Saturday, 24 March 2012

Blazing napkins and the Caveman Grillmaster of Doom

After a miserable winter in a house that's over a century old - complete with stone floors, badly-fitting doors and no double glazing - I'm relieved that the weather in our area is finally improving, The Monk’s general outlook on life with it. You can tell he’s a spring baby; any form of adverse weather turns him into a whiner of epic proportions, as it prevents him from dangling out of the living room window, commenting loudly at passing dog-walkers. He can’t be blamed for not liking crappy weather, I suppose, but when your life amounts to little more than being toted around in a snuggly-warm buggy (complete with deeply fashionable raincover), you really do have shit-all to complain about.

"Call that a dog? That's a gerbil, mate."
Sunshine, of course, means barbecues. I fucking love me a barbecue: I love catching a hint of that unmistakeable charcoal grill scent on the breeze, and there’s nothing like getting heavily refreshed and watching my dad turn poor, innocent food into something that really belongs in an urn on the mantelpiece.

My dad is an incredibly intelligent man of many talents, with endless practical skills, but effectively combining food and fire is not one of them. It's so obvious that wielding a pair of tongs and a bottle of beer over the grill totally makes him feel like he's unleashing his inner super-macho caveman, so I'd be a daughter with a hard ol' heart to take that away from him. Did I mention he's also generous? Anything that Dad cremates on his Altar of Manliness comes with a freebie. Sausages come with a sprinkling of grass, from where 'the tongs have a rubbish grip'. Chicken legs come with their own salmonella colonies, thanks to 'your mother buying stupid chickens'. Burgers are heavy on the carbon coating, because 'the smoke got in the way'. Corn on the cob is still frozen on the inside, or else 'it'd be too hot to eat'.

Okay, I admit that one or two of those things don't quite class as generosity (Dad applies a similar mentality to driving and parking), but the man tries his best. And I have to say that his best, no matter how jaw-droppingly poor it is, is far superior to our local supermarket's best. They shall remain nameless to protect their expiry dates.

Local Supermarket is selling a range of barbecues and summer garden furniture, and although they're not known for their displays of marketing genius, today they really outdid themselves. Whilst manoeuvring The Monk's buggy through a maze of pensioners and Jeremy Kyle Show hopefuls, I noticed a firepit amongst the barbecues and deckchairs. It was a fairly nice firepit, all blackened cast iron etc. etc: you could just imagine yourself lolling around outside on a summer's eve, enjoying a nice quadruple vodka by your shiny new bowl of fire.

So, how do you make your target audience want to purchase this fiery biscuit? You make them think of fire, just like I did (and preferably not in a Wicker Man-style scenario, like I did). And how would one go about conjuring up this scorching inferno?

Not like this.

Napkins. OF COURSE. Five or six haphazardly scattered napkins. Oh, and the coal-stirring thing, for authenticity. Let's not forget the coal-stirring thing.

That's a piss-poor fire you got going there, Local Supermarket. DADDY CAVEMAN JUDGES YOU.

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