Three Days of BBQ Fest, no BBQ Consumed: Part I
Most of my friends from undergrad now reside in the great city of Memphis, so this past year I finally made the trip up for BBQ Fest in May. So for $75, I joined my buddy’s team, and officially became a participant in the World BBQ Championships. My $75 got me all the drinks I could handle from Thursday until Saturday afternoon, so basically it was the best $75 I’ve ever spent. The following is my account of an amazing trip.
My buddy had to work until about 2:30, so me and my roommate decided to start the day off with margaritas at the local Mexican restaurant. Apparently nobody else got the memo at the joint, as we were the only guys in there boozing at noon. After filling our bellies with dirty tacos and margaritas, we went and picked up our host from his house, and off we went to the event. If you’ve never been to BBQ Fest, it is really a site, I mean the tents put any hard core SEC tailgate to shame, there was excitement in the air, and I knew that it wouldn’t take long for me to get the party started.
After a few hours of pounding beers at the team tent, my friends and I started to mingle. We walked over to a double decked tent, where we knew some people to see what was going on. It turns out they had a funnel that could hold four beers at the same time. This funnel was so big they had to pour all the beer from the second floor of the tend, and it took 2 guys to hold it steady. Despite the fact that it was only 4pm and still a family event, I made the claim that I could funnel all four beers at the same time. Not a minute after my claim, they started filling the funnel with beers, and about 25-30 onlookers paused to watch what was surely going to be yet another train wreck starring yours truly. So it was now time to put up or shut up, and I started drinking. I’m not going to lie, it was brutal, just so much beer to consume in the longest 10 seconds of my life, but the cheering from the crowd spurred me on to accomplishing my feat. Mom would be so proud.
Once I finished, everybody was full of jubilation, and yet, waiting to see if I would throw up the rather large amount of alcohol I consumed. I was able to hold it down for a few minutes, and then I sort of stumbled out of the tent and down by the Mississippi River. Here it finally got to me and I started to projectile vomit into the river, all the while families and happy couples were walking by, because again, it was only 4pm or so, what a classy guy. From here I should have had an idea of where the night was going, but hey, I was a stupid 23 year old man.
As night falls at BBQ Fest, the events surrounding our tent turned into a basically a drunk dance party, as we moved from beer to liquor and the Ipod was blasting the best 80′s and hip hop music ever created. I’m surprisingly still upright, and having a pretty good time. As is usually the case when we all get together, for some reason we prefer dancing with our shirts off, so all it takes is one brave soul to get it started and then we are topless (sadly no girls follow suit).
Looking back, I would say I am one of the 5 drunkest people at BBQ Fest, easily. With that being said, I manage to meet a girl on the dance floor who is quite possibly the drunkest person at the festival, this is clearly a recipe for disaster. After some quality grinding on the makeshift dance floor in our tent, her and I decide to head up to downtown to get a bite to eat. Seeing as how I haven’t eaten since those early afternoon tacos, I figure this is a responsible thing to do, what could go wrong?
I should have know when she could barely walk on the flat path on the way to the rather steep staircase that leads from the river to downtown, but I simply had too much loud mouth soup running through my vanes. As we started to walk up the rather steep concrete steps, I look over and notice that she is struggling pretty bad. Then it happened, on the 2nd step after a landing about halfway up, she literally starts falling backwards, like when you play those lame team building exercises about trust. Without thinking, I dive underneath her into the crawling position to break her fall. Not sure why I didn’t just grab her arm, but as you might have realized, decision making wasn’t my strong suit on this day. I did though manage to break her fall, but the combination of my momentum and hers caused me to go head first into the concrete kamikaze style. Thankfully stuff like this doesn’t hurt much when you are 20+ beers into the day, but when I stood up all I heard was, “Dude, look at your nose man! Gross!”
To be continued…