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18 Signs That You’re at an Awful Barbecue

10th Anniversary Big Apple Barbecue Sponsored By Southern Living
Brian Killian, Getty Images

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, and that means it’s time for one of our favorite things: grilling. Sometimes, however, what should be such a simple process can go horribly wrong.

Grilling a burger or a steak might seem like an easy, straightforward event—after all, it’s how cavemen managed to cook food for themselves for millenia. But cooking meat over an open fire pit is actually a fairly precise science that requires timing, technique and, above all else, wisdom. These are things that not every Joe Schmo at the grill has, even if he does have a World’s Best BBQ Chef apron on. Here are some signs you should watch out for if you’re at a Memorial Day grilling party this weekend:

  1. The cook has no eyebrows.
  2. The person cooking the meat is crying and referring to all the steaks by name.
  3. They baste the meat in barbecue sauce with a paint roller.
  4. They hunted the meat for the burgers themselves and advise everyone that they still might have some “rat poison” in them.
  5. You bite into a burger and break your tooth on a dog collar.
  6. The host keeps asking you what size roasting spit you wear.
  7. It’s hosted by a cat hoarder who needs to “make some space.”
  8. The invitation asks you to RSVP with your name, phone number and side dish you think you would taste best with.
  9. It’s sponsored by PETA.
  10. Somehow, the meat put up quite a fight as the host was grilling it.
  11. The cook remarks, “You know it’s true. There really is more than one way to skin a cat.”
  12. The “ham” in your sandwich is actually just a strawberry flavored Fruit-Roll-Up.
  13. The host thinks Corn Pops are a side dish.
  14. The cook works for the coroner and keeps joking about how he’s always “bringing too much work home with him.”
  15. The cook’s apron reads, “I’d rather be killing, I mean grilling. Yeah that’s what I said — grilling.”
  16. He keeps referring to the meat as “Charlie.”
  17. The host’s kid keeps asking everyone if they’ve seen his pet hamster.
  18. The steak has tire marks on it.

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