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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Barbeque/Cookout (09/06/12)

TITLE: How To Bag a ProGlow 1500
By Deborah Engle


Blustery winds and rain banished the last remnants of winter. Tulips were beginning to emerge from the flower beds, and robins were busy building nests, though there was still frost on the windows most mornings.

Aroused, dormant appetites pined for barbecue, and Joe’s was feeling it strongly. The proliferation of cable, digital, and satellite TV offered an abundant selection of cooking channels, which devoted many hours to barbecue shows. Nobody had to do without barbecue, but until the weather broke, nobody could actually serve any up, either.

Rankled by drizzling rain day after day, retail therapy offered relief. What better way to spend the waning days of winter than to prepare for the sublime days of spring and summer? Any respectable man has a decent barbecue set-up, and Joe was looking for the best there was.

Baffling assortments of “have-to-have” gear bewildered and beguiled the uninitiated. Lighter fluid, charcoal, and matches were basics he was familiar with, but the longer he looked, the higher the heap in his cart grew. There were skewers, and internal meat thermometers, and barbecue forks, and mitts, and chimney starters, and barbecue cookbooks, too. Then, he had to think about the food. Did he want marinade or rub? What about sauce? Or liquid smoke? What about the meat? And what kind of grill would he buy? There were tiny little “in the house” electric grills. He barely looked at those. They wouldn’t do at all. Neither would the hibachis. Maybe a kettle grill would do, but those propane grills sure did look impressive. One of the biggest stainless steel models even had electric burners and a warming oven. But if that wasn’t enough to satisfy you, there was a custom design section, where you could have a trailer built to your specifications. A trailer that would be all grill. The catalog showed one grill that was actually a converted private jet plane. Wouldn’t that knock the socks off all the guys?

Economic reality eventually eased the selections. After seeing a few of the prices, then catching his breath, Joe decided that custom grill would have to wait until he made his first million – or ten. When the weather finally let up, he was ready. He decided to go with the biggest stainless steel grill that would fit in his car – the ProGlow 1500. He checked the arrangement of the shelves, to be sure they would be a good fit for his left-handed approach. To his surprise, separated from the high-end models, the ProGlow 1500 was actually quite an eye-catcher. Having made several visits prior to making his purchase, Joe convinced the salesman he might buy at the big box store down the street. Rather than loose the sale, the salesman offered him a $50 discount if he bought it today. Joe walked out of there feeling like he had just returned from a successful barbecue grill safari.

Compelled to flaunt this conquest, Joe basked in the spotlight of several suitably impressed buddies from the neighborhood. Unloading the grill in the front driveway was his “subtle” way of inviting the guys over, and they were quite willing to coach him as he got the thing together. Truthfully, though, Matt is the one who did that, with Joe watching closely so he would know what to do, should something fall off later.

Ultimate domination – utter triumph, awaited only the initial lighting of the flame. Joe felt like he was participating in an awards ceremony as he turned the igniter switch and watched the flames race around the burner loop. Successful ignition was rewarded by shouts of celebration and chest-bumps all around, followed by high fives.

Emerging as the “team to beat” so early in the year, evoked a feeling of euphoria in Joe. He truly felt good about himself. Today, he ruled the subdivision. He had “bagged” a grill, brought it home, and gotten it “mounted” all in one day. Surely he could figure out how to cook on it, too. Joe’s confidence waivered a bit as he gave that some thought. “I wonder where I put those new cookbooks.”

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This article has been read 742 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 09/13/12
Great job with the topic on this lively entry. Great last line! Thanks.

God bless~
Ellen Carr 09/14/12
I enjoyed your story. Isn't the array of barbecue paraphenalia these days amazing! Hope Joe enjoys learning to cook amazing meals on his! Thanks.
Laura Manley09/16/12
Great imagination and an entry to reckon with. This was such a delightful story. You had me with you all the way through. I saw nothing in my opinion that needed to be corrected or changed. Very nicely written.
Loren T. Lowery09/17/12
So easy to identify with your characters and their situation. Your lead paragraphs were perfect in setting up the entire storyline.
The subtle machoism didn't get past me either and seemed spot on.
Joanne Sher 09/18/12
Too much fun :) Great description, and I DEFINITELY know this guy ;)
Bea Edwards 09/18/12
Grill hunting to the extreme! Excellent and humorous description of one of those 'guy things' I will never understand. It was a grin evoking read~ thanks.
lynn gipson 09/18/12
This was funny, and so true about men and their "toys" and having the neighborhood over to show it off. I loved this story. Great Job!
Noel Mitaxa 09/18/12
As we head into spring Downunder, this one just opened up before my eyes and ears. Very descriptive in external and internal terms, with a great fun touch at the end. One (pedantic) grammar point was about the salesman not wanting to "loose" the sale - though maybe he wanted to "loose" more ProGlows onto the market;-)
Great work.