The middle-aged man's guide to only cooking outside when it's sunny

EVERY man loves to cook for his family under a very specific set of circumstances that occurs no more than three times a year. Here’s how to do it middle-aged style: 

Choose an uncomfortably hot day

There’s no point firing up the barbecue when it’s overcast. Only showcase your culinary skills on the hottest day of the year so guests will be dizzy with heat stroke while they sit on the patio hearing you reflect on the mysteries of charcoal.

Take two hours to light it

Lighting a barbecue is an art, so make it clear that it is near-impossible, only years of training has enabled you to master it and nobody must interfere. Even when you get some flames going, insist that they are not the right type of flames for the superior grilling that awaits your diners.

Let others assist 

You’re taking charge of the cooking, so you can’t be distracted by any of the prep. Leave the marinading, the chopping, the skewering and the washing up to the kitchen people ie your wife, and ensure they know you cannot leave the barbecue unattended for even a moment.

Kill anyone who touches the tongs

The barbecue is your realm, and so you are right to destroy anyone who dares interfere with the turning of the meat. Having invested in some premium long locking stainless-steel tongs, under no circumstances allow their holiness to be tainted.

Only you may pronounce the burgers ready

Never forget that you know best. If those burgers need to be blackened in order to reach the elusive ‘cooked through’ status, then so be it. Your instincts are honed through several days of experience at the grill and no-one should doubt your judgement.

Expect praise for the rest of the year

Preparing one or two outstanding meals for friends and family a year is a feat few humans ever achieve and as such you deserve commendation, respect and a rest. Halfway through any roast dinner prepared by someone else is a perfect moment to remember the incredible feast you blessed the world with six months earlier.

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The six secrets of spectacularly unsuccessful people

EVER wondered how some people amble through life never getting anywhere? They know these secrets – and you can too: 

Never try to get anything done in less than an hour

Got to get the washing out in 45 minutes? Then there’s no time to start that email, or indeed to imagine you can do anything productive without being forced to abandon it and start again. Better scroll mindlessly through Twitter instead.

Believe that life will come to you

You once read this on a mug and embraced it as an easy way to never chase your dreams. If you’re meant to be a theatre producer, the RSC will knock on your door one day. And if destiny intends you to slump on the sofa with a multipack of Crunchies watching A Place in the Sun, so be it.

Trust clickbait

The best careers aren’t out there advertising on jobsearch websites. They’re hiding at the bottom of articles and sneaking into unregulated comments sections. You’ve just signed up for a position where a woman’s making $4,800 a week working from home. Beating the system.

Don’t listen

Other people tend to say really boring stuff that’s about them, not you. Perfect the art of nodding and saying ‘mmm-hmm’ while preparing your next glittering conversational contribution. That’s what the bits where they talk are for.

Never write anything down

Like a smug waiter, explain that it’s all filed away up there in your brain, which is why everyone gets shit they didn’t order and you’re two grand overdrawn because you can’t remember your online banking login.

Live for today

It could all end tomorrow, so live for the moment. Even if it leads to you being hopelessly unfaithful, never saving a mortgage deposit and never having loo roll. It’s all about the journey to you, which is why you’re working nights as an Uber driver.