Just finished helping out at the College BBQ. Its a yearly thing where the staff and administration offer free hotdogs, burgers and pop to the students. The lineup seemed to last forever as hungry students stood waiting for their free lunch. The thing with kids. Free and food are always guaranteed to bring a crowd!
We had a BBQ as a fundraiser when I was in college. Each class had to come up with some way to make money to donate to a worthy cause. Our town practically flooding away was a great and easy choice, and selling Hots and Hams was even easier. When other classes were planning elaborate methods of fundraising, all we had to do was BBQ wieners and burgers. Sounds simple, right?
The first thing we had to do was to canvass stores looking for donations; mainly wieners, burgers and buns. And pop. We did pretty well, I must say. We didn’t have to buy anything. All we had to do was find a BBQ.
When we exhausted all possibilities of having someone donate a BBQ, I chose to use mine. It was nothing fancy, but it was trustworthy and always delivered. Actually, that was the problem…delivery.
I lived a half an hour from our BBQ site, so we had to find some way transport my main source of summer cooking to the front of the shopping mall. One of the students in our group offered his pickup truck.
It took both of us to load the ‘Q on the truck, but he insisted on fastening it. He argued that he was a Ranger and knew all sorts of rope tying methods. So I let him. Big Mistake!
He was also driving, and he drove like a bat out of hell. I was too scared to look back, but should have. When he hit one turn doing well above the speed limit, something flew out of the back of the truck and came within inches of an oncoming car. The driver pulled over and began cussing at us.
Paul pulled over as well, and soon joined the cursing guy. The both of them stood cursing at each other. I am not sure whether Paul even knew what he was angry about, but being the number one shit disturber in class, he was gung ho and ready for a fight.
When I got him calmed down enough to get back in the truck, I discovered what object had almost hit the guy’s car. It was our BBQ. Paul only fastened one end of rope to one side of the ‘Q, and when he made the turn, the entire thing swung out of the truck and then bungeed back into the box of the truck.
Unfortunately it was not that simple. Most of the thing was smashed to ribbons, including the burner. Luckily we removed the propane tank before leaving the house, or the damages would have been much worst!
When we finally got to the site of the cooking, we unloaded what was left of Ole Faithful and carried the thing to the curb. The wheels were no more, probably sitting in the back seat of that guy’s car!
I turned on the gas and lit the thing. At first, we were surprised at how well the flame under the burner turned that perfect hue of blue and yellow. We loaded the grill with wieners and burgers. The stuff was selling like hotcakes when suddenly a loud “WHOOF” came from the ‘Q.
The flame went out and we were left with several half cooked hot dogs. I fired the thing up again, this time we didn’t have the pretty blue flame. What we did have was a flame thrower mounted on a BBQ frame. Our wieners cooked quickly, well actually they burned quickly. Only thing was, we were only half way through the allotted time frame and had no earnings to show.
Just then, a large tour bus with students from a small community outside town pulled up next to us. “Anything ready? Got a bus load of hungry kids!” the driver said.
When everyone was ready to give up, I came up with an idea.
“CAJUN DOGS, GET YOUR CAJUN DOGS” I hollered.
When everyone was buckled over with laughter, I was at the table handing out hot dogs to the kids. I sold everything we had and we had to scorch more just to keep up. The flame from the grill reaching abnormal heights only managed to attract more customers, and we worked like dogs to keep up.
One kid hollered “Wow! Cajun Dogs. I heard of them but never tried them!”
He encouraged his friends to try them, and for some weird reason, the badly burned wieners sold quickly. He was even more amazed when I introduced him to a new menu favorite…Cajun Burgers. We burned everything we had and at the end of the day, we had reached our goal of $1500, plus made enough money to replace my broken ‘Q.
Who would have guessed how popular Cajun food was in Newfoundland?