Yesterday I was hanging out with an old friend of mine. We have been friends for over 35 years. No matter what happens in our lives- we have always remained in contact. We have had many adventures together, dating back to our childhood.
The first day we met was in Edmonton when his family moved into the neighborhood. I went over to say hello and introduce myself. Within minutes, we were playing together. We ended up going down his sloped driveway in a little wooden wagon. We rolled down towards the road where the moving truck was parked blocking the driveway. Two little boys had almost no control over the wagon. Just before we hit the truck, my brand new best friend of five minutes “steered” the wagon with the little metal bar, thus forcing the front wheels to turn sideways. The momentum of the wagon initiated a sudden crash as we flipped over onto the concrete driveway. Scraped and bruised we ended our first day together. A friendship that has never faltered.
Over the years, we had bicycle accidents together. We attended Boy Scouts. We played Colecovision for hours. We made Lego spaceships and had sleepovers. We got caught by my mother as we recorded on a cassette a song we sang about our penises. We went tubing down a river and he taught me how to play D&D. He was in university and I came to visit. On that trip, we got “arrested” by mall cops for smoking weed in an underground parking lot. He was in my wedding party. He’s The Godfather of our eldest child. Through it all, we’ve been great friends. I gave him a nickname when we were in grade 1 that he is still called by my wife and I:
Last night our adventures didn’t stop. What should have been a nice dinner garnered some excitement right before the meal was served. I broke one of my cardinal rules but since we’ve been friends forever, I didn’t think anything of it.
“Never touch another man’s grill.”
I have adhered to this rule all my life. I never BBQ at a friend’s place, even if I am asked to. You see each grill is a bit different. There are hot spots and cold spots. There are places on the grill that meat sticks to or slides gently off. My grill is off limits to everyone but me. Even my wife won’t use it. But last night, my lifelong best friend asked me to attend to the grilling of the pork ribs.
Everything was going smoothly until I was about to take the meat off the grill. Suddenly a grease fire took over. I shut all of the burners off and moved the meat to the edges. My friend in all of his wisdom acted quickly and dumped his beer into the grill. A huge cloud of smoke went up into the air. With a sudden crash, the bottom of the grill fell out.
More flames remained stuck on the bottom dancing wildly under the BBQ. My friend grabbed my beer and dumped it on. This time the flames went out. Grease fire and beer- not the smartest plan. I had no idea we were going to his place for dinner and a show.
My friend and I have had numerous adventures and we have lived to tell the tales. We are only ten days apart in age (I’m older-therefore wiser). Our sons have become good friends because they are very close in age. It’s a lifelong friendship that is passing on for another generation. Many more stories to tell.
Assuming we don’t burn the place down in the process.