There I was, minding my own business flipping the meat (and a few minor vegs) on the outdoor kitchen BBQ monster. We had relatives over visiting from the Emerald Isle, so I had to impress them with my new-found pit master skills.
It had been nice weather most of the day, very warm and humid, but the forecast had mentioned something as ludicrous as rain! Looking at the sky while preparing the meat burner, I was a little dubious about that prediction. So, we started up the BBQ and prepared the meat.
As the meat got gradually more and more delicious to look at it, as the juices started to flow and the wonderful flavours filled the air, I gently sipped my wine. Not too sure if it was the nectar from the BBQ griddle or the percentage in the wine, but I started to feel relaxed and good humoured.
My brother-in-law and I chatted away about the ol’ homestead, gossip and of course the European economy. Funnily enough, as we started to talk about the economy, the clouds started to grow a a little dark colour, as if something was looming or brewing in the distance. But they we still miles away from the house, so not immediate danger of them ruining the lovely BBQ dinner. Even if it did start raining the meat would be done within a few more minutes.
A gust of wind swept through the forest and all the crickets stopped playing their symphony. Everything went quiet. Something was definitely changing.
A few leaves started to flow down from the above branches, the wind gathered strength, but still no rain. Without warning, a short branch, about 5 inches, fell on the decking. Again, no need to panic or cancel the BBQ dinner.
Suddenly, a sharp pain shot through my left shoulder and a loud bang sounded as something large hit me and the BBQ unit. A 7 foot branch had snapped off the trees around us, and flew gracefully (and ninja silent) down to smack me. Not too sure if it was because I was burning some relatives in the charcoal or just a sign that the meat was done. Thankfully the branch didn’t knock over the BBQ unit, but it dented the lid and the force snapped a half-inch bolt holding up the lid.
I have to admit, it was fairly painful and I was delighted it hadn’t hit me over the head. Who would’ve finished off the BBQ if I had been counting the birds?
At first the pain wasn’t bad, must’ve been the effects of the wine, but then it grew. A strange tingling and warmth sensation spread through my right arm, and I had to sit down. It wasn’t as if I was going to pass out, but just an uncomfortable feeling. The last time I had felt this way was when I crashed on my bike, when I was 10. Back then my mum had been quick at picking me up and comfort me, but this time I was greeted by my brother-in-law.
He was obviously concerned, and very helpful, but I didn’t have the urge to hug like I had hugged my mum back then. My wife came out to check on the meet and ran towards me, making sure I was ok – then she asked for the meat.
I stood up again and decided that the meat was ready to be consumed by the family masses. I did warn people about possible wood splinters, but I was adamant that it just added to the flavour of the meats.
We had a lovely meal and now I had another “war” story to tell my kids and grandkids 🙂