tom. I should have guessed.
“Ok, I’m on it.”
This was still pretty early on Saturday so I had plenty of time to go out and pick up charcoal and a tank of propane, then stop at the grocery for shrimp and fixin’s. And wine.
While I was gone NewWifey(tm) did the last of the assembly and checked the thing over for leaks and such. Then she got out her vibrator and sat across from it, dreaming, until I got back.
Two hours later we sat down to this. Get out your vibrator:
I’ll give you two guesses what we did after finishing that meal and the entire bottle of wine.
Right: grilled dessert. Peaches and pineapple slices, which were served over ice cream and drizzled with Balsamic vinegar (try it).
THEN we fucked.