Santa Maria Sun / Humor
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 27
Fire in the hole!The Kriders swap roles
BY ROB KRIDER
I know it may sound impossible, but it truly did happen. My wife caught my barbecue on fire … like really on fire, as in call the fire department kind of on fire. Yes, I know the whole thing sounds sort of ironic, since barbecues are designed, built, and used to contain fire. The whole point of a barbecue is to heat and cook some sort of deceased animal carcass inside, and for the unit to keep the heat in. Regardless of their design, somehow my wife, whom I love, caught the outside of my barbecue on fire. And it wasn’t just a little bit on fire. It was a fully engulfed “structure fire” situation that completely destroyed my beautiful stainless steel barbecue.
This barbecue was the pride and joy of my backyard.
The fire was so great it nearly burned down the rest of the backyard, the house, and our surrounding small suburban neighborhood. When I saw the blaze, I assumed an evacuation of at least a mile would be necessary, especially since the flames were licking the side of the pressurized propane tank. I wasn’t the first one to notice that the barbecue was on some sort of suicide burn. It was my daughter who looked into the backyard and informed my wife, “The barbecue is smoking, mom.”
My wife, who was cutting vegetables in the kitchen, didn’t bother to look out of the window and nonchalantly said, “Yes, Honey, I know. I’m cooking some chicken.”
Apparently the chicken had been marinated in jet fuel. The fire increased, due to a lack of care by my wife. It got really out of hand and eventually (and luckily for the neighborhood) my son walked by and said, “Mom, there are flames on the outside of the barbecue.”
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“I mean what I said. There’re flames on the outside of the barbecue.”
My wife finally looked outside and saw the Hindenburg had landed in our backyard. This sent my wife and kids into full-blown wet-your-pants-panic mode. There was jumping up and down, there was shrieking, there was profanity (which, unfortunately, isn’t really out of the ordinary at our house), and there were cries for help.
You’re probably wondering where I was for all of this. Why wasn’t I the one in the backyard tending to the barbecue and making sure there were enough beer bottles lying around to quickly put out any unwanted flare ups? The answer is simple: I was busy sewing.
You see, at my house, we basically live a very 1950s gender biased lifestyle. My wife does the laundry, I fix the cars, she cooks, and I do the yard work. What this means in reality is she uses the phone to order pizza, and I pay the guy who mows our lawn. We keep things old school at our house, except for two specific areas of household labor: sewing and barbecuing. My wife has every skill a mom/spouse would ever need: chef, tutor, nurse, you name it. The only thing she can’t do is take two pieces of textile and thread and make one piece. She just can’t do it (or won’t do it; nobody is really sure).
Myself, well I consider myself a “man’s man.” I can take apart anything (with a 25 percent chance it will go back together), and I can use my deep voice to scare the hell out of my kids. But ask anyone who has ever tasted anything I attempted to barbecue and they will tell you I can’t cook up an idea, let alone a steak. Really, I can’t cook anything. I can’t even boil an egg. I always thought barbecuing was just about standing outside, drinking beer, and telling lies. Apparently you are also supposed to occasionally turn over the meat and make sure nobody gets poisoned. I guess I missed that part of the training, and of course, I blame my father for this (thanks to him I do have the drinking and lying down pretty good, though).
So since my wife can’t sew and I can’t barbecue, we just swapped the gender roles of the jobs, and I started working the sewing machine and my wife began cooking things outside. I somehow managed not to sew my fingers together, but unfortunately I can’t say that my wife had the same success rate. She burned down a barbecue and nearly our house in the process. Luckily, because I’m such a “man’s man” and I have a garage full of gadgets and tools, and I am prepared for anything. My son was able to grab a fire extinguisher off of the wall, and he took care of the blaze without incident.
After sewing some really cute bath towels, I walked outside and saw the remains of my barbecue and the blackened sidewalk surrounding it. My barbecue, the one I set my beer on when I was telling outlandish stories, was dead. I looked at my wife and said, “Baby, I know you have a thing for firefighters, but there has got to be an easier way for you to meet one of them instead of burning down our own house. Next time get a cat and throw it up in the tree.”
It’s true: Rob’s wife does love firefighters. Rob is currently at the sewing machine trying to make a set of firefighter turnouts to use as male lingerie.
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