We’re officially hitting the time of the year where we don’t look crazy for wanting to grill out. Even if it’s not exactly warm enough for us to do so, the calendar tells us that we’re allowed and it’s time to take advantage and celebrate the end of one of the crappiest winters in a long while. If you’ve got a cooler, a grill and a picnic table you’ve got what it takes for a great summer party and while throwing a BBQ isn’t exactly rocket science, a few tips will go a long way. A few beers won’t hurt, either.
First, start with the guest list. Obviously you can invite whomever you’d like but guests who show up with additional snacks and/or booze should be extra welcome. Then like I said, you’re going to need a grill to get the party started. Hank Hill has strict guidelines about this sort of thing but as long as your preferred method has some flames and cooks some meat you should be all set. Make sure you’ve got the grill fired up and ready to go before people start showing up though because nothing dampers a hungry person’s spirits like having to wait two hours before their food starts to cook. Speaking of food and iconic father cartoon characters, you should remember the golden Homer Simpson mantra “You don’t win friends with salad!” Ensure you have plenty of burgers, brats and whatever other animal parts you want to hear sizzle because a BBQ with only sides isn’t that much fun. Your vegetarian friends can tell you all about that. Speaking of those herbivores, while their lifestyle may not be something you would try even if it meant winning a bet, it wouldn’t hurt to have a few veggie burgers or vegetable kabobs lying around too. After all, if they don’t have enough to eat they’ll just wind up drinking more than everyone else and listening to them belligerently bitching about the smell of burning animal flesh could really sour the mood. On second thought, if you’re friends with those types of vegetarians then maybe you shouldn’t invite them to your BBQ to begin with.
To keep your guests entertained while you cook (and away from your grill, which you’ve probably commandeered as your own domain), you should have some lawn or water sports. Whether it’s a set of bags (aka cornhole), bocce ball, horseshoes or volleyball, games are always fun. Being poolside is optimal on those extra hot days but if you lack a large body of water, bust out the sprinklers, super soakers and kiddie pool for maximum cooling pleasure. It’s fun for the whole family, because seeing overgrown and hairy middle-aged men lounging in a child’s plastic pool is the gift that keeps on giving. Just ask Instagram.
To be honest, not too much can really screw up a BBQ and as long as you have enough food and drink, the only thing you have to worry about is rain. Not even your local weatherman can control that so just check the forecast, stock up on supplies and prepare to have a good time. And if worst comes to worst, hairy grown men can sit around in kiddie pools in the rain.