Tim Belford: Short Takes On Life
Tim Belford
Tim Belford
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Tim Belford is host of Quebec A.M. -- CBC Radio's popular English- language morning show (91.7 FM, 6-9, Mon.-Fri). He also is said to know a thing or three about wine.

Posted 05.28.03
Quebec City


It's Fiesta Time

Not long ago I told you about the hunt for a gas barbecue.

How it was fraught with assorted pitfalls including sorting out everything from square footage to BTUs.

Well, you'll be pleased to know -- I know the love of my life is -- that I finally came to a decision.

I purchased the Fiesta Cook Rite 300.

It has 34,000 BTUs, can handle dinner for six, and comes with heat distribution plates instead of lava rocks -- a step up on the cooking scale the makers assured me.

One of the added advantages was the assurance it could be assembled in fifteen minutes with no tools.

Somewhere, possibly in a parallel universe, the term fifteen minutes must have an entirely different meaning.

Closer to, let's say, one hour earth time.

And a hammer, adjustable wrench, pliers, and a screw driver do not qualify as tools.

That said, the friendly people at Fiesta did supply me with a useful diagram indicating the step-by-step procedure for assembling the Cook Rite 300.

You know the kind.

It has pictures of the bolt, the washer, the part it supposed to go through, and the wing nut all drawn in a row in the right sequence.

Any idiot can do it. Well, as it turns out, almost any idiot.

But, I got it assembled all right. The real terror didn't set in until I started reading the instructions for using your appliance correctly.

Now remember, my barbecuing up until now has been done mainly at the hibachi level.

What I have now is something between a blast furnace and a thermal nuclear device.

In the instruction booklet I counted no less than eight warnings that failure to follow the instructions would result in everything from broken glass to explosions causing serious bodily injury.

There was even a warning that said do not use your barbecue until you have read and understood all the information in this manual.

But, by the time I read and understood everything, I had reached a state of paralysis akin to a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car.

Or in this case an oncoming explosion causing serious bodily injury.

So there it is.

I'm assembled. I've got a brand new propane gas canister. I'll probably fill it within a couple of days.

And then, like US President John Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis, I'll stand, finger hovering over the all important red button.

Until I get up enough nerve to fire it up.