As my girls strolled the streets taking in the yearly arts festival looking at jewelry, paintings and pottery, I was getting hot and a bit tired of studying paintings and sculptures made from rebar. After you have seen a few beautiful rebar yard sculptures for a couple of thousand dollars, you start reconsidering a yard full of plastic flamingos. It’s not that I don’t appreciate art and pretty jewelry, but my feet were starting to hurt and it was more than 90 degrees outside. And it was October…


Therefore, I announced that I was going to take a look at a couple of stores. In other words, the stores had air conditioning and if you are going to stand and look at stuff you don’t need, you should opt for the air conditioned experience when available.


The first store was a clothing store specializing in clothes and various things from Scotland. It was very difficult to get too interested in a wool tweed suit or a Scottish wool scarf or sweater when it is so doggone hot outside. I studied the kilts for a while and decided that I would never be man enough to wear a skirt. I was crushed even more not to find my name on any of the fancy Scottish family coat of arms plaques.


I guess I am just a “commoner” and I always will be. I got over it quickly, due to my lack of affection for skirts and lack of understanding the difference between Scottish and Irish bagpipes. When they start talking about one octave versus two octaves, I get lost and deflated.


Moving on to a fancy store that sold kitchen gadgets and “professional-quality” cookware, I felt more at home. I’ve been in this place quite a few times and successfully landed needed items such as cookie cutters that look like fire hydrants and a cherry pitter that reduced the burdensome task to child’s play. And it really works…


Wandering around the store, appreciating the air conditioning and studying the various people who were in the store mainly to take advantage of the same air conditioning and free food samples, I stopped and examined a wall of kitchen tools, gadgets and things that I could see myself using, but didn’t need.


I picked up a box and started reading about all the wonderful things a particular gadget would do. “Effortlessly infuse foods and drinks with natural applewood or hickory flavors without the extra heat. This versatile tool quickly adds smoky flavor to food before or after cooking. Simply place wood chips in the burn chamber, light and then use the flexible hose to add smoke to foods in any closed container – from resealable bags to cocktail shakers.”


More than likely, I could just point the tube toward myself and smell like hickory smoke. That is a manly smell that even the Scottish folks next door would be impressed by. It made me think about a wool tweed jacket that had been worn outside on a cold night standing in front of big campfire.


It took me a while to locate a price, but it was right at a hundred dollars. My girls were probably spending that on earrings that had been made from fishing lures, or fishing lures that had been made from earrings at that very moment.


However, I am me and I am a bit cheap when it comes to purchases like this. Instead, I wanted to figure out how to hook up a garden hose or tube to my smoker on my deck and run it into the kitchen to do the same thing. Honestly, I knew they wouldn’t let me do that at home.


Picking the floor model up and holding it in my hand, I realized what I had found. I started laughing and talking to myself, “This is what everyone is always looking for.”


A fellow who was obviously a tourist type stopped and stood next to me. He seemed like he would understand my humor, so I decided to share it with me. I looked at him and said, “I’ve found it, what people are always looking for, the one thing that brings it all together and removes all doubt – the smoking gun.”


He looked at me… I repeated myself, “the smoking gun.” He looked at me like he had no idea of what I was talking about.


He finally pointed at himself and said, “German.” He had no idea what I was talking about. I wasted a good line on someone who didn’t understand.


I’m sure it won’t be the last time.


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