This Thursday July 4th marks the anniversary of the birth of our nation, the signing of the Declaration of Independence. As Americans, while we all appreciate the significance of this historic document, we also hold these truths as self-evident – that July 4 is the official beginning of summer, a great excuse to get together with friends and family, enjoy some all-American hot dogs (or tofu pups for the vegetarians among us), and watch some fireworks.
With that in mind, we’d like to dedicate our blog this week to a special group of workers who volunteer to not take July 4th off, who toil without compensation, and without whose efforts no Fourth of July celebration would be complete: the grillmasters.
As attorneys who work to ensure the rights of workers throughoutMaine, we thought it would be important to create a Grillmasters’ Bill of Rights:
Grillmasters’ Bill of Rights
1) The right to choose. The grillmaster is volunteering his or her time to feed the masses. He or she should be allowed to do so in the way he or she sees fit. There should be no interference involving: steak cooked in any specific way, sterilized grates for veggie burgers, requests for more cheese/less cheese, or complaints about burnt chicken wings from the occasional grill flare-up.
2) The right to be free from harassment by Uncle Joe (or other friends or relatives displaying similar traits). The grill is a vulnerable place as there is nowhere to escape certain party guests. The grillmaster should be protected from relatives and friends who share certain unfavorable traits. These traits include: hovering, critiquing grill techniques or detailing their own grilling techniques, picking at food on grill, asking why it’s taking so long, noting that the grill isn’t hot enough, and telling long boring stories about themselves. Also, grillmaster should be heavily protected from all whiny children.
3) The right to cool refreshing drinks. The grillmasters are working over hot coals, or gas grates. One or two friends from the party should be available to check in on the grillmaster to ensure he or she is properly hydrated with the refreshment (alcoholic or otherwise) of the grillmaster’s choice.
4) The right to bathroom breaks when needed. With proper hydration comes the need for occasional (or even frequent) relief. Friends from the party should be available to take on grilling duties to allow grillmasters to use the restroom.
a. Grillmasters should also be allowed to cut in front of all men under 65, all women under 65 who are not pregnant, and any child over the age of 5 who is not knock-kneed and bouncing.
5) The right to first bite. This is possibly the most important. As the only one at the party who has opted to refrain from swimming, horseshoes, dancing, or any other frivolous activity in order to stand over a hot grill and cook food, the grillmaster should have a plate set to the side of the grill for the sole use of taking the best cooked pieces first.
6) The right to be free from clean up. Possibly the next most important. After sweating all day over a hot grill, the grillmaster is entitled to a free pass when it comes to clean up at the end of the party. Leave it to the spouse or guests (or better yet, the kids—good luck!).
This Fourth of July, provide your grillmaster with this bill of rights (and a hearty thank you!) and you may just find it easy to recruit him or her to all your cookouts this summer!
Happy Independence Day to all from your friends at McTeague Higbee!
If you believe your rights have been violated, contact us.