Bent Words

Bent Words

April 23, 2017

I'm not good at grilling.

I'm kind of scared of it. I don't trust something that can't be definite like turning an oven on to 350 degrees and baking for one solid half hour.

But I love grilled food. Even vegetables. Especially grilled vegetables. Pretty sure grilled cardboard would taste good with a pinch of salt and some Cajun seasoning.

Therefore, I was fairly pleased with myself when, a couple of weeks ago, on a gloriously sunny Sunday, I was able to successfully get our charcoal grill going all by myself with a little newspaper and a chimney mechanism.

"Did I even do it right?" I asked my grilling virgin of a husband.

"Yeah, it's perfect," he replied.

Mmmm, perfect. Yes. I love it when someone references me and perfect in the same sentence. And so I started the grill some more. And my husband grilled things some more. And soon, after a few good grilling experiences under our belts sans food poisoning, we slowly revised our old tune of wondering if it was overcooked or raw and we began singing a song of "Let's try asparagus! Let's throw some corn on the old grill! How about burgers AND brats!!"

So I thought I had it in the bag yesterday when I took it upon myself to BRINE chicken tenderloins (sounds so fancy, right?!), get the grill going and begin preparations for a tasty feast before my husband returned from the store with the alcohol. Can't cook out without alcohol on Saturday night, I'm pretty sure. I had BBQ sauce, garlic and lime juice marinating for the chicken, asparagus marinating in a pan filled with salt, pepper olive oil and garlic and a few Johnsonville Grillers at the ready for my Master Chef moment.

I put our unusually fussy baby in her car seat and stroller just inside the garage, left the bigger child in her TV watching seat and set about to release the hot coals from their little chimney prison. I was all kinds of safe with my dutiful Ov' Glove and so I poured the hot coals into the grill and, as I turned to finish the job by setting the grill grate back on, I somehow managed to plant my bare foot directly onto the one errant piece of gray/orange coal which had escaped the little chimney prison and found its way onto our driveway. Not only did I plant my foot solidly on the little fucker but I even took the liberty to LEAVE it there for an unrealistic amount of time before fully realizing what I had done.

I smelled my foot cooking before I had the wherewithal to move it.

I can only imagine what the neighbors must have thought if they saw me with my knees kicking up into the air and my wide O of a mouth screeching "Oh motherfucker! Fuck fuck fuck FUCK!" as I scrambled my way back into the house.

I hit the water faucet in the kitchen with determination and called for Em to grab my cell phone. Rather than remain calm, I decided to also screech at my husband to get home immediately and when he did arrive home almost immediately (he was just down the road), I decided it would somehow be worthwhile to blame him for leaving me for so long, as though he should have known better that something precisely like this would be inevibtable. I was not making a good case for sympathy at this point when sympathy is really all I wanted.

"What do you want me to do with this chicken?" he asked.

"What are you even talking about right now?" I hollered.

"The chicken! Do. You. Want. Me. To. COOK. It?!"

"Fuck the goddamned chicken, Kevin!" I bellowed.

Kevin threw up his hands and said, "I'm done," and I threw myself onto the bed in the bedroom and cried a good, long cry.

Why he was so worried about the uncooked chicken rather than my fully cooked foot, I don't know. But there was definitely a communication barrier happening and the piercing pain I was experiencing was NOT allowing me to be as patient and loving and rational (!) as I usually am, sans grilling myself.

My foot did not feel better despite the large mixing bowl full of cool water and the rather stiff tall boys of Captain and Diet Coke. I whimpered a bit, broke into an old prescription of 800mg Ibuprofen and cleaned the wound full of gravel from the driveway as best as I could. That son-of-a-bitch burned until at least 9pm but I'm proud of myself for digging into my own flesh to relinquish the tiny effing stones stuck in there.


Desperately in need of a hug and a convincing "pobrecita" from my husband, I apologized first. He apologized second, hugged me tightly and we decided I am not allowed near the grill for at least a week. Or a month if you ask him. Not a problem.

I guess I'm just glad I have high arches.

Written at 4:50 p.m.