In keeping with the flavour of yesterday's post, I'm now going to tell one of my favorite barbecue stories ever. Surprisingly, this one isn't a family story, this one happened to my old neighbor, Mr. Topazoglu, whose son we tried to kill repeatedly when we were kids.
One time Greg and I played with his Space Lego's for so long that we ended up with a bad case of cabin fever and had to go outside and blow off some steam. So we were whipping a ball or a stick or a rotary saw blade or something at each other, when the garage door opened.
Mr. Topazoglu emerged with an armload of barbecue paraphernalia. He wandered over to the barbecue and the first thing he did was turn on the gas. He checked to make sure the propane was flowing by sticking his head in the barbecue and taking a deep breath. Then he closed the lid and looked for the lighter.
Apparently he'd forgotten to bring it with him, so he wandered back into the garage to get it. Of course, he left the gas on while he searched. After several minutes of rattling and griping, he still hadn't found it so he went back in the house to look for it some more.
Greg and I crossed the street and stood on the neighbour's property, at a safe distance from his house, our dangerous game forgotten. Mr. Topazoglu came back out, lighter in hand, grinning madly. We sat down and covered our ears. We readied ourselves to watch Greg's dad die.
He opened the barbecue lid and coughed. Why he didn't pass out, we'll never know. He bent down, got the lighter into the little hole and pressed the button. Nothing happened. He got up, stuck his face in the barbecue and took another deep breath. Satisfied that the gas was still flowing, he crouched down below the barbecue and stuck the lighter in again.
It was the act of crouching down below the barbecue that saved his life. Because he'd opened the lid, the propane and air had finally mixed to the point of flammability and were just waiting for a spark. Mr. Topazoglu gleefully supplied the need flame.
There was a terrible ghastly noise.
A giant ball of flame erupted over the barbecue, ending in a huge mushroom cloud. After the cloud dissipated, Mr. Topazoglu stood up, held his hand over the now lit barbecue and smiled. "Ah very good!", he exclaimed.
We had burgers that night. They were indeed, "very good."
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