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Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on August 3rd, 2011, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 12, Issue 22 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 12, Issue 22

Summer heat

Krider flame broils his daughter's birthday party

By ROB KRIDER

About seven minutes before her birthday, my daughter decided she had to have a barbecue-slumber-swim-movie-camping-birthday party. The extensive party style is standard for my daughter, who always wants everything to be epic, huge, and always about her. Since we are parents of the 21st century, and we only know how to raise our kids one way—and that’s by instantly granting them their every request or desire and thus spoiling the crap out of them—my wife and I quickly got to work to put on the last-minute birthday party extravaganza.


I knew then and there I was just too drunk to cook.

I threw a tent up in the backyard, my wife picked up some burgers to barbecue, along with a couple of balloons, and voila, a party was soon to be had. The only question in my mind was since this whole thing was thrown together at the last second and we didn’t mail out any invitations, would anyone actually come? Obviously, I am of an old-school mentality. My daughter got on her phone, sent a few texts, put something up on Facebook, and the next thing I knew the doorbell was ringing. I opened the door and found 10 preteen girls, holding sleeping bags, standing on my porch. I guess we would be having a party after all.

The girls jumped into the swimming pool and began to have fun. Eleven- to 12-year-old girls think “fun” is to constantly scream and shriek at an eardrum-shattering decibel level. I decided I should get started on the barbecue, hoping that if I stuck some food down these girls’ throats, they might stop screaming for a moment.

Most people begin barbecuing by starting a fire. That is for rookies and amateurs. I always start barbecuing by drinking alcohol. This is a family tradition and a barbecuing recipe handed down from generation to generation. We always maintain a blood alcohol content in direct correlation with the heat of the fire. For me, I cook around 451 degrees Fahrenheit with a blood alcohol level of about 0.04 percent.  This careful combination of alcohol and fire is what make my hamburgers taste so good. And the best part about the recipe is if things get a bit hot, say 800 degrees (thus a 0.08 percent BAC, equal to a DUI) and the food gets a tad burnt, well, I’m too drunk to taste the difference.

During the birthday party, I began to cook things slow (only one drink in me), then I took a few shots of rum and the fire began to blaze. Well, “blaze” really isn’t the right way to describe it. “Napalm” is more accurate. The fire in my barbecue became an inferno. I shut off the propane, but that didn’t stop the raging flames. The burger meat my wife bought was really fatty, and the fire got insanely hot and out of control. It was like the burger patties had been marinated in gasoline. I needed to pour some fluid on the flames to put out the forest fire, but the only thing I had in my hand was a high-proof alcoholic beverage that would have made the fire even angrier. I slammed down the lid of the barbecue in an attempt to snuff out the fire, but only saw my thermometer spin up to outrageous temperatures: 900, then 1,100 degrees. I knew then and there I was just too drunk to cook. My wife, whom I love, saved the day with the fire extinguisher and then ordered some pizzas.

Now that I was relieved of my position of dinner duty, I was in charge of setting up the movie for the girls. As the man of the house, I am deemed the resident AV geek. I set up a projector and a sheet so the girls could watch the movie outside, while floating on rafts in the pool. I thought watching a movie from the pool would be epic and huge, to stay in theme with the party. Once the sun set, I got all of the girls into the dark pool and started the movie. I picked the 1975 Oscar winning film Jaws. Then (because I couldn’t help myself) I slipped under the dark water, swam along the bottom, and grabbed my daughter’s leg at the exact same moment Jaws eats his first victim in the opening sequence. This, of course, only increased the decibel level of shrieking and screaming from the girls. After the big scare, the girls watched only about 10 minutes of the movie and then were on to other more important things, like prank calling boys and eating more pizza—surprisingly, none of them wanted any of my well-done hamburgers. In fact, the neighbor’s dog wouldn’t even eat my
cooking.

After some cake and ice cream and an impromptu food fight in the backyard, the girls were told to settle down into the tent to go to sleep. At around midnight, they were still awake. At 1 a.m., 2 a.m., and even 3 a.m., they still wouldn’t go to sleep. They were too busy screaming and shrieking, talking about sharks, and texting boys to go to bed. My wife and I were exhausted. We just wanted the fun to end. I passed out from all of the “barbecuing” and then, at around 4 in the morning, the girls finally subsided and fell asleep.

The next day the girls were much more subdued. The sugar high was over, and the sleep deprivation had gotten to them. They sat around the breakfast table like zombies. Some of the girls said they had nightmares about shark attacks. Others said they had nightmares that the house caught on fire. I figured after they got home and told their parents how their night went, that will be the last time any of them is allowed to come to a slumber party at our house. Mission accomplished!

Rob had his barbecuing license revoked after his recent BUI (Barbecuing while Under the Influence).




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