In the subdued glow of the charcoal, as it yearns to be stirred within its confines of a BBQ, one might underestimate the significance of such an act. This ritual of tending to the smouldering nuggets, at first glance, might strike the observer as nothing more than a trite domestic chore. Yet, beneath the commonplace lies the profound.
Our days, after all, are punctuated by acts of recurring ordinariness – the brushing of teeth as a salutation to dawn and dusk, the rhythm of laundering clothes that have borne witness to our daily dramas, the seemingly endless domestic ballet within our homes, or finding oneself drowning in a deluge of babbling about the capriciousness of weather, endless traffic, or ailments that mark the ripening of human life.
These monologues, often stretching into vast voids of irrelevant details, can sometimes leave one’s thoughts wandering into the physics of the nature and conveyance of sound itself in a desperate effort to seek refuge in any place but the present. Or in its quest for escape, the mind might travel back in time to our audacious youth and revisit certain memorized Vogon poems. Such mental retreats, perhaps, serve to safeguard our gentility from ungentle responses.
While one can escape the monochrome by chasing vibrancy in travel to distant lands or tasting the world’s flavours in a candlelit bistro, there’s a peculiar challenge when one becomes a host. Bound by the invisible walls of decorum and the very real ones of your home, retreat from such vapidity becomes a game of wits.
It is here that the BBQ ascends from its humble culinary role. The choreography it demands — from the cleaning of past feasts, the precise arrangement of coals, to the vigil kept over food, dancing to the tunes of heat — is, in truth, a spectacle of artful evasion. A respite from the barrage of tales spun by visitors of their offspring, their adventures, their ceaseless anecdotes.
So while tethering a BBQ with Wi-Fi to enable remote monitoring is a tempting prospect, attaching it is an error in judgment. For in that connectivity, one trades the very opportunity for escape. The result binds the host indoors, chained to a seat, robbed of the sanctuary the outdoors offers.
Guests, with their unique demands, inadvertently dictate the frequency of our visits to the BBQ. For life, teeming with monotony, often necessitates the solace found in well-timed distractions. The art lies in selecting diversions that not only break monotony but enrich the tapestry of our lives.
Ode to Freddled Gruntbuggy, a Vogon Poem Oh, freddled gruntbuggly, Thy micturitions are to me, As plurdled gabbleblotchits, On a lurgid bee, That mordiously hath blurted out, Its earted jurtles, Into a rancid festering confectious organ squealer. Now the jurpling slayjid agrocrustles, Are slurping hagrilly up the axlegrurts, And living glupules frart and slipulate, Like jowling meated liverslime, Groop, I implore thee, my foonting turlingdromes, And hooptiously drangle me, With crinkly bindlewurdles, mashurbitries. Or else I shall rend thee in the gobberwarts, With my blurglecruncheon, See if I don't!
inspired by Douglas Adams’ “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”