Friday, August 05, 2005

Excuse Me?

Johnny Otis accompanied me all the way to the fish market, so I really had no excuse for the musical misprision that came out of my mouth. I shimmied through the door in a very good mood and picked out a small fish for later this evening. I chatted with the fishmonger about grilling techniques. One mound of coals or two? Fancy fish basket or no? A rub of oil? Some herbs? He asked what kind of grill I planned to use. I extended my arms in a textbook first-position "o" and said, "you know, one of those ubiquitous Weber grills." He stared at me. Hard. Maybe my use of the word "ubiquitous" amused him. Maybe the ballet arms were a little much. With the slightly puzzled look still on his face, he said, "I'd recommend one pile of coals, but place your fish on the outer edge. Put the hood on and make sure the vent is open. Those, uh, Weber grills are pretty straightforward, really." He stressed the word Weber: wĕb'urr. I realized my faux pas, the fault of all these years immersed in classical music, and felt myself go red. No wonder he gave me a funny look! I paid for my fish and hurried home to prep it for its fate on the (I kid you not) "vāyb'r" grill.


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