b Papa Dog's Blog: Aaahrrr, Stack High the Coal, Me Hearties! We've a King's Ransom to Plunder and Chicken in a Tasty Marinade!

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Aaahrrr, Stack High the Coal, Me Hearties! We've a King's Ransom to Plunder and Chicken in a Tasty Marinade!

Yesterday was a miserable hot day, with that great yellow horror relentlessly beaming down its killer rays without the slightest wisp of cumulus to come to the aid of a stricken victim in, say, my back yard. Tragically, despite my best efforts at pointing out the uniformly ruinous effects of exposure to natural light, Mama Dog continues to think that such shitty weather constitutes a “beautiful day.” Consequently, it was decreed that we would spend it out of doors, prey to perspiration, burns, blindness, and cancer. Thankfully, the option chosen was a barbecue, which meant at least I could retreat periodically to the safety of the house. It could have been worse; she could have thought of a picnic. As has been carefully documented by Peter Weir and others, not everybody returns from those damn things alive.

The Pirate family came over, Mama, Papa, and Baby Pirate, plus Mama Pirate’s mother, who will this week be attending Burning Man with her son-in-law, and I’ll give you a minute or two to ponder that concept? Done? No? Okay, I’m still processing too. I mean, obviously, I wouldn’t go to Burning Man unless I could bring some sort of air-conditioned windowless environment with me – a casino, maybe! – but if I did, the thought of going with any mother-in-law I’ve ever had rather beggars the imagination. Mama Pirate, whose eagerness for a week in the desert with a bunch of damn hippies is only slightly greater than my own will instead be going to Seattle for Bumbershoot, mostly because Baby Pirate is keen to see Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown.

But anyway. I cleaned the cobwebs off the old Weber, pulled out the half-used coals, dumped the ashes from our last BBQ, whenever that was (June?), scraped the grill cleanish, and loaded up the chimney starter. That’s probably not our exact starter, which we got about eight years ago at whatever the Long’s Drugs at 51st and Broadway used to be (Payless back then? I forget….), but it’s the same basic design. For some reason, I keep forgetting that we have this starter and grab for the lighter fluid first. It’s so much easier using the starter. The design is so simple yet so effective that I really hope somebody won a Nobel for it at some point. The Nobel Award in Barbecue Accessories, I guess. Anyway.

Mama Dog made chicken with a marinade composed of saffron, red hot chilli peppers, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, olive oil, and paprika. Mighty good in a pita. Because Papa Pirate is, like most pirates, a vegetarian, they brought Boca burgers. I was offered one but declined because I’m still mad at Florida.

After the grub, we took pictures of Babies Dog and Pirate together (again, if anybody wants to see these, email me and I’ll make them available), then played us some Scrabble. Initially, Mama Pirate’s mother played in a team with Mama Pirate, but she kept begging off to walk our dog or bounce our crying child. How splendid! I never would have thought to bring someone else’s mother over to look after our critters.

Mama Dog won by a wide margin, but we all did well, with a cumulative score over 600. Two seven-letter words: Mama Dog’s very first set of letters spelled out “Tragedy” (which proved prophetic for the rest of us), and I much later managed to come up with “Display.” Then it was long about 8:30 and because we’re new parents, everybody was tired, so the Pirates packed up their salad bowls and their play mats and their mutant banana toys (don’t ask) and went home. We started Baby Dog on the long road to Slumberland. Last two nights she went to sleep without a swaddle and we thought perhaps we’d turned a corner. Apparently, it doesn’t happen all at once. Two steps forward, one step back.

Still and all…she’s sleeping now, and it’s time I had some breakfast.


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