The first barbecue of the year at 17 Ranham Close, Aintree was tinged with sadness this weekend as the joy of tucking into char-grilled quarter pounder burgers and steak sandwiches was muted by news reaching the assembled guests that a cow had tragically died in the run up to the event.
“We all got together to enjoy a bit of sunshine and watch the footie and Grand National with a few beers and a couple of hot dogs,’ explained host Claire Carson, “But frankly the future of the event is in real doubt now it turns out that an animal might have died for the sake of our entertainment. I mean it’s unthinkable...”
While many celebrated taking a "controlled risk" on the arrival of kebabs where the skewered lamb had been cooked through without the onion and peppers being completely carbonised, several other barbecues attendees, poking plastic forks into slightly pink looking chicken drumsticks, reflected on the frailty of life, and whether the sacrifice was worth it. However the mood was lifted as everyone agreed the cow had probably enjoyed the trip through the countryside to the abattoir for the most part, and as news floated in from Wembley Stadium where an unloved donkey had reportedly earned himself a last minute reprieve from the knackers’ yard.
The fate of the cow was not the only event that caused controversy at the Carson family barbecue. In the run-up to the lighting of the coals the day had been marred by noisy protests from Claire's sister Stella, a PETA member, who claimed that not all vegetarians like those giant mushrooms. She was later observed streaking across the lawn before throwing herself in front of her brother-in-law Dave Carson who was manning the Weber grill. However this was was not thought to be linked to her earlier campaign, but a result of drinking six pint bottles of cider after a lunch solely consisting of a partially burnt corn on the cob and a floury bap. The incident is to be followed by a full and detailed steward's enquiry according to Claire.