Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Barbecue Buddy

Want to cook with gas? Get yer ass back in the kitchen!

Traditionally, men are more prone to cook outdoors than women. I don’t know why, unless it’s the total fascination with fire that all men share. At any given time, on any given day, if there is a fire - be it campfire, fireplace, or barbecue - guys will be drawn to it like moths. Provided with a fire and a stick, a guy can amuse himself for hours, poking at the flames and coals. Provided a fire, a stick and something to cook, the average guy will immediately think he’s a culinary genius.

“Ya know, Babe, if you catch the marshmallow on fire, but blow it out real quick, it’s not too bad. It’s got a lightly crunchy, caramel flavor. Hey... I wonder if you smothered a flaming marshmallow by pouring chocolate syrup over it, if you could make sort of an instant S’mores thing.” 

For many of us, barbecuing is more than just cooking, it’s a passion. We embrace every opportunity to try our hand at the manly art of melding fire and food. We live for the chance to create a gastronomic masterpiece drawn forth from the pit of flame and smoke. For that reason, it is baffling that somebody hasn’t jumped on what is obviously an under-exploited market: the barbecuing male.

There is no lack of exploitation when it comes to the female of the species. There is a plethora of businesses that thrive on home invasion sales - Pampered Chef, Tupperware, Cabi Clothes and Do Terra to name just a few. These companies are accomplished at finding people willing to host parties where their goodies can be highlighted and sold. Prizes are offered in exchange for temporary use of the real estate; the value of the prize being proportional to the sales made at the party. 

It doesn’t take much imagination to realize the male barbecuing market is ripe for a home invasion marketing ploy. In fact, something like that would be considered a public service by most of the guys I know. What the world needs is a business that specializes in selling items of interest to the outdoor cook by way of the “BBQ Buddy” party.

Think about it. What is the one thing a guy simply cannot resist? Tools. Offer tools for sale and guys will not only beat a path to your door to slap down hard cash, they’ll beat a path to their neighbor’s door. Take it a step further by offering free tools for hosting the BBQ Buddy party, and the average Joe would not only spend cash, but would gleefully provide the path and door for the beating. 

One of the great things about the Barbecue Buddy idea is that it could be a progressive thing. Summer would turn into the Barbecue Buddy Party season, with each host trying to outdo the last.

NOT a Buddy Party tool selection.

“Herb, you’re giving the Buddy party this week, aren’t you?” 

“Yeah, and the pressure’s on, man. Wilbur really went all out on the last one.”

“I’ll say. Chateaubriand over slow-smoked artichoke hearts, seared zucchini slices brushed with olive oil and a side of fire roasted garlic heads is going to be tough to beat. What’ve you got up your sleeve?” 

“Can’t say, but it does involve a keg of Oktoberfest brew I had imported from Germany. We’re not talkin’ your dad’s schnitzel, bubba.”

Of course, no commercial enterprise is going to survive strictly on the popularity of the sales presentation. No profit means no business. That’s the beauty of the Barbecue Buddy idea. The entire premise could revolve around the prospect of an “add on” barbecue system. By starting out small, and fairly inexpensively, it wouldn’t be hard to get a legion of the Barbecue Buddy faithful hooked on both the parties and the products. Every party would be a chance to build up to another barbecue level, offering not only fun, but profit. 

“Geez, Burt, you’ve just about got to have the top of the line unit by now.”

“Sure ‘nuff, Chuck. I’m just shy of getting the coveted Barbecue Buddy ‘Choice’ rating. I’ve never missed a Buddy party. Started out small with just the ‘Buddy Burner Basic.’ Back then, it was just sort of a hibachi thing, didn’t have the patented auto-light feature you kids start with today. We had to do it with lighter fluid and a match.” 

“Wow. Those were the pioneering days, huh? Are you getting anything at my party?”

“Yup, I’m lookin’ to complete the ensemble. I’m ordering the ‘Big Buddy Bull Spit’ tonight. Oh yes, my friend, a rotisserie with the capacity and power to handle an entire Black Angus bull. Think that’ll get you a nice prize?” 

“Sweet! With that, I’ll be able to get the first aid kit for burns, and the Whacker-Slapper machete/spatula combination tool.”

“And next month, when I host the party, I’m gonna do it up right. I’ll be pitching a pair of vealers on that new spit just to show how it’s done.” 

“Oh, man! That all sounds too good to be true!”

I have to agree with Chuck. 

(Photo Credit: Picture of hot dog cookers is from Funny and Stupid Ideas blog.)

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