The stars at night are big and bright...

The stars at night are big and bright...
The stars at night are big and bright...

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Fire + meat ≠ BBQ

This chaos is the 21st annual Frisco, Colorado BBQ Challenge. The event featured over 70 Grillmasters. I'm not sure what it takes to be called a 'Grillmaster', but apparently it does not include being able to cook ribs. Oh, don't get me wrong there were plenty of ribs there. Just none of them worth a damn. They didn't even know to remove the tough membrane from the back. The brisket was plenty suspect as well. I didn't see a decent smoke ring in the bunch.

There was also the mandatory stop to buy "coupins". Cue Ron White. You had to have a coupin to buy anything. 1 coupin = $1. 1 lousy rib = 3 coupins. 1/2 a brisket sandwich = 5. 1 domestic beer = 5, 1 microbrew = 8. It did not take long to burn thru a stack of coupins.

Crowd control? Riiiiight. I've been to riots that were more organized. If there had been 'an event' it would have been mass chaos. The pic doesn't really do justice to how crowded it was. By the time you made it to the end of the street, it was Sardine City. You were not in control of where you were going. The school led you with the flow. I also learned the way to navigate thru a crowd like that is by using a stroller. If you have a stroller none of the normal rules of society, etiquette or physics apply. A stroller is the 'all access pass' in a festival crowd because you either move out of their way or you're the a-hole that is blocking a little kid. Why you blocking a little kid, a-hole? I'm telling you it's fool proof and Moms know this so they give zero damns about blocking you or going against the flow while using their child as a human shield.

Another problem was the long lines. Some booths had waits up to 30 minutes. This created the secondary problem of line cutters. People would come in from the opposite direction and try to slide in at the order point not noticing the 120 people not so patiently standing in line. As you can imagine this did not go over well. The solution? Send Granny stumbling in all confused and having trouble standing. Who's gonna make Granny go to the end of the line, you? I bet you'd block a kid in a stroller, too. Wouldn't ya? Well, just as soon as Granny gets in to order, here comes the rest of her herd. Oh Granny, there you are! She'll take 2 brisket sandwiches, a sausage plate, 2 turkey legs and a slab of ribs. (Karma's gonna get ya on those ribs!) I saw this happen more than once. People have planned ahead for these things and it is my duty to pass this info along. What you do with it, is up to you. Just take Granny along to the next food festival and see if I'm lying.

They made a big deal of asking people to park at the Middle School and take the free shuttle to downtown instead of parking close by on the neighborhood streets. It was to run every 15-20 minutes. Make that more like 30-45 minutes plus there was only 1 shuttle and it was small. So, when the crowds built up it turned into a near riot just to get a seat on the shuttle. People that had to wait because the previous shuttle was full were not eager to let people that didn't have to wait on first. People that didn't have to wait, did not want to wait and neither did their kids who naturally had already found a seat on the shuttle. Hilarity ensued.

There were plenty of good intentions here, and they drew a helluva crowd. It was just short on the planning and payoff. And good cooks.

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