Wiener's in hand… finally!

Greg Behrens

Cat on a grill

Nothing says summer like a backyard BBQ. It's my third favorite season, and my eleventh favorite activity, so naturally I look forward to it all year long. Typically, Georgia is rife with picnic days and by the first of August I'm ready to shelf my “Taste This Meat, Bitch” apron, in favor of the cool evenings, warm ciders, and mediorce new show lineups of my first favorite season, Autumn. But not this time.

It's been a wet and wild ride this dog day season however, seeing the Southeast region douched by a deluge of rain rarely seen outside of a Brazillian rainforest, and nary a single wiener has been scorched on my Grillmaster yet this year. But my time has come. The local weather will be taking a short break from it's Pacific Northwest impression this weekend, and a bevy of backyard burger blackeners will be rushing to crank up the propane, pound some beers, and gather around the ol' bug zapper. Everyone loves that part.

Party preparation is always a chore, especially when getting such a late start in the season. The traces of spring cleaning have all but disappeared, and you don't want everyone to think you're a slob right? Not to fear, cleanliness is all about illusion, you only let people see what you want them to see. Start by setting up signs that clearly indicate to arriving guests to avoid the front door, and proceed directly around the side of the house to the backyard. Now you can scratch the entryway, living room, and depending on your sign placement, front porch, right off the to-do list. The only obstacle in your way to completely avoid house cleanup of any kind is that pesky little side effect of an afternoon of burger-chomping and outdoor beer-ponging. Occasionally, one of your party guests will thoughtlessly avoid using the inflatable kiddie pool as a facility and do a little cricket dance by your backdoor. For these unavoidable situations, it is important that you have at least cleared a path from the back door to the restroom. Due to the flawless design of my home, however, that is through the kitchen, and many will even offer to help clean up the mess, as they assume it is from today’s prep. They don’t need to know those are last week’s dishes. That just leaves the reading room itself. Close the shower curtain, flush the toilet, and count your prescription medications, and I think we’re good to go here. That wasn’t so bad was it?

Outside of cleanup, which we’ve already handled like old pros, the other unavoidable task of throwing a wicked weekend rager is party supply shopping. Many think that a trip to the store is a real burden, idiots mostly, but to constant optimists like you and me, it can be an all-day adventure. I need beer; hot dogs; folding chairs; ashtrays; water pistols (for vodka); vodka; and a new garden gnome. My previous gnome, Gnaomi’s head fell off in a tragic vodka water pistol accident. There is no better place to tackle that extensive, and varied shopping list than your local Walmart Supercenter. It’s like a day at the carnival. There’s bearded ladies, tattooed freaks and bumper cars for injured or fat people. I suggest going after-dark to avoid crowds, and it’s no secret that the late show is far more entertaining. From duct tape, to rubber gloves, to garbage bags, to bikinis for 5-year-olds, Walmart’s got it all! The guy in front me at checkout seemed extremely pleased with the selection as he left with these items without a suspicious eyelash batted in his direction. Don’t look at me, I’ve got a party to get to. One hundred dollars for three cases of beer, two bottles of vodka w/guns, two new chairs, a pack of hot dogs, my new back porch buddy, Gerome, and the executive decision to use empty cans as ashtrays; Mission accomplished. Thanks Walmart.

With supplies in hand and a freshly scrubbed abode, you are all set to party. Now call all of your friends at the last minute and tell them to get over to your place, and bring stuff. Enjoy the rest of the summer, it’s gonna start raining again next week.

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