For the Hills of Arlen, Texas, Working Out's a Real Gas


There's some serious barbecuing going on today across the country, even in a fictitious town called Arlen, Texas. No one's as serious about the holiday barbecue than the "King of the Hill" gang--Hank Hill, 40, a propane salesman; his wife, Peggy, 39; their 12-year-old son, Bobby; 18-year-old niece, Luanne; Hank's pop, Cotton; and his second wife, Didi. There will also be a slew of neighbors who will be at the barbecue, whether they're invited or not.

Peggy will probably be so busy running for everybody's beer that she'll have to skip her usual Jazzercize to Chuck Mangione. Luanne might work out. We say "might" because it depends on whether she's alive. Last season's cliffhanger ended with an explosion at the Mega Lo Mart. If Luanne got out alive--we'll find out when the third season on the Fox network kicks off Tuesday night--she'll do 100 push-ups, the writers say. Otherwise, 50. That should give you an idea of how the rest of this interview shaped up.


Question: What kind of groceries--and how much--did you have to buy for the Labor Day barbecue?

Answer: I have found that it is best to buy a quarter cow, then subdivide it into steaks, ribs and brisket using a standing band saw, but I'm probably just telling people what they already know.


Q: What food did you prepare for today?

A: Since Hank grilled the meat outside, I guess the only cooking I did in the kitchen was to top off the slaw with a colorful splash of paprika.


Q: You must have some barbecue secrets, Hank. Any you care to share with fellow Americans?

A: There should be no secrets between Americans when it comes to barbecuing. If we all cooperate, and of course use propane, America will remain the leader of the barbecuing world.


Q: Well, what's the best way to light the barbecue and keep the heat exactly the way you want it?

A: Well, if you have a propane grill, just press the igniter switch and set the temperature dial to the proper setting. If you have a charcoal grill, just go to your neighbor's house, and press the igniter switch on his propane grill and follow the above instructions for temperature setting.


Q: What foods exactly will you be cooking? Hamburger? Hot dogs? Steak?

A: Well, the Hill family is on a bit of a health kick, so in addition to the above foods, we'll also be grilling up some corn on the cob.


Q: Are you going to eat anything low- or nonfat today?

A: I might eat something sitting on the grass, but that's as low as I'll probably get.


Q: Will you be doing any sports or exercises?

A: I have already played three rounds of golf today on my GameBoy.


Guest Workout runs Mondays in Health.

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