The Great Australian Bar-B-Que Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

The Great Australian Bar-B-Que

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There is a great tradition in Australia. It's called the Bar-B-Que, barbecue or BBQ for short. There is normally a reason for a BBQ, either a friend or relative has come to visit, a favourite footy team has won, or someone has got a new job... the list goes on.

The BBQ is supposed to be a 'manly' tradition. When a father's son is old enough to light a match, then the father will teach his son the ritual of how to light the perfect BBQ.

Women often observe at BBQs that it makes a nice change to see men doing the cooking, even if the meat ends up three times thinner than when it went on, and it tastes more of charcoal than actual 'edible' meat. To occupy themselves until the men decide that the steak is cooked, the women usually make salads and drink heaps of wine, and tell the kind of dirty jokes that under normal circumstances they would never let their man tell.

The most typical cut of meat that goes onto a BBQ is a 1kg piece of juicy rump steak * and then heaps of small pieces, such as fatty sausages, lamb chops, pork chops, chicken, and sometimes fish.

Since the BBQ is traditionally a man's domain, arguments usually erupt when the partner of the cook tells him how to cook the meat. His usual reply is, 'God woman, I know how to cook. Just go and sit down. The meat will be ready in a half hour'.

One feature of the BBQ is unwelcome guests. These are the flies, and everyone has to keep waving their hands around to be sure that they don't end up eating one. As soon as the meat is pulled out of the fridge, flies instinctively know that it will be BBQ time soon.

Another major feature of a BBQ is consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol. The ladies usually sip wine, but because of the huge quantity of flies ending up as floaty bits in their wine, they usually have to throw a few glasses away. The guys usually get half tanked up on beer even before the BBQ starts. As for the kids, they get the old beer bottles and fill them up with water to play a joke on dad1.

After everyone has had a huge feed, the BBQ turns into a back yard cricket match, or everyone ends up going for a swim. All in all, everyone has a good time, and the visitors say to the host, 'We should do this more often', and six months later they all do.

1They are able to do with so effectively because they are the ones who get the beer for their fathers.

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