As the 2017 NFL season approaches, America’s dads and tailgating enthusiasts everywhere were stunned by reports that charcoal supplies have been dwindling since late 2016.
“This is not fake news,” Dallas native Bob Benson told his son as they ran a red light on their way to the local hardware store. “Your Uncle Mike said he went to two different grocery stores before he found a single bag of briquettes.”
While he admits the charcoal shortage hasn’t been covered in the mainstream media, Benson says anecdotal evidence is all over the “barbecue web,” a nickname he’s given to the variety of grilling-related blogs and Facebook groups he frequents.
“People all over are having trouble finding their favorite charcoal. We could be looking at 2012 all over again,” said Benson.
According to grilling experts, 2012 saw a 84% drop in the availability of bratwursts, causing panic among football tailgaters. To this day, nobody knows what caused the crisis.
Either way, Benson is taking no chances. He plans to hit every store in a 5-mile radius and clean out their charcoal supply.
“I have to be ready for anything,” he said. “Especially by the time there are national double-headers. We could be looking at 10 straight hours of grilling right there.”
When Benson’s son asked why they couldn’t just grill with gas, Benson simply gritted his teeth and loaded another bag of briquettes into the bed of his truck.