October 6, 2000
It's funny how the little things drive
you to behave irrationally.
Take for instance our barbeque at the
We bought the cottage last year. Or to
be more accurate, the bank bought it and allows us to live in
it as long as we keep coming up with the payments. We ended up
paying too much, but we loved the place. After tough negotiations,
we settled on a price. To sweeten the deal, the previous owner
threw in the barbeque I saw on the porch.
Now, your basic gas barbeque costs about
a hundred bucks, but offering a man a barbeque is almost guaranteed
to cinch any deal. It's like offering to throw in a flashlight
or new set of tires. Simply irresistible to any red-blooded male.
The day finally came when we took possession,
but search as I might no barbeque. After dangling it in
front of me, he took it when he left.
Like I said, a new gas barbeque is only
about a hundred bucks a drop in the bucket compared to
a cottage but never try to take a source of fire away from
a man. Besides, it was the principle of the thing.
After a lot of yelling the former owner
grudgingly agreed to return it. He dropped it off at his agent's
house for me to pick up. We were greeted at the agent's house
by a three legged dog. Floyd the agent's husband - explained
that the dog had one of those country accidents.
The dog, who looked like he had been
stitched together out of old footballs, had apparently been tied
to a bumper of a truck and forgotten by Floyd when he drove off.
For his part, the dog had a murderous look that said he would
have liked nothing better than to get his driver's license and
take Floyd out for a drag around the county.
Notwithstanding his dog's homicidal intentions,
Floyd had my barbeque. Or at least part of it. I noticed the
previous owner had switched the brand new propane tank I had
originally seen it with for an old rusted one that looked like
it came off the Hindenberg.
Floyd helped me heave the whole thing
into the back of my car with pretty much the same care he used
in looking after his dog. The greasy lava rocks spilled out on
my new upholstery and a sharp edge dug into the back of the car
"It's the principle of the thing",
I kept repeating.
Of course, when I got it home I noticed
it needed a little work. The burner was shot, so that set me
back about twenty-five dollars. And the grill was all rusted
out. That was another twenty bucks. And using the previous owner's
greasy lava rocks in spite of them already having been
wiped thoroughly on my car upholstery didn't exactly thrill
me. That was another fifteen dollars.
The outside needed work as well, so a
can of black spray paint was added to my shopping list for another
ten bucks. Finally, the gas station refused to refill the switched
propane tank because of the rust. Another thirty dollars bought
me a new one.
By my count, I spent at least $100 on
repairs so I could cook my dinner on a second-hand barbeque.
Maybe it's the principle of the thing,
but the hamburgers never tasted better.