Zach’s personal story of the week

I live in a condominium complex in the Buckhead section of Atlanta. It’s far less glamorous than it seems. Directly across the street from our home is a QT gas station where all the Mexican day laborers hang out.

One of the downsides of condo ownership is that we’re not allowed to own grills. To make up for this, we have a tiny workout room, a mosquito-infested overchlorinated pool, and three grills. The two older grills were inconveniently located as far from our condo as possible. Also these grills were cleaned as often as I get a pedicure. That would be never.

About six months, I found a brand new grill installed right behind the tennis courts directly next to our building. Life was sweet.

It was the first time I used the grill. Ever other time subsequently, the grill was out of gas. Once it had gas but the grill would not get hotter than 200 degrees. When chicken is supposed to be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees, that’s cutting it close.

Yesterday I was at Kroger and there was a nice selection of closeout filet mignon. This is also known as the salmonella special. I had to cook this meat the same evening. Our local grill was predictably out of gas. The second grill had gas but someone had removed the ignition button. Seriously? The third grill had a malfunctioning ignition button, but there was one of those long-stemmed flame mechanisms chained to the grill. This mechanism costs $4 at Target tops, but it was chained down. The grill caught fire with such intensity that I almost burned off my eyebrows.

I had a flame. Life was good. I also had been bitten by mosquitoes about 100 times. Because of this, I returned to the grill prepared. I wore a long-sleeve workout shirt and red workout pants. Those punks were not going to bite me. I sweated it out and cooked the meat to medium. I even risked my health for the aesthetic purpose of getting grill marks. I worked too hard to not get grill marks.

Victory was mine. I sweated out a pint of fluid and lost a pint of blood, but it was worth it. The wife and I had a glass of Italian wine on the side. I’m that worldly.

Zach’s long-neglected single of the week: Drama Queen by the Switches.

I will take a day off fantasy football discussion and congratulate Carlos Quentin, Joe Crede and Jeremy Dye for representing the White Sox in the All-Star game. I’m not sure how the team managed to lack one member of the team with the best ERA in the AL, but there were a lot of deserving candidates outside of the South Side. Here’s to the AL winning again and the NL never getting home-field advantage in the World Series again.

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