Dear every dad ever,
It's so easy to picture you, out on the grill. Every summer. Dressed in the basic tenets of dad-chic: sunglasses lassoed around the bend of your neck, white socks pulled to their breaking point over white New Balances, gym shorts far, far outside the zone of acceptable gym shorts-wear. Various degrees of hat.
Over the flames, beers were drank. Belches were had by the mouthful. Puns were scattered with reckless abandon. Alcohol, fire, and meat have a tendency to turn even the sternest dadfolk into a slightly poorer man's Tim Allen. It's OK. This was your time. Your element. And it was always kind of glorious.
Maybe you worked late during the week. It's commonplace that school-night dinners were spearheaded by a spouse or partner, or portioned out by strangers in takeout boxes and inhaled around the glow of Seinfeld reruns. But when you hopped on the grill, it was like Bruce Lee entering a cast-iron dojo. Ali hopping in a ring of lighter fluid and char.
Every kid assumed you could flip the most potent cheeseburger in the world, just as every kid knew you could out-arm-wrestle the mightiest of all the other kids' dads at the lunch table. You would twirl your spatula and rhyme every word you could with spatula and pretend to be ingesting said spatula (orifice of choice dependent on audience age) before mom or the neighbors told you to please, for the love of God, stop.