If there’s one thing a man needs in his life it is to feel like he’s the master of his own universe. Maybe he’s not the emperor of half of Europe or the CEO of some multinational corporation. Maybe his universe is a little smaller than that. If he can’t control anything else in the world then perhaps at least he can control the nobs on his own barbecue.
Ahh yes! The master of turning raw flesh into charcoal, that’s him.
“Step back, kids. This is man’s work. Is your mom sure she doesn’t want to come and see this?”
“She says she’s busy chopping the salad, mixing the dressing, pealing potatoes, boiling the corn, and preparing the buttercream filling for the spiced chocolate torte.”
“Aww, women.” He says, “The fairer sex.” At this point he strikes a match and removes his eyebrows with a ball of flame.
Man’s work indeed.
But a man’s work at the grill is no trifling matter. An open flame requires careful attention and strict precautions like a bottle of beer within easy reach.
With the flame dampened down to a minor emergency he can step back and take satisfaction in his victory over the beast that he wrestled from the cooler at the grocery store. He’s been out in the wilds of society and he’s returned to provide for his family. They depend on him, they look up to him and admire him and this fills him with pride.
The children watch him dubiously, not really sure if they should call mom for help or if dad really wanted to be baking the paint off of the side of the house like that.
Dad sees the look of awe in their faces and gives them a wink. Fruit of his loins. He’s their hero, their role model. Here in their formative years he’s shaping the people they’ll become by setting an example of control and confidence and...
“Yes son.” Here it comes. He knows it. This is what being a dad is all about. He can feel tears tickle at the corners of his eyes.
“I think your shirt’s on fire.”