Why Men Like Grilling

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I love spring.

The hard winter is past; birds are singing, carpenter bees are building fresh hives in every orifice of my home, trees are dumping billions of helicopter seeds in my yard, and my neighbors are all manicuring their lawns to look like carpet while mine looks like a prairie dog city. But best of all, it’s time to break out the grill.

I know a man who, sadly, lets his wife do all the grilling. He claims to have paper work he has to do. I have to question his manhood, for next to fishing for Alaskan King Crab, nothing says “manly” like grilling.

What else, in our emasculated society, so hearkens back to our primeval caveman days like grilling?

First of all, there is the extreme danger involved. If you read your grill’s manual, you will find a warning to check for spider webs. Apparently spiders can build nests that block the gas flow, thus causing explosions that level whole city blocks. What man would ask his wife to ferret out gas-blocking spiders for him? Personally, I don’t check for spiders, because I know if I look under the grill, a Brown Recluse is going to leap onto my face and inject me with gangrenous poison. So I just fire the grill up each spring, then run for cover. If the grill doesn’t blow up, we’re good to go.

A primary manly aspect of grilling is that it’s outdoors. Being out on my deck, with the sun and the wind and the clouds, I envision myself roasting fresh Mastodon under a prehistoric sky, Pteradactyls flying overhead as I fend off Raptors with my spatula.

Of course, nothing says manly like raw meat roasting over an open flame. The heat and smoke billowing up into your eyes. Grease dripping, flames leaping up, searing the raw flesh.

You’ve also got your manly grill tools. In addition to your stainless steel spatula on the 3 foot long wooden handle, you’ve got your oversized fork, also on a 3-foot handle, and your grill brush for slathering barbecue sauce. Women just aren’t qualified to use these weapons.

A proper finish to the whole grilling experience is to eat your meat without utensils, plates or napkins, preferably wearing a viking helmet. Wash the partially chewed flesh down with mead and toss the bones onto the floor. Grunt a lot, and laugh loud barrel-chested laughs. And rejoice that you’re a man.

photo by chatirygirl

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.