A good old fashioned barbecue is a time-honored summer tradition for families and friends. People gather together with good food and connect over great memories and shared stories. But, a few people always ruin the fun for everyone else. Never invite these guests to your barbecue.
“Thanks for that rousing story on food poisoning. No, I’m not hungry anymore.”
1. The Debbie Downer - Whenever there is a party, inevitably there is one person whose sole purpose is to stop all the fun. This person, usually a woman (hence the name, Debbie Downer), makes sure to hold half hour long conversations about their cat’s leukemia and the subsequent nonstop vomiting that happens because of the disease the moment before the food is served. No matter how positive the conversation is, it will curtailed and pushed towards something disgusting or depressing so that the rest of the party feels as miserable as she does. You see, every social event is actually about her depressing life. Debbie Downer sucks the life out of a party like a super-charged fun vacuum, and she will not stop until every guest at the barbecue is borderline suicidal.
2. The Smuggler - Every group of friends has at least one person who takes from the group mercilessly. This is the guy who still lives like he is in college even though he is quickly approaching his mid-thirties. He moves from couch to couch every week, and is perpetually unemployed even though he goes on job interviews “all the time”. The smuggler raids the refrigerator for every morsel of food at every gathering, and he uses get-together’s as opportunities to mooch money from his friends. He will take two or three plates of food if you let him. No cook-out will be spared his selfishness and begging.
3. The Beer Guardian - No matter how many seats are available and no matter how many times he is asked to move off the cooler, this douchebag sits on the one source of beer that is present in the backyard. He forces everyone to wait on him for refreshment. It could be because he lacks the social skills to just start conversations with people, so he uses the cooler as an icebreaker. It could be that he really enjoys the “power” that comes along with making people ask for a beer 30 times in a night. Whatever the reason though, this nut job should not be included in the outdoor festivities.
4. The Vegetarian - “Do you have soy patties or any quinoa burgers?” ‘No, you pretentious prick, I don’t.’ We are Americans, and Americans serve meat at barbecues around here. Who invited you anyway?’ A barbecue is an ode to good meat and fellowship, and you are bringing me down. Strangely, the healthiest eaters (vegetarians) are often the most overweight at the barbecue and the most annoying. Save your personal crusade for PETA for another occasion.
5. The Drunk - Most people come to barbecues for the free food, but some just come for the free drinks. And, this guy does not know when to say no. He had a few mixed drinks before he reached the party, he inhaled two beers at the door, and by the party’s end this guy has drank his own body weight in alcohol. He dances on tables, he made a pass at three housewives and someone’s underage daughter, and depending on how many more drinks he has in the hour, he could piss in someone’s gas tank before the night’s end. Binge drinking and bad decisions were fun in college. In adulthood, they are just sad.
6. That Kid - Children are always welcome at a barbecue. But, one specific kid really kills the party whenever he is present. The bratty kid who whines about everything and has absolutely no discipline is the ultimate party stopper. His parents pretend like they do not see him digging in his nose, and then plunging his entire hand directly into the dip that everyone has to share. He cannonballs into the pool continuously throughout the day dousing both people and meat with a healthy portion of chlorinated water. He tries to touch the grill, and then cries when someone stops him from burning his face off. This kid is entirely hellbent on destroying this occasion by himself. Parents you know if you have an obnoxious kid. Leave him at home.
7. The News Reporter - This poor soul has been absent without a social life for so long that all they can do in any social setting is report current events like a third grader standing in front of the classroom. They sit at picnic tables waiting in ambush for an unsuspecting passerby to make a benign greeting and hit them with the most disturbing news story of the recent past. “Did you hear about the father who beat up the kid that molested his son?” ‘Ummm…I have to run. My kid has his hand in the dip.’ Great conversation starter, right?
“No Chaz, I didn’t know my grill marks were uneven.”
8. The Foodie - This person wants to regale you with the differences between using apple wood saplings in your fire versus old hickory timber. They claim to only buy Wagyu beef brisket because of the extensive marbling, but they turn in the toughest cut of meat you have ever tasted every time you visit. Then, they instruct you on how you could control your fire with a better pit. This is the most knowledgeable person that you have ever met when it comes to entrees, but somehow also the worst cook you have ever met. And, they never leave your side while you are on the grill.