All of you who make fun of the men in the world who treat the process of grilling hamburgers as though they’re fishing around in someone’s brain removing tumors should recognize how close the two processes just might be.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â
Not that I’m a brain surgeon, but yesterday I tried to grill hamburgers.Ã‚Â Let me say I’ve never thought much about it.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Never thought it was easy, never thought it was a complicated affair.
But it was.Ã‚Â First of allÃ‚Â I come from a family where anyÃ‚Â household apparatus that could even remotely cause a tradgedyÃ‚Â isÃ‚Â off limits.
No one in my family mowed the lawn as kids—weÃ‚Â could lose a limb or at least a finger.Ã‚Â TheÃ‚Â guyÃ‚Â who livedÃ‚Â behind us did–point made.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Drilling, sawing,Ã‚Â hammering?Ã‚Â Off limits until we had our own homes.
So here I am, manning the grill that I didn’t even know how to turn on.Ã‚Â Bill did that.Ã‚Â Then he went back to the very dangerous business of putting a bookcase together.Ã‚Â TheÃ‚Â entire time I’m tensed upÃ‚Â so much I almostÃ‚Â threw a crampÃ‚Â in myÃ‚Â shoulders.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Flames are burstingÃ‚Â as grease dripsÃ‚Â down.Ã‚Â The kids are bouncing around me shouting, “fire!, fire!,”Ã‚Â getting closer.Ã‚Â I bat them back with the spatula…the one carrying whichever raw-meat disease the burgers have embedded in them…
I almost lost one burger in between the slats, but I saved it.Ã‚Â I tried to split one to see if it was done. Looked good to me.Ã‚Â The kids wolfed theirs down.Ã‚Â I thought mine was tasty.Ã‚Â Then I noticed Bill’s unenthusiastic response.
“What?” I said.
“It’s good,” he said.
“What’s wrong,” I said.
“It’s a little rare,” he said.Ã‚Â He pulled back his bun to reveal a little redness mixed in with the doneness.Ã‚Â
“Do you think the kids are going to get sick?”
“No,” Bill said.Ã‚Â He rolled his eyes.Ã‚Â
I can’t stop watching the kids shovel the burgers into their mouths and I imagine them deathly ill in just a few hours, their laughing faces replaced with painful grimaces as I rush them to the hospital.
“Do you think the kids’ll get sick?”Ã‚Â I said.
“Noooooo.” he said.Ã‚Â Though, his expression made me think he wasn’t so sure.
See, if this had happened twenty-five years ago, hell if it’d happened last week, at my parents house.Ã‚Â We’d have been flying down the highway headed to Children’s “just in case.”Ã‚Â
Well, I think we’re well past the ecoli incubation period–everyone’s good.Ã‚Â But I don’t think I’ll be grilling agian.Ã‚Â Clearly, it’s just too dangerous.