Snuffing Out Americana

Well – it’s starting. In cities across the country, Mayors, City Council members, and other various nanny-legislators are attempting to snuff out (pun intended) something quintessentially American – the backyard barbecue.

For centuries—millennia, even—man has cooked his yummy meat products over an open flame while enjoying the great outdoors, as well as the aroma of said yummy meat products.

Yet, in January of this year, the AP wrote: “The booming popularity of outdoor kitchens among homeowners in the San Francisco Bay area has an increasing number of their neighbors coughing and hacking from the smoke, leading air-quality officials to consider tightening rules on wood-burning pizza ovens and smokers.”

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Well, I thought they were just talking about the old Weber grill, but in San Francisco, they can’t settle for just some
old grill. They, instead, must have an outdoor kitchen. You’ve probably seen these things. They are literally luxury kitchens constructed in one’s backyard. A lot of these setups are more expensive than your average home elsewhere in the country.

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Yet, the nannies in San Francisco won’t stop there – they can’t. Their proclivity for controlling our lives won’t allow them to. The “tightening rules” will inevitably lead to an all-out ban on grilling of any kind. Oh, I suppose one could have an EPA-sanctioned scrubber installed on your grill, like the ones installed on coal-fired power plants, but that might be both impractical and a bit pricey.

Instead of a scrubber, residents might just take their chances at covert barbecuing – maybe at 2 AM light off or something. But watch out, for the fines proposed will be $100 for first timers and $500 or more for repeat offenders – each offense. Then, after that, I suppose the Bobbies will cart you off to prison for a little “grilling” under the bright interrogation lights.

Unfortunately, what starts in California, doesn’t stay there. Other liberal cities have picked up on the barbecue ban and are running with it.

What have I said about California? It needs to be walled off from the rest of America and a total information blackout must be imposed so that nothing can escape.

Now it’s one thing to regulate backyard barbecues and smokers in California, but don’t start messin’ with Texas.

Too late. In March, a “proposed city Council resolution could threaten Austin’s continued status as an international destination for Texas barbecue. District 3 council member Sabino “Pio” Renteria is spearheading a code change to limit barbecue smoke in residential areas. Pit master Aaron Franklin tells [Austin] Eater if such a code were to pass, it could force Franklin Barbecue and many other barbecue joints in Austin to go out of business.”

So this “code” will not only limit residential barbecues, but also those wonderful barbecue joints that emit one of the most pleasant smells I can think of. Seriously – Glade or Febreze or someone should bottle it and sell it as room air freshener.

“The proposed code change would require any restaurant or food truck using ‘a wood or charcoal burning stove or grill’ within 150 feet of residential zoning to install an exhaust system known as smokes scrubbers, ” which Franklin figures will run between $15,000 and $20,000. And you thought I was kidding.

But Franklin says, “He carefully vetted his restaurants new smokehouse with all of his neighbors, and says he received nothing but enthusiastic support.”

Of course, none of this will matter to the eco-Nazis in ultraliberal Austin, Texas, a city which would be better off in California—because it’s not about the smell—it’s about global warming—it’s about the precious air-quality and the environment—oh, and the freedom to just live our lives without being preached and regulated to death.

But that’s what nannies do. It’s why they exist. And who better to tackle this new scourge than the EPA.

In March, the EPA gave $15,000 of our money to students at UC Riverside to develop a catalytic converter for grills. Yes, you did read that right.

These people won’t be satisfied until they suck the fun out of every aspect of our lives. Even after all the rules and regulations imposed by the Obama EPA, there is still too much freedom in America. asks if, “Charcoal will be added to the controlled substances list,” and whether now the EPA will institute a “grill buyback program.”

Yes, turn in your grill, and, in exchange, we will offer you a basket of organically grown kale and a biodegradable hemp bag full of gluten-free pasta.

I suppose the Weber and Kingsford companies should spend a bit more money on lobbying in Washington and less on making our grilling experience more pleasurable.

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