I decided to accept an offer from a casual friend when he invited me to his home for a cookout. Over a couple of weeks previous we had watched a couple of sunsets on the beach, shared some wine and conversation.
He seemed like an okay guy. French but here in this country for over 30 years, he still retains the accent and smatters his speech with French phrases.
He asked what I’d like to have at the cookout. I said Chicken would be nice! With that he said he would get some chicken.
So last Sunday I spent three hours preparing some side dishes to take along: stuffed zucchini, meatballs in a sweet chili sauce, a jar of homemade red beets, some wine.
With everything in the car I drove the couple of miles to his house for the evening’s event.
When I got there he was outside putting away tools and such. He showed me around the place then we went into his house and I met his daughter and friend.
All was going well. He offered to help me bring my dishes in from my car. With that accomplished, he got some cheese and bread, laid them on the table and said, Help yourself. Well, the food was still in the wrappings so I offered to slice the bread and cheese.
He told me I’d find knives and plates in the kitchen. Then he said I have sometheeng to feeneesh outside. I’ll be right back. With that he walked out.
Okay, yes, oui, I started to think this was a bit strange. But the wine looked inviting and his friend even washed out a glass for me to use. So I got some plates and set out the food I had brought along with the bread and cheese.
A few minutes later “Mr. Pepe” walks in and says We can go out and start the greel if you’d like. So we went out on the deck. He pointed to a bag of charcoal and said You can poot the charcoal in the greel and I will cut some frootwood to go on top.
With that, he meandered off again while I poured charcoal and got it lit. Heh! Little did I know! The best was yet to come.
When he appeared again, he went to his fridge and got out the chicken to barbeque. A whole chicken!
When I asked how he was going to grill it he said Oh, it is for you to cut up while I feeneesh my chores outside.
Okay, this is where it got surreal! I was in awe that this was actually happening as I got a knife and proceeded to do something I had never in my entire life done before: cut up a whole chicken. Thank God I didn’t ask for Pig!
Next scene, yes, oui, I am on the deck grilling chicken, chicken that looked like a blind person had cut it!
Finally finished, I took the nicely grilled chicken and set it on the table. Everyone dug in and said how good it was……except for “Mr. Pepe” who proclaimed, Eet ees a beet dry. But you’ll do better next time!
All I could do was smile and think, In your dreams, Mr. Pepe! In your dreams!
(Relating this story to daughter Amber, she said Mom, the Universe has a wicked sense of humor when it comes to you and men!)