From The Storyteller
Sept.10, 2018, Chicken
“Are the flames supposed to be that high? The chicken looks pretty black. Maybe if you spray some water on the flames it will help.” Gentle words give no comfort as my outdoor grilling disaster unfolds. Back patio, two couples as guests, cold beer, the potato salad is ready, and we discover we are about to participate in something very south of well done.
Black on the outside can be peeled off. Black on the inside is beyond repair. I’m good grilling medium rare steak so when we talked about grilling chicken for our friends I’m “all in.” My learning curve for grilling chicken included an awareness of too much charcoal, chicken grease dripping on hot coals, and far too much focus on friendly conversation.
That afternoon the Colonel provided the main dish, and I learned cooking chicken on a grill required paying attention. An easy lesson for a 28 year old, and one that has stayed with me. The lesson: focus on what you’re doing and your chances for a good result go up. Fail to focus and those chances fall off rapidly.
Being blessed with an above average ability to be distracted (read ADHD here), I need help to “get it done.” One of my tools is “chicken.” Just thinking of the mental imagine of that burnt carcass is enough to keep me focused. Just one of many tools in my tool kit. I’m an impulse buyer: tool, shop from a list. I drive fast: tool, cruise control. I’m big on carbs: tool, a bare fridge.
We’ve all got personal tools. You might not call them that, but they’re there, uniquely yours, and they make life more enjoyable. What do your tools say about you?
Moral: Personal tools may seem strange to others, but they work us.