Monday, May 03, 2010

Everything but the charcoal

We have a habit, and from my point of view it's a pretty bad one, of buying something that needs to be put together (I'm okay with that) and deciding that the perfect time to do such is nine in the evening, which is where the problem comes in.

I am a morning person, a lark, married to an owl. Over the years, I've edged him closer to the near side of ten PM, but he thinks projects, like putting together TV stands that are really pieces of FURNITURE or the luggage holder from Sears, the Es-cargo, can be started at nine, about the time I'm ready to call my day to a screeching halt.

So it was a couple weeks ago with the new charcoal grill. We had debated getting a gas grill, but they were all larger than our cooking space on the patio deems necessary, so we fell into old habits and bought charcoal.

It was a little fancier than the kettle which had served us for the last 5 or 6 years, the one whose bottom was rusted through. (Did I mention we don't take great care of our outdoor grills?) It had more parts, like wheels and a tray beneath and a little-bitty shelf which would pop up. And big handles and two grills, one for warming. We were definitely stepping up in class. Well, for us we were stepping up.

Since we do this nighttime assembly thing so often, we have a routine: I sort the pieces and read the directions and he puts it together. Armed with a glass of wine apiece and a basketball game on the TV, we began.

First rattle out of the box, he tightened the handle too tight on one side and the plastic broke. I did not see this as a good omen. We would hot glue it, he said. (We did do that when finished but it has disassembled itself; still it's workable.) We put the legs into the wrong holes, but we only did it on one side, and since we were no longer tightening things down, it was a time mistake and nothing more.

Gradually, our new sleek grill took shape. He rolled it out the front door and around to the back patio.

Never mind that it had taken the entire basketball game to get it done, it was now operational. The shelf worked and the charcoal grate raised and lowered on demand. All the pieces had even been there and there were none left over. Just as the directions had warned us from the beginning, everything was included... except the charcoal.

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