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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Regular friends of the decanter will know that Ol’ Robbo writes about his BBQ grill from time to time. It’s a Weber “Performer” and must be at least ten years old.

During that time, the thing has come in for a lot of wear and tear from the elements and from extensive use, particularly the bowl. In the last couple years, large holes have appeared in its sides where they’ve rusted out and all the brackets holding the grill have fallen off, leaving me to improvise with bent metal coat-hangers. Not only was the thing well into Jeff Foxworthy “You might be a redneck” territory, I knew that as a practical matter it wasn’t even going to be useable that much longer. And yet, I couldn’t quite justify to myself the 600 clams it would cost to get a new one, as we’re right smack dab in the midst of the maximum tuition years and have to be very cautious about luxuries.

I was at the local hardware store last weekend which happens to be a Weber outlet. A friend of mine works there, and as we passed the Weber floor models, I looked at them longingly and mentioned to my friend my predicament.

“Oh,” he said, “Well maybe you can just replace the bowl.”

This idea had floated into my braims a time or two before but I hadn’t seriously followed up on it.

“You think I could buy the bowl separately?” I said.

“I don’t see why not, ” he replied.

Encouraged, I scurried home determined to do some research.

Whelp, first thing Ol’ Robbo did was to go to the Weber replacement parts page. Alas, I couldn’t find a bowl there, only peripheral bits like grates and handles. So then I started hunting about on the innerwebs for alternatives, and eventually stumbled across an outfit called eReplacementParts.com. Lo and behold, they did have one, so I quickly ordered it. It arrived yesterday afternoon.

This morning, Ol’ Robbo went out and commenced Operation Switcharoo. I’m happy to report that it was a more or less complete success, marred only by a giant blood blister on the ball of my ring finger that I gave myself trying to work loose an extremely calcitrant screw (the head of which I had already stripped) with a pair of pliers.

The hors de combat veteran and the new recruit.

This satisfies Ol’ Robbo muchly, as I was able to do a fairly simple mechanical fix (which I always enjoy) in addition to extending the life of my grill at only a fraction of the cost to replace the whole thing (which I also always enjoy).

Oh, and while I was at it, I ripped out all the “electric ignition” foofaral, which I never used anyway. Ignition switches and bottles of propane are for sissies. Give me a can of lighter fluid and a match every time.

And while I’m on the subject of propane, I was aghast to learn from my brother a couple weeks ago that he’s started using a gas grill and loves it. Simply put, this is a heresy and you will go to hell when you die if you indulge in it. (You can look this up. First Corinthians, I believe.)

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