Jesse Tise

Would I like to attend a grill-out in St. Johns? Yes, and I did. This gathering around a grill was hosted by a couple I had met through the web of comedy. For the sake of not asking permission, we’ll call them Miller and Kathy. I first met Miller as a fellow stand-up, about two years ago. Shortly thereafter, he switched to improv, as did Kathy. I assume that’s the natural course of things if you can sustain a healthy relationship. Being psychologically and emotionally stable, they eventually left improv as well, but we kept in touch.

As per usual, I arrived late and was still the first one there. Luckily, the day’s grilling was all-ages accessible, as our delightful hosts have a small child of their own. So I had my kid to keep me company—at least until he noticed another child to play with, leaving the three parents in the kitchen. Naturally, we did what any three parents would do in a kitchen while their children played video games in the adjoining room. We discussed food allergies, recent moves, and how excited our hosts were to have discovered yellow watermelon.

My child and I brought a standard watermelon and all-natural, free-range, grass-fed, kosher beef sausages (also known as hot dogs). As other guests arrived, dishes included asparagus, chicken skewers, a variety of rice and vegetable dishes brought by a surprisingly non-preachy, nonjudgmental group of vegans, strawberry rhubarb pie, rosé spritzers, and the ubiquitous hummus. I’d be hard-pressed to tell you anything about any of the other guests, with the exception of a retired baseball player, who had opted to keep the hairstyle and perfectly toned ass. Disappointingly, he was accompanied by his partner, an aspiring poet. She was actually a wonderful person, and I valued our meeting, but that didn’t stop me from coveting her husband’s young, fit body. Also in attendance were the family’s two cats and an incredibly well behaved German shepherd puppy who took the responsibility of keeping everyone safely herded together in the backyard very seriously.

The house itself was massive and lovely. It included a home office, sunroom, and a space designated for yoga. Given the splendor and suburban refinement of the home, trap music was the natural soundtrack choice, blasted from top-of-the-line outdoor speakers.

It was eventually revealed that Miller “dislikes sleep”—the most alien statement I have ever heard. Sleep is the three to four hours a night that I’m not having a panic attack. I can say from experience that, if given the choice, I prefer sleep to sex. But it gave me something to consider. Miller doesn’t enjoy sleeping and owns a marvelous home, where he lives with the love of his life. I love sleeping more than life itself. I’m also renting spare rooms in a stranger’s home, where a body pillow plays the big spoon.

Anyhow, the party earned 10 of 10 points.