Saturday, November 24, 2012


    Three weeks ago, Kay got me an electric smoker for my birthday. My birthday was back in August. It came at a time when I had no idea what I wanted for my birthday. It took till late October to figure it out. I really hate asking for the wrong thing.

    The purchase of the smoker is an interesting story in that it demonstrates some of the communication problems in life… problems between husbands and wives. (Add the word “beer” into that sentence, and I may have the beginning of a song.)

The smoker story took shape right about the time the phone rang while I was fast-forwarding through a football game. I was so sure the call was for Kay that I didn’t even pretend to reach for the phone. I’ve got a fairly convincing pretend-reach.

Turns out, the call really was for Kay. Try to figure. A couple of minutes after she pressed “End Call,” I became aware that she was talking to me. I actually had to freeze-frame the game to focus on what she was saying. Priorities are a bear sometimes.

    Kay explained that her friend called to tell her that “the smoker” was on sale at QVC. I needed to respond, but I had nothing. Kay hates it when I make up stuff, so I just stared. “Remember, you said you wanted a smoker? Well, I told Kathy about it and she said that the one you should get is on sale at QVC.”

    Ah, THAT smoker. Now all I had to do was figure out what a QVC was. Sounded more like plastic pipe than a retail store. Again I had nothing. Kay finally pointed in a northwest direction and said, “You know, QVC!” -- I said, “You mean, CVS? They have smokers?”  -- She said, “No!” Again she points northwest. – “It’s on sale in Waco?” I said. At some point you just have to put sarcasm in play.

    After giving me her “I’m-talking-to-a-sack-of-sand” look, she told me that QVC is not a store. It’s a shopping network on TV. She was pointing at the TV… a TV that sits northwest of her recliner.

    Now I’m sensing that Kay is focused on my long-term care policy, and trying to determine which home would be best for me. I sometimes get paranoid.

To show how sweet Kay is, she eventually confessed that she would have explained that QVC was a shopping network, but couldn’t think of the words. All she could think to do was point to the TV. Confession is so good when it comes from someone else. 

    And, where is this heading? It’s heading out back to my new electric smoker. It’s a bit of a wonderment. Electric grills get their smoke from the dripping fat in the meat and from a small pan of water-soaked wood chips. Chips the size of corn flakes. I’m not supposed to use over a cup of chips at a time.

    There is not much smoke in a cup of chips (See 1983 Wood Chip study, Tulane University). I found that out when I low-smoked a rack of ribs. Smoked those buddies for eight hours, just like the guy on the BBQ Website recommended. The guy must’ve smoked a really thick batch of ribs, ‘cause mine were way past done. They were black like I like, but the smoke taste was too faint.

    That was just my first try, though. I’m getting serious with my second effort. A lot is riding on it. Seems Kay and I are responsible for bringing the turkey and dressing for Thanksgiving. And, guess what. I’m gonna smoke the turkey. It’ll be the best we ever had. Possible exception, the time Al fried the turkey and about burned down Jill’s garage. I really like charred turkey. Prefer it, even.

    Kay’s not nearly as excited me experimenting at such a crucial time. When I suggested that we prepare two turkeys -- one oven-baked and the other Mark-smoked, -- she beamed. She’s going to be so let down when she sees how everyone prefers my smoked bird.

    Yeah, about one hour into Thanksgiving, the brothers are going to want a smoker just like mine. I’ll tell ‘em that Kay found mine somewhere in the direction of Waco. They won’t even ask. The Hayter boys are on the same page when it comes to matters of the wives. – Wow. I think I’ve stepped on another verse to my song.


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