Thursday, April 23, 2009

Getting Grilled - Again

A few days ago I wrote about the issues attendant to my 8-year-old behemoth gas grill, and my desperate attempts to bring it under repair. Suffice it to say the attempts have failed; the unwanted repair part, which I could not intercept, is now winging its way back to Texas; and the grill-shopping commenced.

Actually, we’re past the stage of “shopping” and have made the purchase, but not without a considerable amount of pain inflicted by the dweebs of American commerce.

After I’d gotten past the stage of confirming that it would probably be wiser to purchase a new grill than spend money repairing the old, I fired up my web-browser and got to work doing the first step of the acquisition process: research. I spent more time than I wanted browsing sites of merchants who sell gas grills, and narrowed it down to about four.

My wife, who does 99.99% of the grilling, on a phone call from Seattle where she was at a conference, expressed her confidence that I could pick out and purchase a grill, after we agreed on salient points like price range, size of primary grilling surface (a spec made deliberately difficult to ascertain by most grill vendors who list “total grilling surface“ prominently - including side-burner area and “warming racks“), and intangibles like esthetics.

Her confidence, of course, was not well-placed.

I set off to personally examine the models I’d selected from my online research, taking my trusty tape-measure to actually calculate the “primary grilling surface”. This led only to frustration and further confusion, as the models I’d selected varied greatly in how the “primary grilling surface” was laid out. Some were “deeper” than our old grill and not as wide; some were wider, but not as deep. Decisions! Which would she prefer - wider, or deeper???

I shot a note off to her Blackberry saying she’d need to “see the grills with her hands”, an inside joke between us, about buying things you “see” on the internet, print ads, or TV.

Upon her return, we went to the store, where she spied a floor-demonstrator model I hadn’t considered. It had a dent. Everything else seemed fine. The sales guy talked to “the boss” and said they’d knock off 150 bucks. DEAL!!! Doing one quick final inspection, I asked “where’s the hose for the feed from the gas cylinder?”. Uh-oh. Missing. Long story short, the great deal on the demo model was not to be.

We wheedled “the boss” (after several trips back and forth between the sales guy and “the boss” - sort of like the crap they always pull at the car dealerships) into providing free assembly of the same model grill, which was in a box in their warehouse. And, we made them check to make sure it really was there. Be ready in a couple days.

Oh yes, and delivery? Well, they don’t do that. But you CAN rent a pickup truck from them for a “nominal” fee. And they’ll even have one of the guys help you load it onto the truck.

I’m thinking Saturday morning my son and I can heft that sucker into the gaping maw at the rear end of my giant SUV, and beat them out of their “nominal” truck rental fee. I just need to do a little more measuring, to make sure.

I’ll let you know how it turns out.


  1. The trials and tribulations, the angst.
    Thank you for letting us share the pain of your acquisition. And now we shall share the celebration of your good fortune, no?
    What time is dinner?
    Please provide a map.

  2. I'm not condemnin', I'm just sayin'... This is why I grill with charcoal. :)

  3. You should always check the terms and conditions of the truck rental service to be aware of the fees which you'll need to pay.