Another of our most prevalent species will now all but disappear for the winter, too. I speak, of course, of the humble, grease-encrusted, dust-sprinkled and rust-speckled portable barbeque-in-a-truck-bed (BIAT for short). BIATS are a very common sighting in these parts all through the official Redneck Season, which runs from late March through to Halloween. We aren't allowed to actually hunt rednecks during that time, of course, but it isn't really necessary, since their numbers are adequately controlled through self-inflicted death and maiming injuries which occur whenever the aforementioned hicks are within five feet of a firearm or a cooking device.
BIATs are highly distinctive and therefore easy to spot:
1. Always, always, always black...
2. ...With some rust.
3. Covered in very old coagulated grease and dust
4. Usually accompanied by a beaten-up 10lb propane tank of indeterminate age/safety
5. Will have a broken utensil rack dangling from two of the legs.
6. Habitat: the truck bed of a 1987 Nissan pickup, or any Ford, GMC, Chevy or Dodge pickup manufactured before 1992.
7. frequently wedged into place with white plastic chairs.
During the season, these frequent flyers can be seen on any of our main roads, during every trip, no matter how long or short. It's unclear whether they ever actually alight from the truck beds, but the prevailing wisdom is that they do not, their guardians merely transporting them from one back yard party to another, only to be told to "Get that filthy piece of sh*t out of here!". Academics are, however, divided on the subject, and another school of thought is gaining ground - one which postulates that since Rednecks tend not to have any understanding of hygiene principles, the BIATs may well be thoroughly used all through the summer months, and thereby accumulate another layer of protective greasy gunk. It is no doubt an argument that will run and run amongst those with little else to do with their time (academic folks, then).
For now, however, the BIATs have gone into hiding, or to use the technical term: storage. Basement suite yards around the province will now harbour the resident BIAT until winter releases its grip, and another few square inches of rust have been allowed to creep across exposed metal. Some BIATs will enjoy the luxury of being pushed into the front of an over-filled garage, ready to spring out at their human guardians when the temperatures rise once more and the garage door is opened for the first time in months. Others, alas, with their burner long ago defunct and the holes in their trays making even the use of charcoal impossible, will find themselves at the landfill sites, poised over the gaping maw of the garbage containers, until their Redneck masters are told by angry landfill staff to get their asses over to the metal recycling section for Christ's sake, there to permanently abandon their old friends...
Of course, nature always strives towards balance, and with the departure of a generation of BIATs, there will be a new 'Class of 2016' in March, when hitherto useful barbeques begin to develop minor irritating glitches, and migrate mystically towards their natural homes: filthy, battered pickup truck beds, there to travel our highways and byways in the company of their filthy, battered Redneck owners...and so it begins again.
The circle of life is truly unending (cue music)...