It's summertime, friends. Hot days and muggy, serene nights. One of the wonderful perks of nice weather is that it draws so many carpet-walkers out of their shells. I was at the playground earlier today looking for coins in the sandbox, and it was wonderful to see how many of them were out enjoying the weather with me, talking and laughing and preparing food far from their stuffy kitchens.
Warm weather sure brings some delicious smells and tastes outdoors, and either later today or tomorrow I will be sharing one of my very favorite hearty summertime hobo meals. Today, though, I'd like to talk about being neighborly and sharing a bite with a friendly wayward carpet-walker.
The families I encountered at the playground were enjoying some grilled meats and vegetables at the nearby pavilion. After working up a little courage (I'm always a little nervous about striking up social conversation with non-vagrants, as some can be very judgmental), I decided to wander over and introduce myself. I'm glad I did.
At first they seemed to be a little leery as to why my hands and knees were saturated with sand, and that I was wearing several layers of duct tape as shoes. I lightened the mood with a joke about two transgendered magicians that had wandered onto a pirate ship.
When all was said and done, I ended up being offered a piece of grilled chicken, grilled & buttered corn-on-the-cob and a can of soda-pop before I was sent on my way.
I encourage you to try to get out there and enjoy the company of carpet-walkers and their tasty grilled meats, complete with seasonings, rubs and marinades. It really does make for a nice change of pace from your traditional hobo slurry.
For my shy readership, there are less-social alternatives to striking up a conversation at a playground or park. A great way to get a few bites of this sort of food is by helping yourself to the large buffet that is the average American neighborhood. Most carpet-walkers will leave their grills unattended for long stretches, and it's really unlikely that they will miss a half a hot dog, quarter of a steak or chicken breast skin. Some frown upon the practice, but helping yourself to a sample really doesn't do anyone any harm--as long as you don't go overboard! Make sure to leave them more than plenty for the working man. By picking a half dozen or so grills instead of focusing on just one, everyone can enjoy their fair share.
And, hey, perhaps the carpet-walkers will end up sticking around to tend to their grills. That's great, too! Stop by, say hello, offer a smile, a story or an anecdote. They'll no doubt share some of their bounty with a weary traveler.
Remember to always be respectful and courteous. There's almost always plenty to go around.