It is a rare and special thing to know one’s true calling.
Michelangelo was an artist, Einstein was lucky enough to stumble on physics, even Charlie Sheen seems to have settled into what nature intended for him. But most of mankind unluckily stumbles though life, fruitlessly searching. I, however, am also one of the chosen few. Alas, my natural place on earth is at the kitchen sink. If you go by Intelligent Design, God and evolution gave me the opposable thumb so I could elevate myself from the animals and my fellow man by grasping a scrubby sponge. Thankfully, it was someone else’s destiny to actually invent the scrubby sponge. It would NEVER have occurred to me to affix the rough to the soft…genius!
The Tao of Weber
I spend most evenings after dinner within arm’s reach of the sink. It’s a beautiful big white ceramic number, ergonomically arranged next to the actual dish washing machine. Not exactly the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel or E=MC2 or wherever Mr. Sheen does his business, but one can’t fight destiny. That doesn’t mean that one can’t sneak behind its back occasionally and pretend it’s possible. Whenever our food pyramid and micro-climate allow, I sprint out onto the deck and fire up the grill. I love to grill meat…I really do! Fish works as well. Brats, Italian sausages, turkey burgers. Even the veggies get a taste of open flame: grilled onions, zucchini – sliced and kissed with olive oil and salt. I know I’m not the best, nor accomplished in the art, but when I lift the lid of the Weber and my head disappears into the delicious cloud, my eyes aren’t watering from the smoke alone. When I barbecue, my heart sings. As an added incentive, on those nights I earn a reprieve from my scrubby sponge.
Lately, as I scrape the crusty cheese and cold pasta down the dispose-all (second best invention ever) I have been harboring mutinous thoughts. My mind drifts out the old window over the sink, up into the blue California sky and races Texas-ward. I’m not fool enough to think I can do a complete end-around on destiny, but maybe I can even out the scales a smidge. If I can learn to make that barbecue beef brisket or maybe some Southern grilled chicken with macaroni salad, then maybe my grill won’t just be a change of pace. If I’m impertinent enough to broaden my repertoire, a spicy barbecued leg of lamb comes to mind, perhaps I’ll be asked to man the flames, instead of just allowed to. It’d be a little like Charlie Sheen actually acting, instead of doing those things which come naturally to him.
The Dishwasher Dad lives, washes dishes, and grills in San Carlos, California.
Dishwasher Dad is a part time writer and former U.S. Navy fighter pilot.
He retired from the Navy Reserves in 2007 after two decade of high adrenaline flying. During his career he was twice deployed to the Persian Gulf. At the end of his active duty, in addition to joining the reserves, he became a commercial pilot. He also started flying the YAK 50 to maintain his dogfighting skills (it beats playing golf on the weekends). He lives, flies and writes from Northern California with his wife and 2 children.