Thursday, July 22, 2010

Today, I pulled a Leroy

Today, I pulled a Leroy.  Today would have been my dad's 88th birthday, so it is only fitting that I pull one like this.  I guess the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.  The picture to the left is me, my dad and my oldest grandson when he was about 3 or 4.  One of my favorite pictures.

For those that didn't know my dad, you missed a character.  But for all his great qualities, he was quite dangerous to be around.  I have seen him almost blow up his bbq pit using gasoline as a starter, he shot the end of one of his fingers shooting a 22 rifle, he either sunk or was thrown out of several boats.  But he laughed all the way doing it.

One time at the lake while working on the boat dock in the dead of winter, he slipped and managed to get me thrown in the freezing water.  He put me on the plow behind the tractor at the deer lease when I was about 12.  The purpose was to hold the plow in the ground.  I swear he ran that tractor at full speed.  If you knew him, you had your own story.

But I think he  was looking down on me today and laughing.

I was going to fix some fajitas on the gas grill on the back porch.  I started out as usual and started the burners to burn off the grill.  Usually let it get to 300 degrees and clean the grill.  Got distracted today and forgot that it was on.  My wife came in and told me the grill was smoking really bad and there was a fire in the bottom.  Well, when I got there the temperature gauge was past the 800 degree mark.  It was hot.  My wife said the window behind the grill was extremely hot.  I just turned off the gas and went back in the house.

A few minutes later, I came back out and the temperature was at 500 so I cleaned the grill.  I decided I could cook these fajitas with the gas off, it was still that hot.  I put the meat on and went back into the house.  There was still some fire at the bottom of the pit due to old grease.  I wasn't worried as I thought it would burn out. I went back into the house.

A few minutes later, my wife said that I had better go look at the grill.  There were flames everywhere and a wire was on fire.  I said the gas is off, so there is no problem.  She insisted and I went outside.

I quickly realized that I was in trouble.  The heat was over 500 degrees and the wire that she was talking about was the rubber hose that went from the propane tank to the burners.  Yep, even though I had turned the gas off, it was burning from that hose.  At this point, I told my wife to go get the water.  Instead of going for the hose, she went inside to bring me a pitcher of water.  It was getting worse.

Now I have forgotten to mention at this point that I had some blue jeans on that are a little too big for me.  I need to wear a belt with them.  I wasn't wearing a belt.  Now back to the story, I ran to get the water hose to spray on the fire that was getting bigger.  On the way back to the grill from the water faucet, I lost my pants.

They fell down around my ankles and I almost fell down running with the hose that was blasting water.  I managed to kick the pants off and start spraying water on that burning hose.  There I was in a shirt and my underwear fighting a propane fire with a water hose. My wife didn't know whether to laugh or cry or run for cover.  I had some of those thoughts myself. After about 3 or 4 minutes, I managed to get the fire out, and then I could shut the valve off on top of the propane tank.  Those were a tense 3 or 4 minutes.  I was afraid I might burn the house down.

I got the meat (of course) off of the grill and took it inside.  Leroy would have done that too.  I sat down and remembered it was his birthday.  I pulled a Leroy and I know that he was laughing at me from heaven.

I decided to tell this story because of self defense.  My wife promised not to tell anybody until she saw them.  Anyway, it's not all that bad, it made me remember a great man today and one that I loved dearly.  Even if he was dangerous to be around.


I always like to include a video to go with my stories.  The only fitting one I could find was Leroy, the Redneck Reindeer by Joe Diffie.  My dad in later years always wore suspenders and a Caterpillar hat, not a John Deere.  My brother in law works for Holt.

Leroy, The Redneck Reindeer    Watch this video, Leroy the Redneck Reindeer and my dad were a lot a like.

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