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Hey, this burger still looks a little red. Can you put it on a little longer for me? ... A little longer, I still see some pink there ... Yeah just a little longer, it's still a bit brown ... Yeah, gosh, I'm sorry, but I want it to be completely black and turn to dust in my mouth like a forgotten dream. That one looks good ... yeah, this is great! Oh, that's a charcoal briquette? Interesting!


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No, that's fine, don't go out of your way. I'm used to not being able to eat anything. Just one of the sacrifices I make every day. Yeah, I saw the bean salad, I'm going to pile that up on my plate right now, but never actually eat it even though you made it just for me. I'll just sit here looking glum and occasionally whisper something to the guy who brought me here while I poke at the beans disapprovingly. Don't worry about what I'm saying! Yes, I DID see the grilled vegetables. I ALSO saw how they were grilled on the same grill as the burgers. So I'll pass. It's fine! Really, it's fine! I like doing this. For the animals. And the environment. If I had wanted to eat something, I would have brought something. After all, you did call this Mike's Meatacular Meatsplosion of Many Meats, so I should have known. And it's a potluck, so it definitely would have been appropriate for me to bring something.

I'm so hungry.

But don't worry about it.


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Whoa! Good thing I showed up, looks like no one else brought cole slaw. You'd almost think that people hate cole slaw, but that's crazy!

What?

Well, you'll like THIS cole slaw. I promise. Let me lay it out for you: First they take the blandest, stinkiest cabbage, then they mix it with creamy mayonnaise, then, and here's the secret, they add even more mayonnaise until it's pretty much just mayonnaise with a few cabbage bits. Add a dash of sour-ass vinegar, and then, what the hell, sugar for no reason, and BOOM: cole slaw.

Anyway, I brought two gallons of this stuff, and I won't be eating any of it. But I bet other people will. If you can't bring yourself to throw all this food away at the end of the day, you can always put it in your fridge and let it slowly rot there for the next eight months. Man, cole slaw is the best.


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You didn't already put salt in, did you? You shouldn't salt it until the very end, so it stays juicy. You should punch down the middle so the burger doesn't balloon out. Didn't you already turn that one? You shouldn't turn it so much. Now it looks like you're hitting me in the face with your spatula. You shouldn't use the same spatula you use for food for face slapping. It's unsanitary. No, no, no, you shouldn't slam my face on THIS part of the grill. This part is cooler and generally used for keeping cooked foods warm. If you really want to cause me pain, really get a good sear going, you should slam it over here where the coals are stacked higher.


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Heavy breathing...

(Two hours later)

...Heavy breathing


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This is no barbecue! No, deceiver, this is grilling! I came expecting meat slow-cooked for hours! Hours! But here I find no beef ribs, or pork ribs, or moist brisket, but burgers and hot dogs, licked by Hellfire for mere MINUTES! I hear agents of the devil say, 'This event is at noon, surely you didn't expect Mike to cook meat through the whole night,' or 'Barbecue is a regional term that can just as easily refer to the event, the food, or the device the food is cooked on,' or 'Shut the hell up already, no one cares.' Sinners all! For know this: I come from the Holy Land of Barbecue, The South, and the true voice of Barbecue has spoken to me, saying, 'Let any grilling session be called a "cookout," even if use of that term outside my region will sow confusion.' Amen.


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Well, it's been fun. Thanks for letting me stay here, eat your food, and make a huge mess. Now, before I go ... you may recall that I brought a six-pack of beer when I got here. Is that still floating around? I was keeping an eye on it, and I think there are still five beers left. So I'll just be taking that back with me. Wow, looks like a lot of people left their beer here! Either they're a bunch of lazy chumps who don't want to bother bringing this home, or they're intentionally leaving it here as a token of gratitude toward the host for spending so much time, money, and energy on this party. Probably the first one. There's no way you could drink all this, so I'm just going to take one of these other beers to replace the one that was drunk. Oh, perfect. And let's see, I was over here for about five hours, that's five hours that I could have spent working and making money. So, let's say I make about $15 per hour, times five hours, that's about $75 you owe me. You don't have to pay me now, but before the end of the month would be great.

No checks.


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Heeeeeeey! Guess who's finally here! It's me! And I could really go for a hot dog. Now, I know I'm a little late, but that doesn't mean we can't use half a bag of charcoal to cook two ounces of meat. And it'll only take two minutes to cook (42 minutes if you count the time spent bringing the grill up to heat).

Hey, you called it a barbecue, which means you're contractually obligated to give me freshly grilled meat.

Sure it does! Come on, all you were doing was 'sleeping' because the party 'ended' twelve hours ago. I'm just asking for one hot dog. Is that too much to ask? Okay, how about half a hot dog, but you have to use twice the charcoal for some reason. And if you could whip up some potato salad, that would be real sweet. Thanks, man, you're the best. I'm not even that hungry.