A viral Craigslist ad looking for a father figure to work the grill leads to an unforgettable Saturday with the boys.
What’s a barbecue without a dad? It seems like every summer backyard party has at least one dad behind the grill working the meat, maybe sipping a Bud and cracking jokes with the guests. The archetypical “BBQ dad” is such a pivotal, implicit fixture of the experience; can you really have a barbecue without one?
A group of Spokane boys didn’t think so. For their end-of-year party, they wanted to have a classic outdoor barbecue, with burgers, hotdogs and plenty of beer – but felt that, as 20-somethings, they needed to bring in a good ol’ dad to really bring things to the next level.
“While most of us know how to operate a grill, none of us are prepared to fill the role of ‘BBQ Dad,'” they explained.
Their solution? A Craigslist ad seeking a “generic father figure” to cook for them – and give them the full dad experience.
The ad, which was actually posted to the personals site and quickly generated dozens of responses, featured hilariously specific qualifications, from calling everyone by classic dad nicknames like “Big Guy,” “Chief” and “Sport,” to talking about generic dad topics like lawnmowers and Jimmy Buffet, to having short, dad-esque names like “Bill, Randy or Dave.” No pay (you wouldn’t pay your real dad, right?), just a chance to embrace your dad side and maybe “crack open a few cold ones with the boys.”
And guess what? The dads came through.
As reported by KHQ in a video seen below, the party came together even better than anyone had hoped for, with not only one but three local dads filling in as the grill masters for the boy’s event.
And the dads were picture-perfect. They may not be named Bill, Randy, and Dave—but Scott, Pete, and Jim are pretty darn close enough.
“All of them met the minimum requirement of having a name under five letters,” joked Dane Anderson, one of the boys throwing the event.
The boys supplied the meat for the dads, and with the event growing beyond their expectations, they upped their game beyond the usual burgers and hotdogs by supplying an entire goat, which Jim was more than happy to fire up on the grill.
The guys explained that none of their real fathers live in the area, which gave them the idea to run the ad. But while the decoy dads were great, one nice surprise was that Dane’s real father showed up unexpectedly at the party.
“This is the best day any of us have experienced in a long time,”
Dane told the local NBC news outlet.
But it was a special day for the dads as well.
In addition to having a great time grilling and drinking cold ones, the local dads-for-a-day saw something in the boys and felt a significance in the day of male bonding. Pete said the boys were awesome and the “fabric of Americana,” while Scott was reminded of his own father who had passed earlier this month, and was grateful for the chance to pass his experience and memories along to this new generation.
“I thank these boys for becoming men on this day,” he said.
Maybe the torch has been passed, and the boys have learned enough about what it takes to be a true BBQ dad to serve as the father figures at next year’s event. But it looks like Scott, Pete, and Jim would be glad to come back and fill the role again.