Originally published in U Magazine, June 2008
Can you get the stench of burning flesh in the air? It’s that time of year again. Any day now, invitations to friends’ barbecues will come flooding in.
No one invites you to dinner during this period, no one says they’re having a few nibbles and cocktails in their garden, or in their 4’ X 3’ yard, in summer, you only ever get invites to barbecues. And because there’s been a week of sunshine, they’ve been out in force early this year. Apparently, it’s against the law to burn garden rubbish, but boy are you permitted to turn a small corner of your rear end into a funeral pyre for chunks of indeterminable animal offcuts. I’m sure many of you are now wearing tops that were out on the washing line when one of your neighbours threw one of these acts of wilful fire-raising; smells yummy, your t-shirt, doesn’t it? I bet you were delighted when you first noticed what was happening. First you catch the scent of hot charcoal, then your throat and eyes begin to sting and choke, and finally you see the black plume snaking over the fence, the universally understood smoke signal meaning, “Man. Cooking. Now.” Continue reading