Beer, meat, music, and laughter

COVID quickly changed how we socialize with family and friends. Strict rules were put in place, and fear slowly crept into each household as we were bombarded with tragic news. It became a soul-pulling summer, fall, and winter.

I’m a very sociable person, and I thoroughly enjoy spending time with friends. Before COVID, we would meet casually over a beer(s), talk stupid politics, mutter some obscenities, joke about stuff, and review some rather dubious DIY projects. Typical guy stuff and bound to offend someone listening in.

When we were told to prepare for the zombie apocalypse, it was clear we could no longer meet friends. Lockdowns and isolation have a serious impact mentally, even if we might enjoy being the introvert at times. I saw how these isolations negatively impacted friends and family.

Over the past 5 years, I have developed a few good friendships. We might disagree on political topics, but we respect each other’s opinions. That said, we try to avoid politics – it is boring to talk about.

After more than six months of lockdowns and isolation, I decided it was enough. It was time to meet my friends again. We need an outlet and some socialization. And, I was certain that our wives would appreciate a few hours without a sulking dude spitting in his empty beer can while watching “Dancing with the Stars” in his tracksuit pants.

I established the knucklehead BBQ. I had to get my buddies out of the COVID looming depression and get some laughter (and alcohol) into our lives again. We enjoy the outdoors, fire, and food. A knucklehead gathering is a recipe.

An awesome gathering of top rated knuckleheads. Surely this is a good idea?

It had to adhere to CDC guidelines, so it was important to keep a safe distance and roam in the fresh air with limited dancing. Our knuckleheads’ reunion was outside; rain, shine, or snow.

I invited the boys over for back-garden BBQ, beers, music, and laughter. I volunteered as the grillmaster and even bought all the drinks too. It was important to get this kicked off. Paying for a few friends to enjoy themselves is not a huge expense.

Fire roaring

We all needed this outlet. There was a sense of relief and back to some normality as we gathered around the fire pit with a few cold beers. I threw some wings on the Traeger grill, some pork belly on the Breeo fire pit, and whipped up some of my spicy Viking sauces. All while listening to excellent music on my Demerbox.

(if you didn’t notice, this was my free advertising for all the cool stuff I have)

The knucklehead gathering started late afternoon and went well into the evening – close to midnight if I remember correctly.

We laughed. We shouted. We hurled abuse at each other (friendly, of course). We ate too much. We drank too much, and we peed in the wild. Man, this was a proper guy evening and totally safe.

I was the doctor ordered, unless the doctor was Dr. Fauci!

Calm your horses, and don’t get your knickers in a twist! We can agree or disagree about the celebrity TV doctor’s predictions and recommendations. Social gathering is important for our mental wellness. Escaping lockdowns and interact with friends safely is essential.

Listen, this was a much-needed break from the COVID isolations and lockdowns. We all have to get out and let off some steam, and the best way for us is to meet in the safety of the outdoors, observing social distancing, and still have fun.

You do not have to be stuck in houses. You can get out. You have plenty of opportunities, and you need to seize the moment and respect the health guidelines. Spending time with family and friends in close little groups is safe.

Winter gathering – building a wall

The Knuckleheads Gathering was conceived in October 2020, and we are meeting every month since. Each month we switch to each of our houses, share the food and drink costs, and cook using fire or grills. It is bloody awesome, although the hangovers can be a little much at times – especially as I’m getting older.

We are reviewing membership to this exclusive club. No skills required. Applicants have to be interested in sharing funny stories, throw shit at each other (not literally), ideally have some cooking skills and a desire to share alcohol.

Alternatively, please create your own knucklehead gatherings and share your pictures and updates with me. I would love to hear how you stay sane during this shitty COVID shutdown.

Happy drinking, laughing, eating, hangovers, and grateful for good friends during COVID. Everything is great when we can socialize and chat, just like in the old days.

I will be sharing some cooking (and drinking) pictures from our gatherings. It is simple food on the grill. That said, it is super delicious. Over the fire, cooking adds an amazing flavor to the meat. The food sensation might be marred by consuming too much alcohol, but everything tastes nice when a little drunk.

I’m grateful to have met some great guys, despite their many facial and personality flaws. We can make a shitty situation funny and let the chaos around us fade away. Without my knucklehead friends, the pandemic would have been a lot worse.

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