Monday, June 14, 2010

Elvis Has Left The Building!

Last year our good friends Jen & Dan Watson of “The Long Dawgs” told us the Variety BBQ Bash in Memphis was our kind of contest. Lots of drinkin, music, & general all around partying. That sounded good enough to me so earlier in the year we made plans to participate. Nickelback would not be making the trip as he was in East Tennessee helping out a friend so Richard & I got everything ready, loaded, & headed out to Memphis after work on Thursday. We arrived to find many of the teams already there or at least their rigs were on-site. This event attracts many of the MBN (Memphis Barbeque Network) teams and is one of the few KCBS sanctioned events in the area. Upon arrival we were met by many familiar faces such as Jen & Dan of “Long Dawgs”, Barry & Mike of “Swiggin Pig”, David & Mark of “Getting’ Piggy With It”, Bobbie, & Lee of “Music City Pig Pals to mention a few. We set up the cook site & commenced to mosey on over to the Variety Club’s Clubhouse. The Variety Club is a national & international organization which focuses on raising funds for children’s charities. The Variety Club’s mission statement is to “provide life-enriching assistance to children challenged by physical and/or mental disabilities, poverty, abuse and neglect”. They do this in various ways. One is through their “Clubhouse” which has all the makings of a nice bar/restaurant. The organizers provided the Thursday arrivals with a fantastic spaghetti supper with all the trimmins & of course a cash bar! Sweet! It was great to catch up with our friends & we even managed to make a few new ones. After dinner we headed back to the cook site to meet our neighbors for the weekend the “Flamin Kajun” BBQ Team from Denim Springs, LA. On the other side of Casa DoRag were our good friends “Team Top Chick”. We finished off the night socializin & having a few adult beverages until it was time to “hit the hay”.

Friday morning Richard & I finished setting up the cook site & prepared for meat inspection. Pretty much routine, no surprises. We were most worried about making our boxes since Gary “The Box Bitch” wasn’t there. So right after we finished prepping meat we started on boxes. We managed to get them made although not a good as Nickelback’s, but hey we all have our own talents! Richard & I headed over to the “Cajun Catfish” restaurant for sum lunch & to talk strategy. The strategy we came up with was 1. Don’t get drunk. 2.Don’t oversleep. 3. Don’t get drunk!. Ok we got it! Time to Rock & Roll! After lunch we took a tour of the grounds to see who had slipped in on us. We found several celebrities such as Johnny “The Godfather” Trigg of Smokin Triggers, & Myron Mixon of “Jacks Old South” both from the TLC show “Pitmasters”. There was Rod Gray of Pellet Envy the 2009 KCBS Team of the Frickin Year, & 10 Bones BBQ a 2010 Memphis in May finalist & Sweet Swine O’Mine the 2009 winner of Memphis in May. Wow! Holy Crap Batman, all the top teams were here! “Ok calm down DoRag” Richard said, “We’ve been beat by all the top teams”. Oh, Ok…thanks for putting it in perspective “Boy Wonder”! The rest of the afternoon was spent just hangin out & tryin to stay & look cool until the “Cooks Meeting” @ 5 PM.

The “Cooks Meeting” was your standard run of the mill meeting except for the fact that our good friends Bill & Debbie Gauge & Wayne & Maria Lohman were the KCBS Reps. They are all such cool people & great Reps. We don’t get to see them much so it was fun to catch up with them & find out what they have been up to. Soon it was off to “Casa DoRag” to practice for the Margarita contest! Oh yeah, I had loaded up my portable bar complete with my favorite “Don Edwardo Silver” Tequila & all the fixins. If I didn’t win the contest I was gonna have a great time losin it! I bet I made 20 different practice batches before deciding on the one to turn in. I had forgotten my favorite mixer so I had to do some substituting to get it just right. I had quite a “buzz” by turn in time! Once that was over we headed over to “Getting Piggy With It” for dinner. And what a dinner it was. David & Mark out-did themselves for sure! They started out with a sausage & cheese tray, followed by basil stuffed bacon wrapped BBQ Shrimp, Pecan encrusted Pork Tenderloin Pinwheels, Smoked Salmon with honey Wasabi glaze, & Banana Puddin. And for the after dinner cordial, Apple Pie! Whooooooo doggie! That was sum good grub! Oh I almost forgot Pam make about a thousand Jello-Shots! OMG….remember the strategy discussion….Don’t get drunk! HA! I had more alcohol in me that Lindsey Lohan on prom night! Oh & I almost forgot…..My good friend from back in the day Robbie “The Rocket” Rush & his wife Anne were driving up from Jackson, MS to visit. Robbie & I toured the Southeast in the ’70s racing motocross. We hadn’t seen each other in 32 years! Holy shit! I was so excited to see him. They were due to arrive around 9-10 PM. I had to sober up!
Robbie & Anne arrived & I gotta tell you it was a special moment. See I moved around a lot before settling down in Nashville & I don’t have much contact with anyone from “back in the day”. I have never been to a class reunion (except for Cell-Block A) & haven’t been back to Jackson for a visit in years. So seeing Robbie was almost over-whelming! He had not changed a bit! Just as I remembered him. It was really cool to see my friend after all these years. We talked & reminisced about the old daze & old friends, & caught up on what we have been doin for the last 32 frickin years! And yes we had a few beerz & some Apple Pie! So much for strategy! By this time Richard was sleepin with the fishes in Casa DoRag. Robbie & Anne headed to a nearby hotel & I had a few more Jello-Shotz courtesy of Pam! What a great night!

As the sun began to rise Saturday morning I was surprisingly rested & alert. The BBQ Gods had spared me. It was time to repay them by giving all I had left. So after a couple of beers for breakfast it was time to put on the game face. Brisket was at temperature & resting in the Cambro. Pork temp was slowly rising & it was time to start ribs. I checked my boxes & made a few adjustments. Got our prep area ready & started chicken as it was getting closer to “Game-Time”. Robbie & Anne showed up around 11 AM & I gave them the low-down. Robbie was going to be our “runner” since Nickelback was back home. We had our traditional 10 AM shot of Early Times @ 11:15 AM & it was time to do what we do! Box assembly overall went off pretty good although I was not happy with my rib box. Chicken, Ribs, & Pork all were consistent with our normal flavor profile. Richard & I agreed that our brisket was not our best. Maybe a little dry. Robbie & Anne thought everything was fan-frickin-tastic! It’s amazing what friends will tell you for free food! LOL….. Robbie managed to get all the boxes turned in without incident despite a little practical joke by David of “Getting” Piggy With It”. Payback is a bitch my friend! So now all we had to do is clean up & wait for awards @ 5 PM.
With all the leftovers vacuum-sealed & iced down for Robbie & Anne to take back to MS we headed over to the stage are for awards. Along the way wishing our BBQ Friends “good luck”. We were hoping just to get our name called & finish respectable in this elite field of cookers. We started out with a big goose egg with a “no call“ for our Dan Edwardo Margarita! Bummer #1! Then it was on to the main categories starting with chicken. Island Grillers took the win with Pellet Envy, Bar-B-Q 101, Music City Pig Pals, & River City Rub rounding out the top five. Other notables were Swiggin Pig 7th, 10 Bones 8th, Jacks Old South 9th, & Jo Beaz Blazin Butts rounding out the top 10th. No call for DoRagQ….Bummer #2! On to ribs, with Bar-B-Q 101 takin the win, with Pellet Envy 2nd, K&K Kookers 3rd, Jo Beaz Blazin Butts 4th, & Wasted & Basted 5th. Other notables were The Long Dawgs 6th & 9th. No call for DoRagQ….Bummer #3! Takin the win in pork was our good friends Long Dawgs with Porkin Da Pig takin 2nd, The Good, The Bad, & the Swine 3rd, Music City Pig Pals 4th, & Sweet Swine O’Mine 5th, Pellet Envy 6th, 7th, & Smokin’ Triggers 9th. Again, no call for DoRagQ….Bummer #4! Great! All the things we thought were good did not get a frickin call! Now all is that damn dry sorry piece of spam we called brisket! We might as well start packin! But hey, we gotta cheer on our friends right? So in brisket it was Smokin’ Triggers 7th, Pellet Envy 6th, Pigs-R-Us 5th, Smelly Butts BBQ 4th, K&K Kookers 3rd, & our good friend Barry of Swiggin Pig (AKA Swinging Pig) takin 2nd. And the winner of the brisket category is……WTF….DORAGQ… have got to be frickin kiddin me! OMG……..Richard looked at me & said “did they say DoRagQ?” I had to think for a moment but everyone was clapping & slappin me on the back so either I was on fire or we won frickin brisket! What a surprise! LOL….. So we commenced to gettin our award & check with a very surprised look on our face. We were still in shock as they called out the top ten overall. Jacks Old South took 10th, Jo Beaz Blazin Butts took 9th (WTG JoBeaz), City Hogs 8th, River City Rub 7th, Music City Pig Pals 6th (Congrats Bobbie & Lee), Bar-B-Q 101 in 5th, K&K Kookers 4th, The Long Dawgs 3rd (Yeah Dan & Jen), & taking RGC Swiggin Pig (WTG Barry) & the Grand Champion, Pellet Envy, congrats Rod! But no top ten for DoRagQ…..Bummer #5……But we did manage a 12th Overall which is pretty damn good in my book! We were 12th in chicken, 27th in ribs, 48th in pork (WTF?) & I will say it again….1st in BRISKET! Ok, I’m calm now…..I can’t explain the feeling when people like Johnny Trigg & Rod Gray shake your hand & offer congratulations. What a great feeling. Yeah I wish our pork & ribs had scored better but hey….I will take our finish in this crowd any day! The Long Dawgs were right, this is my kind of contest! Lots of fun, food, music, & friends! Book me for next year.
Regardless of our finish it was great seeing Anne & Robbie & getting to spend time with them. Contests come & go but friends & family are there thru thick & thin. It was cool that Robbie helped run our boxes & be a part of DoRagQ. We are gonna have to get him a DoRag to keep in Casa DoRag for any future appearances. Robbie, you & Anne are welcomed anytime. I hope we see you again soon! To the rest of our BBQ Friends & Family, we had a blast & we hope you did too. As we left the contest on Sunday, I had to drive over to Graceland to leave Elvis a slice of the 1st Place Brisket, but the guard said “Sorry, Elvis has left the building”! Elvis may be gone but he still lives through his music & fans. I think he would like hanging out with the DoRagQ Gang. Maybe he could sing “A Hunk of First Place Brisket”!

Keep Troy Black of “” & his family in your thoughts & prayers. Troy was taken to the hospital less than a week after the Memphis contest & underwent surgery for several heart blockages. Troy…here’s wishing you a speedy recovery my friend!

DoRagQ will be competing in the American Bass Anglers Association Early Times Whisky BBQ Cookoff in Pell City Alabama on June 18th-19th. Come by for a visit! Who knows maybe Elvis will be in da house!

1 comment:

BP said...

Congratulations, Billy!