Tuesday, 10 June 2008

N.S.B.P. Live 2008 - are you ready to ROCK??

Every evening on the way home from the Land of Library, the carpool passes an apartment building. In the foyer of one end, every evening, a barbecue is taking place. The chairs are arranged in the doorway, while the barbecue itself balances between the front step and the pavement.

It’s led to quite the discussion. The first point that came up was that we are not all completely groovy with barbecuing on the front porch/ deck/ stoop/ entryway. As opposed to round the back of the house/ flat/accommodation. One of us was very firmly of the opinion that front porch = bad; back porch = good; viz, why would you barbecue on the street when you have a perfectly serviceable backyard in which to do it?

Then there was the drinking aspect. Were the two old guys with no shirts on, sitting in deckchairs in one of the small towns we passed through, who were not barbecuing but were drinking beer in the front yard, less or more acceptable than the motley crew in front of their apartment, also free of shirts, waving their burgers at passersby and – and this is another aspect – sitting on their couch, which they had pushed outside for the occasion?

Then, in the cycling leg of my triathlon commute home, I passed two shirtless guys drinking in chairs in their front yard with a barbecue and exceptionally loud music. Where on the scale do they fit?

Among the carpool, there appeared to be a sliding scale in effect, with the worst combination being some sort of neverending front-deck drunken shirtless barbecue party (and presumably, I don’t know, the most acceptable being sipping Pimm’s on the patio behind the summerhouse).
I'm leaning towards the side of "as long as it's a block party and we're all invited..."

But what do you think? Are you offended by the shirtless front-porch barbecuers in your neighbourhood? Or are you in fact the shirtless barbecuer yourself? I want international responses on this one, folks, because there are few things more fun than sweeping cultural stereotypical generalisations and, you know, poking fun at the Australians.

In the end, only one certainty arose from the whole debate, which was that Neverending Shirtless Barbecue Party would be an awesome name for a rock band.


Karen said...

Really, no one should have to see an old man in any type of yard, front back or side, without his shirt on. That's just way too much. I know because there's often one in my yard, front, back, side, wherever he chooses to be. If he would actually barbecue at the same time, well, that might be forgiveable.

Amber said...

I see. If you're going to be out there with no shirt on, ya could at least be providing the dinner. Good point, Kar.

Anonymous said...

Ok, you asked for international responses, so here's my bit for the Asian continent.

Well, people don't tend to have yards here, front, back, side or otherwise but that's not to say that we are spared the sight of less than toned shirtless men sitting outside on sofas having a barbecue. In fact we get the the ehancemnet of a guy barbecuing rancid tofu with his t-shirt rolled up to underneath his armpits while a chap next to him troughs his way through a bowl of chicken feet happily spitting the odd bit of gristle in impressive projectile arches.

That has to be on the bottom end of your BOOB (Bloomin' Offensive Outdoor Barbecuing) Scale.


Anonymous said...

Yikes - I can't beat the Asian entry - and actually it made me feel a bit sick, which is kind of good for the afternoon sugar cravings.
We have a variety on the sliding scale on our street:
1. Teenagers pretending to BBQ yet instead smoking pot - not offensive until they drop beer cans and fag ends (trans. for N. Americans, this is not limbs of gay people, but cigarette butts) on one's front lawn. however, they do wear shirts so not sure
2. Crazy old guy next door who thinks he is totally ripped and has a fake Bob Monkhouse/David Hasslehof kind of tan. He uses machinery at all hours of day and night to blow leaves, mow, polish cars blah blah and often sits outside at night with a fire down the back of the garden. Mainly wears sleeveless shirts (a LOVELY look on him) but is sometimes shirtless and sunbathing on the concrete at the side of his house which is DIRECTLY FACING US and ALL OUR WINDOWS.
3. People on front/side porch drinking a la your description - also they seem to love firecrackers which is the annoying part for me - they also tend to shout random things at passers by - always a nice variation
4. In Key West there is the anything goes in this 'gay paradise' version - shirtless women sitting on porches having a barbecue. Don't object but looks a tad dangerous...