I post this every year. Yet someone ‘drinks his lunch’ at BBQ fest and they ‘pull a smoothie’ and isn’t heard from for almost a full day. The list from last year is right Here and if you plan on heading down there please read them. Now for this year I am going to change it up a tad. You see, I celebrate the fact that I am not on a team. It isn’t that I don’t like comradery and some good ball busting (I do that at the Cigar Inn enough) but I don’t like the idea of burning a week of vacation to work my ass off. Then there is always a chance I could lose a friendship over something silly and worrying if the team is going to remain in the black isn’t for me.
The dichotomy of a BBQ Team is a very fragile one. You have some people who want nothing to do with the cooking contest except for drinking for a solid week. You have some who are serious in the competition. Those are the ones who are traveling across the region each weekend and normally are not there so much for the party but for the competition. Normally in a given week there will be a blow up in the tent. I saw them numerous times when I worked for MIM some 7 years ago. My parents were original member of “Boss Pit” one of the first double decker rigs down there and a drunken argument lead to them leaving the team. Sadly I have seen teams disband because of the things that go on down on the banks of the river.
Oh don’t worry, the only thing that disbands are the members. The team name probably will go on but members move from team to team. My parents left BBQ Fest and moved it over to Italian Fest at Holy Rosary and it was a smaller contest. That being said, here is the list for those who are visiting BBQ Fest so that you don’t become “That Guy/Girl”;
- Don’t be a dick and try to BS your way into a booth if you are not invited. There are 250 teams, if you want to learn or see the interior of a booth I suggest visiting during the day either Thursday or Friday when it isn’t busy. When the sun goes down is not the time to get BBQ 101.
- If you see a tip jar for the team throw a couple bucks in the damn thing. Those Bud lights didn’t grow in Tom Lee Park and someone picked them fresh that morning. This also applies to the bartender who may get a split of the jar and heckles people to give money. When Shobo went one year, she carried her own wine in the park and got heckled for getting a cup of ice because she put a 5 in the tip jar.
- Don’t be an ass. It happens every year. The Germantown housewife who puts on her push up bra to bring the cans together gets silly on moonshine. She flirts with someone in the booth and they think that the “Awkward Touch” sign has been turned on in a booth. Next thing happens someone gets hauled out of the booth by an off duty cop and people are pissed.
- Friends of Friends don’t invite their own friends – This one just slays me to no end. There are 250 cocktail parties going on at the same time in Tom Lee Park. While you are walking to the tent that you are invited to you hear someone yell your name. This is a friend of yours who you haven’t seen in years but “We keep up on Facebook” and they are in a booth that you don’t know. Don’t be that “guy/gal” and ask them if they can get you in the invited party. It makes it weird for everyone.
- If you do happen to over indulge in refreshing drink – Don’t drive, wait it out for the 3 hours to get an Uber or cab. Then again I hear that T.O.D.D. is in town and he has a suite at the South’s Grand Hotel.
Goes without saying
Have fun and of course remember the password “Joe said he needs me to go get charcoal”