Yes, yes. Bar-b-que.
Finally broke down and got me a new smoker, one of them slow-cooking things that sits close to the ground and has a big bowl of water over the coals. The first weekend I cooked some hamburgers and a couple of big baking hens. Assembled the Q'er after work and started the coals late afternoon, left the hens on all night. The next morning I was pleased to find them still cooking and done, but not dry or over-cooked.
Last Saturday we decided on brisket and country style pork ribs. I started the fire about mid-morning and placed the brisket on the lower grill with the ribs on the top (it's a two-tier contraption). I threw some hickory chips on the coals and we loaded the ice chest and headed down to our friend Banjo Dan's for his "third annual plug-&-play" and "guitar-throwing competition."
Every year about this time Dan sponsors this little event out in the breezeway beside his music emporium and recording studio in Hot Springs, Ark. Since many local musicians are associated with Dan (many work in the shop), he gets most of the local acts to perform.
I was looking at that pretty powder-blue guitar they were giving as a prize. I mean, yeah, I win this guitar, buy an amp, learn a couple of blues tunes and I too can be up on stage at the Wednesday night blues jams, basking in the limelight with the other jammers.
"Okay Roger," I said. "You think I ain't got $20?" I pulled out that last lone twenty and slapped it in the big guy's hand and said, "Sign me up!"
The Guitar-Throwing ContestMy wife warned me: "Don't drink too many beers. You have to throw a guitar." And of course I did what any red-blooded American husband would do I ignored her advice and ordered another Bud.
The wind was blowing at my back and I had discussed with one of the other contestants the idea that we needed altitude, to take advantage of the aerodynamics of the light, hollow-body balsamwood guitars and that strong tailwind. I was thinking, just don't let my name be pulled first. I desperately needed to see someone else throw a guitar, so I could get an idea about how these theories are going to work. My number was pulled first. My luck held.
So as I approached the red line of death I told myself, whatever you do, don't try and throw it too hard. You're gonna do the same thing you do when you try and kill the ball on the golf course, top it and send it dribbling into the trees to the right, behind you in the rough.
I picked the smallest, most aerodynamic and sexiest guitar to throw, stepped up to the line, took a practice swing. The crowd drew silent. Standing sideways to the red line I raised my guitar over my right shoulder. I eyed the pin about 30-40 yards away (next to the portable toilet amidst the bails of hay).
Luckily my toss was so weak that it neither shattered the guitar nor the glass. Now the next guy up just kinda stepped up and threw the damn thing side-arm like a Frisbee and it sailed right down to the pin and would have hit it if not for the bail of hay in front. The guitar just laid there as if to say "ha, ha." That guy won the powder-blue guitar.
We went home broke and disgusted (not really), took the brisket and the country style ribs off the Smoker and crashed.
BBQ:For future reference: The ribs were good. The brisket although very well-smoked wasn't completely done. Conclusion: Either parcook the brisket beforehand next time or let it smoke 24 hours instead of 12-to-13. That'll probably mean reloading and restarting the charcoal.
Have a happy summer, y'all!
Back to Contents
Copyright © The Southerner 1999.