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That’s the way, uh huh uh huh, I like burger, uh huh uh huh

So potlucks.

I got somehow roped into organizing a potluck at work. And that involved somehow various overly processed meat products. Yeah, that’s a great idea. Give the former vegetarian the job of meat-wrangling. Go team.

I procured mass quantities of various hot dogs, wieners (because they ARE the same thing. Yes they are! Don’t argue.), and frozen pre-fab ground sirloin patties. I figured that the penile-shaped meat thingies would be no big deal. I’d just through that crap into a crock-pot filled with water and be done with it. But the discus shaped meat thingies would involve some Weetabix intervention.

Ok. So I informed Esteban that he would be designated grill monkey for this project. He agreed. Problem solved. Only I did not take into account that he has the short-term memory of your average bobbing head Chihuahua and was going to be in Las Vegas during the necessary grilling time.

Ok. This is controllable. I brought home some twenty pounds of frozen meat discus (Discuses? Discus’? Discusii?) and heated up our grill.

Then the sky turned black. And a strange half-warm/half-cold wind started to blow and change directions. All of the people with trailers started huddling under the El Caminos which are up on cement blocks in their front yards.

Oh dear.

Now, I realllllllly didn’t want to cook 50 burger patties in my house. I mean, that’s more meat than our stove has seen in its entire life. It might go into shock. Secondly, I don’t cook negligible meat products for my husband, so why would I do that for the people at work? At least with the grill, I could have sort of an assembly line thing going on and also get to play with fire.

So the tornado.

It started to rain and I kept creeping the grill further and further into the garage until big splotches of rain were hitting the top and sizzling. I was jamming out to an old Elvis Costello CD and trying to more or less ignore it because sometimes I have found that if you pretend certain things don’t exist, they go away. Finally, I pulled the dang thing into the garage, which then filled up with smoke and then I realized ‘Oh, so this is why you don’t see people grilling in their garages.’

Yeah. I know. I never claimed to be smart, people!

So I coughed and coughed and couldn’t sing about a girl whose name was Veronica any longer, thus I turned off the grill and brought the cooked (which turned into what I can only describe as ‘meat cookies’) and uncooked alike into the house.

And that’s when I heard the warnings. First I thought it was the smoke alarm going off due to the massive cloud of smoke I brought into the house with me, but it was in fact, an actual big old meteorological event of crisis proportions.

There were twisters, Auntie Em, and they’re coming our way.

And the worst part of this is that if I should die today, I will die smelling like propane and smokey beefyness. I hope St. Peter is not a vegetarian. Because, seriously, I have a rather tenuous hold on that whole heaven thing already and I don’t need to be racking up carnivore points as well.

True story: for three days, I worked as a grill cook at a rather pathetic drive-thru hamburger place. Seriously. I was 19 and I had just moved out with my psycho roommate and needed a job because I was living on frozen corn and instant mashed potatoes. Under significant pressure from Esteban, I applied to a drive-thru hamburger place because he was constantly telling me that my standards were too high.

They were too high. And for good reason.

The hamburger place hired me on the spot. I didn’t want to work in the front because I didn’t want anyone I knew to see me wearing the stupid little red bow-tie and goofy ‘My Name Is Hamburger Pimp Daddy’ name tag. That left working the grill. The first day, my shift ended up being three hours, during which they made me watch insanely stupid training videos, the type which amounted to ‘This is a Grill. It is hot. Don’t put your face on it. And don’t crush the hamburger buns.’ I completely identify to Buffy’s job at DoubleMeat Palace because it is so eerily similar to my tenure at Hamburgers R’Us that it makes me cringe. The only difference being that instead of ground meat, we had frozen meat wafers which were practically see-thru.

My first shift was three hours long. That was training. That’s how high-tech it was. There were little buzzers which told you when to do everything. Beep put the burgers on the grill Beep flip the burgers Beep take the buns out Beep put more burgers on the grill.

The second day, I was considered an apprentice. I stood there and watched the experienced burger guy do his stuff. He was 25 and had a wife, who also worked at Hamburgers R’Us. They lived in his father’s basement. I am not making that up.

The second day, I decided that I hated it.

I wanted to quit right then. Esteban harassed me and made me feel like a slacker and gave me this entire speech that I swear could have come from my great grandfather. Something about work not being fun and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do and suck it up, ya whiner and stuff like that.

So I went another day. And that’s the day that I had to strain the lard for the fries. Yes. Lard. And I burnt my hands no less than 42 times. And the worst part was that my ‘shifts’ were only 3 hours long, so basically my entire day was shot and I had to press this white shirt thingy and drive across town to this burger place and back, all for roughly $12 before tax. I did that math as I was sorting through very fried crusty fossil-like things and decided that I could be a slacker. So I gave my notice and they said ‘Oh, buh-bye. Make sure to hand in your bow tie or we’ll keep your check.’ Yeah, because I’d had just the outfit which needed a pork fat laden red bow-tie.

And I learned a valuable lesson that day (cue sappy poignant music of self-love, voice possibly by Mariah Carey or some other bellowing songstress): never subjugate yourself and go against your original instincts, especially not your fashion sense.

Anyway, me and cooking hamburgers’ not so much. That’s all I’m saying.

If any of you are any good at making web layouts, let me know. I’m feeling a little antsy and need a change. The only two requirements are that Chubby Tink must remain and the text part must be wider. I don’t like it when I put in pictures and then you have to scroll to see them. Oh, and some people print this page off and that’s a lot of dead trees on my karma.

Do you think that Kirsten Dunst actually looked at herself in that soaking wet dress and said “Hey, you can totally see my Gwyneth Paltrow’s in this thing?” Because, if I were her, I’d be totally pissed that no one mentioned how nipply she was. I mean, Tobey is a nice guy, you’d think he would have said something.

And the bad weather seems to have passed, so I guess I’ll get back out to the grill and keep making meat cookies.

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