close up photo of yellow tape measure

Always Take a Tape Mesure

Now that spring is upon us, a lot of folks are starting to grill…myself included.

About four weeks ago, I defrosted some meat in the microwave and then went outside and scrubbed down my grill and fired her up. She performed perfectly after hibernating all winter. Now I need to admit that she is getting up in years and her burners are starting to get wore out. That’s OK because I can stand there and move the meat to wherever she decides to put the flames.

After grilling every evening for two weeks straight, I did my usual routine and started defrosting some meat and then went outside to fire up the grill. I got no response. I thought to myself, “Well, I must be out of propane.” I took the bottle off and it was light and so I figured I was right.

The next weekend I went down to Home Depot and exchanged my propane bottle. I could tell this one was full because it was heavy. When I got back home, I connected it to my grill and tried to fire her up. No response. Now for you problem solvers, I feel it incumbent to say something. It was not the ignition switch. That went out a long time ago and ever since I have used matches.

Frustrated to say the least, I knew it was time to buy a new grill. It’s been a long time. I have assembled more than one in my life. I don’t like doing it anymore, honestly, because I have to sort through so many pages of multiple languages to get down to the nuts and bolts.

The next weekend I went back to Home Depot to look for a new grill. Before leaving my residence, I pulled out a little tape measure from my junk drawer and stuck it in my pocket. To my great surprise and satisfaction, Home Depot now sells grills fully assembled and sitting outside. After arriving, I started looking.

Not knowing it, I started at the high-end of the grills and started working my way down the line. I looked at the Rolls Royce’s, the Bentley’s, and the Mercedes. None of these were what I was looking for or what I needed.

When I got about halfway down the line, I was looking at a Cadillac. Right about then, this guy rolls up in an SUV, hops out, and looks at me looking at his new grill. He was a good ol’ boy. He was wearing a baseball cap and carrying a Styrofoam cup to spit his tobacco juice in. He said, “You need to buy one of these!” I could tell he was all excited about his new purchase.

I responded by saying, “I’m happy that you can now buy one assembled. I have been there and done that but I don’t want to do it anymore.” He hollered back, “That’s the way I feel too!” as he ran inside to finalize his purchase. I looked at his new grill and his SUV and thought, “I don’t think that’s going to work.”

Eventually, I made it to the Ford’s and Chevy’s and found the one I wanted. Nothing too fancy. A small three burner grill with ignition switches. Once the ignition switches give out, I will start using matches.

I pulled the little tape measure out of my pocket and took some measurements. Then I walked over to my pickup and took some more measurements with the backseats folded up. I didn’t think it would work. But I needed to make sure. So I went back over to the grill I had selected and measured again just to make sure. I was right. It wouldn’t work.

While I was standing there, I looked up and noticed at least four Home Depot employees helping out the good ol’ boy get his Cadillac grill in the back of his SUV. There were a lot of discussions going on and I could even see a tape measure going back and forth. I watched in amusement. Finally, I decided to walk back over to my pickup and leave. As I passed by, I could see that they were disassembling his grill to get it in the back of the SUV. I guess he was going to have to assemble it after all.

When I got back home, I called my buddy and said, “I have bad news, good news, and more bad news.” He said OK…let’s hear it. I said well the bad news is my grill wore out. The good news is that they sell them assembled down at Home Depot. The bad news is it won’t fit in my pickup with the backseats folded up and I don’t feel comfortable trying to strap it down in the back of my truck bed because it is top heavy without a propane bottle.

The next day Brandon picked me up and we went over to Home Depot. I bought the new grill. I can’t remember if it was a Ford or a Chevy. After he and I lifted it into the back of his truck bed, he said, “Do we need to strap it down?” I said, “Nope. We are going old school.” Then I crawled into the back of his truck bed and said to him, “I will hold her until we get there. Just don’t buck me off.” I am not sure if the first speed bump he hit was intentional or not. Nonetheless, I didn’t get bucked off.

Here is my conclusion. Always take a tape measure and when that doesn’t work phone a friend.

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