Despite my every brain cell screaming…”stay home putz, you don’t want to do this.” I went to a July 4th Barbeque. I felt like the Pope at Octoberfest. Jane and I knew no one except the hostess but I had been pre-warned about her husband; an out-of-work dolt, with skills and talents beyond any ordinary man…..need an answer…he’s got it….need advice…don’t ask, he’ll give it; a true master of all trades….a veritable maven of all that he surveys…….unemployed for 8 years; his parole officer was nice.
As each guest entered, I found it difficult not to pre-judge. Pretty, handsome, well dressed, bad skin, one eye, user of honeymoon aids, recent escapee. It’s a mental game with me of “who’s the putz?” I am, by no means placing myself above any of these people, however at this particular soirée and after 6 + beers each, most of the inmates attending were of decidedly different species.
The barbeque luncheon was served, an eclectic mix of animal parts and “spicy ramses he-man barbeque sauce” placed in the center of the dining room table. Most of the pride followed the food in, marching directly behind the host praying for tidbits to fall on the floor so they could dine prior to the other guests. The best way I can describe the feeding was…..remember the scene in “Clan of the Cave Bear where the Neanderthals, after three months, finally found food?
I waited for the feeding frenzy to die down and headed for the table. My concern? Did I bring enough Purell? I should point out that most of them ate standing up next to each serving plate. This was a cleanliness move. It allowed for each greasy morsel to fall from their mouths, directly back into the serving plate. And, as a special bonus, these bottom dwellers left their respective, saliva/barbeque sauce incrusted napkins, in the serving plate! Thoughts of my old friend Sal Minella and Bubonic plague flashed through my mind. “What hadn’t they touched yet?” “Find it…eat it…leave.”
I scurried, surreptitiously, through the kitchen, foraging for a morsel, a tidbit, a modicum of nourishment that would hold me till I got to McDonalds. Ah, fortune shined on me…..birthday cake….”surely for dessert” I thought. I cut a sliver, came out of the kitchen and exclaimed my vegetarian tendencies and my sudden attack of hypoglycemia. My apologies went unheard. The tribal chief yelled, “Hey, he’s got cake!” and the locusts began swarming and feeding.
“May I have a big mac and one of those toy American flags please?” Happy Fourth