The Outsider: Deer flies are my friends
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | July 5 2018|
It’s the first night of two weeks with my parents-in-law, who are visiting from England. How do I feel about it? Let’s say I have mixed emotions. Little Z is excited to see his grandma and granddad, mainly because they spoil him rotten. My lovely wife is really happy that they’ve come to stay. I’m happy because she’s happy. Yep, let’s leave it at that.
On a more positive note, yesterday I purchased a new barbecue. A real one, with a side burner and bottle opener attachment. A barbecue that a Canadian would be proud to own. Or at least not embarrassed, as was the case with my old grill.
That old one was a $200 Canadian Tire special on which no self-respecting barbecue master would dream of torching anything on, other than his reputation. This new one is big and shiny, and heavy. The lid is weighty. It takes Little Z two hands to open so it must be a good one, eh? It also took a good hour to build, boasting more parts than your average IKEA wardrobe and more bling than a top of the range truck. And power, oh the BTUs. Many more burners and we’d have to limit lighting it to ‘on location’ at Cape Canaveral, just in case of lift off.
But you know the best thing about the barbecue? I’ll tell you. Better than its shiny good looks. Better than its 50-burger capacity. Better even than its rotisserie attachment. The best thing is that it is outside.
Outside with the bugs. And my mother-in-law hates the bugs.
Now, I have for many years thought of mosquitoes and deer flies as a pest, an annoyance that needs to be stamped out. However, now for the first time, I see their real role in nature. They tame the over-talkative mother-in-law. They keep her imprisoned inside the house, while I, a fellow of leathery skin and ample Deet immersion, can roam my deck without worry that my relaxation will be disturbed by another story from ‘back home’.
“Yep, I’ll be outside at the barbecue,” I call. “I know it’s only mid-morning, but the grease trap needs cleaning. Just prepping the barbecue for this evening, dear ...”
The deer flies bounce off the back of my head as I lounge on the deck, luxuriating in the silence. Where once I would have swatted at them and become agitated, now I take it as manly camaraderie. Like a chest bump, or the clinging of beer bottles. We are on the same side, so to speak.
But two weeks. Can I pull this off for two whole weeks? It could go one of two ways. Either my lovely wife will catch on to my ruse and shut it down (she’s good at that) or we’ll be eating barbecued food for a fortnight and all need a meat-free cleanse by the end of the holiday.
I’m hoping for the latter. I have all manner of flame grilled meal ideas lined up and a case of beer, ready to test out that bottle opener attachment to breaking point. So, bring on the parents-in-law, and I’ll be outside all day at the barbecue, slow roasting a giant shoulder of pork.
WILL JONES - is The Outsider