As much as summer is a wonderful season it does have it’s drawbacks. Getting invited to people’s house for a cookout or other such gathering activities for instance. Don’t get me wrong, I might like being invited to your house for food, hell, I may even like some of the conversation and possibly even find something nice enough in your house to steal, but, inevitably, there will come a time when something goes horribly awry.

And it usually revolves around a kid. Kids, as a concept, have many uses or so I’m told. But since they’ve been cracking down on sweat shops those uses are getting less palatable.

As a reality, they’re pretty much a drenching on the campfire of fun. There could be a raging bash with loud music, loud conversation and even louder bong hits, but, through the din, there will be that one child heard above it all. What is the issue pressing this child to such vocal clamor, you ask? Who cares!

The parents, at first siren, should collect that little noise festival and whisk it away as if we’re in ‘Roadhouse’ and they’re Dalton. But do they ever? No! Never! Not once in the history of people feeling sorry for the parents because they never get to go anywhere so, despite their better judgement, they invite the spawners of the screech to the event.

What they do is stand there defiantly while triumphantly echoing to the assemblage that this is their life so grab a big spoonful and swallow.

I was at one party where the hosts became so unhinged at one kid they were about to close it down and set fire to their house. I couldn’t abide by that! After I checked the cooler to make sure I couldn’t abide by that.

I went up to the hosts and told them I’d take care of it. That shows you how distressed they were. They let me, without guidance or checking their insurance policy, handle it.

I grabbed a high powered squirt gun, turned, walked toward the kid and shot him directly in the face. I didn’t make it a barrage because I’m not that mean (okay, I am. I’d checked the water level and didn’t want to waste ammo).

I’d wet him, pause shooting, and approach. When he stopped gasping I’d stop until he made a sound. Then I would begin my volley again.

Remember, I’m in a yard full of adults who allowed me, unfettered, to march directly up to a kid firing jets of water into his face.

This went on until I was about six feet from him. I’d blasted him about eight times. Water is dripping from his eyelids. His sound weakened with each blast. But, gotta give it to the kid, he kept trying. Gasping for breath. Remaining defiant. Until,


He gives in and rushes to the safety of his parental unit. Who, amazingly, seemed to ignore my drenching of their child. The father did look over at me but, seeing the dripping gun in my maniacal hands, smiled and nodded. I’m sure he was just as happy with the peace and quiet. I half expected a call the next day asking if I made house calls.

Just so you know, this tactic may not work for you. People may not have the same sense of impending disaster when you enter a room as is often bestowed upon me. If that’s true, my suggestion to you is use a garden hose.

I’m at a cookout in a friends beautiful backyard. I don’t know too many of the people there, they’re mostly his wives friends, so that’s good. I may have to do some small talk but, for the most part, I’m a self-contained unit. I have with me my lovely and more social girlfriend and my equally snide and growly friend, Fred.

For the most part things are going pretty well. Fred and I, looking like we’re recruiting officers for a gang, are pretty much left to our own devices. But, as sometimes happens, we got separated. The guy host corralled Fred getting into a lengthy discussion about weaponry.

They went so far as to bring out a couple fairly powerful guns of the pellet variety. Deep in the yard, away from the assemblage, a small group of us went to do a little shooting. If I must be truthful, and I must, we did more standing around drinking and laughing but, as experience has told us, people avoid a group of guys standing around with waving guns.

Little by little, as wives grumbled and girlfriends bothered, the group dispersed. The host asked Fred and I to watch the guns because he had to go make cole slaw or some other vital task he was commanded to accomplish. He said he’d put them in the basement later as we nodded and wandered back to our seats.

We put them on a table next to us as we sat down cracking more beer. So far, this has been a fine event. After a period of time with us soaking in the solitude, Fred wandered off to grab us a couple more fine and frosty beverages.

“Hey,” I said to get his attention. “Take one of the guns. I don’t think it’s advisable that either of us has two guns at any one time.”

Fred nods in agreement, grabs a gun and sticks it down his pants.

I’m sitting there enjoying the thought of this impending beer when the pinata of woe spilled it’s annoying guts all over the yard.

A few feet from my location stood a mother, father, and kid who’d been quiet. Up to this point. That all changed when the kid let’s go of a balloon and it got lodged in a tree. It could be retrieved with a short shimmy up the tree but it seemed as if his parents didn’t care the kid was freaking out. So the kid looks around and races to me to ask for assistance.

Do I look helpful? At all? That just goes to show you how stupid kids are. Just because I’m a few feet from his ignoring parents doesn’t mean I’m next in line. But, in situations like this I’ve learned a few things. Such as screaming,

“Fuck off you little snot farm before I jam my sneaker up your mother’s twat so she doesn’t infest the earth with any more of your ilk!”

Is frowned upon.

Psychically satisfying, but frowned upon among the general populace. Even for someone with my reputation.

The kid is whining and thrashing for my help. I look to his parents who pretend to be childless. Oh, if they only knew how close I was to making their wish come true.

I look around at all the other party goers and notice that my friends, people I’d been in the pits of hell with, like Fred, the host, and my girlfriend, are laughing their asses off.

So this is how it’s going to be, eh?

I look at the kid with burger juice flowing down my arm, beer next to me, my ass firmly hidden from humanities view and ponder my next move. The kid looks planted in his search for assistance. I look at him and tell him to go bother his father. Shocked, the kid spins off, approaches his father who tells him it’s just a balloon and to get over it.

Just a balloon? Just a balloon? Yeah, well, it is just a balloon. But it’s the only balloon this kid has received this day and, possibly, this entire week. And, because of that, he’s not letting go. The kid starts ranting and pointing and, generally, looking like a crazy person.

As enjoyable as all this sounds (a kid tormented because his newest prized possession is out of his grasp while getting a buzz and eating something dead does sound entertaining) it quickly became annoying. The kid beseeches me to do something.

So, because the drinking and eating part is still fun, I try to get rid of the thing that would be much more enjoyable from across the yard.

I stand up, put my arm on the kid (yes, I did it to wipe the grease off my arm. I felt I should get something out of this deed), and smile.

“It’s been said by people smarter than I that, if you love something you should let it go. If it comes back it was meant to be.”

I reach down, pick up the pellet gun, get a good grip and. . .


“As true as that may be, trust me, they never come back the same way they left.”

As the balloon plummets to the ground I sit, lay the gun on the table and smile. His face is tormented as he races to his, now, noloon. He picks it’s up, looks at me sadly with what looks like a Dali clock across his arms. It only takes a moment but he accepts his fate as he makes a large arc around my location.

Soon after Fred comes back with a beer and we spent the rest of the cookout having one hell of a time. When we left I was actually looking forward to my next cookout invitation.

Invitations can be sent through this web site. But don’t get your hopes up. I’m pretty booked for the next month or so.

4 responses to “Cookouts!

  1. you are a true ray of sunshine.

  2. We can have a 2 or 3 barbaque at the same time period,You burning the kids in the area,making it safe for the next one.Which is with YOU drinking so much Suds you fall into the fire pit.The 3rd one I’m still slowly cooking the steaks and chicken perfect,wondering if I should eat the extra food that YOU no longer will partake in cause you mouth is burnt shut and can nolonger eat or talk from..Till the next barbie…Peter A…..


  4. Uncle Chris your scaring me…

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