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Can't Pry Him From the Porch

Porch Season is in full throttle. I do most of my work and the vast majority of my goofing off on the porch, as well as a fair bit of my idle fantasizing and all of my evil scheming. With a stogie and beverage in hand, there is no better hangout on the planet than my back porch. The porch is several feet above ground level and the land slopes away, so one gets that helm-of-the-ship feeling. Sometimes I stand up on the porch and shout, "Five degrees to starboard!" On the porch I am completely in command. No one can touch me. When I've got the stogie going, no one will even come near me.

This is a true story: The only night I had some chicken on the grill, a succulent boneless breast, and got out the laptop and did a little typing on the porch, had the stogie going, the beverage, was enjoying the twilight as it turned to night, kept tapping away on the keyboard, and the special powers of the porch enabled me to write an entire column. There was just one problem. The chicken! Oh my gosh. Beyond burned. Pride forced me to attempt to eat it. It was like eating a bathroom tile. When I bit into it, it didn't make a crunching sound, it made a CRACKING sound. Any liquid that had ever existed in the cells of that chicken breast had long since evaporated into the atmosphere above my grill. It had become a fifth state of matter (solid, liquid, gas, plasma, my chicken). Scientists should study that hunk of meat for possible use in creating nuclear waste containers. If there is ever a nuclear fallout problem in this city I'd like to take cover underneath that chicken.

That stuff was like Kevlar, only more brittle and less flavorful.

But still, it was a banner night on the porch.

I'd write more about porches but I don't want to become a porch bore.

By Joel Achenbach  |  April 21, 2005; 7:24 AM ET
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