Just a quick meal on the grill

Maybe I should have just stuck to the band burgers I ate Friday night at the New Albany football game.

Because I got there early (Jenny says I’m obsessive about getting to places really early, but that’s another story), there was no crowd at the condiment table. I was able to dress my burgers with my favorite fixin’s – tomatoes, pickles and mayonnaise.
By the time I had bought a football program from Ray Collins, chatted with interim Superintendent Jackie Ford and wandered over to my favorite spot in the bleachers, I still had an hour before game time to enjoy my burgers (yes, that’s plural. I ate two; I always do).
They were yummy. I just should have let it end there, but late Saturday afternoon, I got to thinking about those burgers.
“What do you want for dinner?” I asked Jenny.
“I don’t care; you pick,” she said, hardly looking up from the stack of classroom papers she was grading.
I suggested several things, but she said, “I thought you were going to pick.”
I picked: cheeseburgers on the grill.
In a few minutes I had gotten out the hamburger patties, the cheese slices and the buns. Then I remembered I had used up the last of the propane when I was cooking chicken on the grill several days before.
Our son Joe volunteered to take the tank over to Lowe’s and exchange it for a full one. After what seemed like an eternity, he called home.
“I’m sorry it’s taking so long. They’re looking for someone with a key to the propane cabinet out front,” he said
In a few minutes, he returned home and hauled the tank to the patio and attached the coupling. When I turned the knob, a loud hissing sound came from the coupling and I could smell gas.
 Joe unscrewed the coupling and found the tank had been damaged. Part of the threads had been mashed in. Back to Lowe’s he went.
In a few minutes he was home, lugging another full tank around to the patio. He hooked it up to the coupling and I turned on the gas. When I tried to light the grill, nothing happened. I tried several times.
“It’s not getting any gas,” I said. “Unhook the coupling and let’s see if any is coming out of the tank.”
There wasn’t. It was now dark and Lowe’s was going to close in a few minutes. Joe looked exasperated; I don’t think he wanted to return another one.
What are the odds of getting two bad propane tanks in a row? I thought. I volunteered to go with him. It was nearly 9 o’clock when Joe carried the third tank to the patio. By 9:30 I was carrying a plate of nicely grilled cheeseburgers to the table.
“Uh oh, I forgot to buy a tomato at the store,” I said.
No one seemed to care.
T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by e-mail at publisher@newalbanygazette.com.

About Chris Elkins

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