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BBQ, Boats & Bug Spray

I read a study that said that people thought food tasted better when it was eaten outdoors. I agree, and add that cocktails and beers also taste better al fresco. The study concluded that although people felt more relaxed and enjoyed a meal in an outdoor environment, it was the dinnerware that played the strongest role in the meals positive results. When most eat outside they dine off paper plates which eases your brain to enjoy the food because there is no clean-up involved. There you have it, grab a pack of Chinet plates, some red Solo cups, and roll of paper towels and head for the backyard. You don’t have to mess with making sure your house is spotless, or plan how many place settings are needed when you throw a BBQ. That being said your calendar is usually filled up pretty quickly with invites, because even the most anxiety riddled person eases up in the summer and decides to host a get together. If you are planning a day on the lake on your co-workers boat or you’re heading to a friend of a friend’s house to watch their completely illegal salute to ‘MERICA! fireworks display, here are few tips to be a cool guest and ensure an invite back.

“A day on the lake adds a day to your life.” My dad would muse as we bobbed around the lake straddling neon colored foam noodles. This is true unless you own a boat, then I believe that the lake may shorten your life span due to stress. Trailering, dock fees, life jacket counts…I am still at the boat ramp and this is what is I am fretting about. When someone invites you on their boat for the day consider a few things before you head to the lake. First off, does the boat owner drink or care if you drink. If booze is a no go, pick up the phone and politely cancel because no one wants to spend the day on the SS Buzz Kill. If so, make sure you pack your cooler with cans and plastic. Please don’t roll up to the pontoon with a bunch of glass bottles, not that we think shatter proof bottles are safer (which they are), but throwing away a bunch of glass bottles at the end of the day is a pain in the ass. If you’re not a beer drinker there are ton of ready to drink cocktails on the market, as well as wines in plastic bottles. Rather than playing a mixologist on choppy water, premix whatever you bring on board. If you spill cranberry juice all over someone’s boat you may have to swim your ass to shore. Speaking of messes bring a few trash bags on board to dispose of your cans, wrappers, cig butts. Please don’t be an asshole and sink your beer cans using lake water or flick cigarette butts in the lake. Smoking may be a touchy subject too. I have seen a boat owner twitch with rage as a young lady’s Virginia Slim ashes fell upon his newly recovered vinyl interior. If you do smoke, and the boat owner doesn’t, grab an e-cig to calm your cravings. Fuel is super expensive people. A fill up on a boat can be well over one hundred dollars, and that’s if you’re lucky to not buy it at the marina! My family believes that our boats run on smiles, I have come up with this theory because I have NEVER had anyone pitch in for gas money. I don’t want much, and probably wouldn’t even accept money, but offering a few dollars towards the cause warms my barnacle covered heart. Before you take off for home see if the boater needs help covering the boat, or doing any other maintenance. Boaters are the friendliest people on earth and would never let you in on these pet peeves so take note. I promise it is easier to be a passenger on someone else’s boat than deal with all the bullshit that comes with boat ownership. If you are a boat owner and you’re reading this, I too will always have boat, and you’re welcome!

The Backyard BBQ is another one of summer’s staples. I have been to numerous outdoor summer parties and there are few key elements to make your night more enjoyable. The bag chair, camping chair, folding chair, whatever you call it, throw a few in your trunk or truck bed in June. If you are like me and roll in casually late, chances are all the deck furniture has been claimed. Great, now I have to eat ribs and potato salad while standing. I have been through many awkward parades around a patio finally surrendering to taking a seat on a Coleman cooler. Sitting on a beer cooler at a party is the equivalent sitting through a Catholic mass sans kneeling, once you get comfortable you are standing up yet again. Bug Spray and sunscreen are a must in a summer survival kit. Nothing ruins the day like painful sunburns, or a night like a case of West Nile. Single dudes you could be a hero to some attractive party goer when you present her a spritz of Skin-So-Soft you stole out of your mom’s medicine cabinet. You may be bug free and making out in no time! Depending on the party host you may or may not have to BYOB. I am not picky, but I usually pack a cooler just in case I am not a fan of the beer being served, along with extra RollnUp huggers for my coozieless friends. Smokers remember that everyone who “only smokes when they drink” will ask you for cigarettes as their BAC rises. Buy an extra pack so you don’t have a panic attack when you find you have one cigarette left at nine o’clock. Last but not least, be a super classy guest by giving your host a little gift. Even though an outdoor affair may be easier than a throwing a formal dinner party it still takes time and money. Gourmets grilling sauces, a bottle of Sangria, or freezable beer mugs are great summer themed gifts to show your gratitude for their hospitality.

The most important items to bring to all your summer events are water and a designated driver! Drinking in the heat can be deceptive so make sure you stay hydrated with water! Alcohol actually dehydrates you, so when you are at the ballpark or amphitheater go beer, water, beer, water etc…PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUCEMENT AHEAD “Hurting someone, hurting yourself, or getting a DUI will fuck up your summer!” Make a game plan to have a sober driver, cab, or car service get you home safe! If you are destination drinking, pitch in on a hotel room with friends or pitch a tent (preferably at a legal location, sidewalks tend to be frowned upon unless you are occupying such in such). So let’s recap, being a super summer fun buddy means being helpful, being prepared, being gracious, and being safe! I will end it on that cheesy line, Happy Summer!


by Holly Kruep