Friday, September 28, 2007


barbecue on the river

It's a Paducah Happenin'. It's eight blocks from our house. And when the wind is right, my dogs curse the fence which blocks their egress. There is nothing they would purely like to do more right this very minute than to find the source of the smoke that carries an abundance of doggy heaven to their titillated nostrils.

Filling four blocks of streets and Downtown's largest parking lots there are hundreds of big ol' barrel cookers, some the size of SUV's or church vans, and a forest of hickory logs burning into coals. Everything goes to charity. Warring factions trying to out do one another for the best ribs, best pulled pork, best chicken, best brisket. A sloppy joe or a McRib is no more like Kentucky barbecue than a fake plastic chew is like a fresh raw knuckle bone with meat hanging off it right from the butcher. Kentucky barbecue is marinated, and then slow cooked over hickory coals in a covered special cooker until the meat falls off the bone, moist and smoky and tender. There is no sticky gooey thick sweet "barbecue" sauce anywhere in sight, but there is a little container of hot, thin and oh so spicy dip to accompany your meat. It is all about the meat and the smoke and it's heavenly.

I donate a couple of hours of my time each day selling soft drinks out of a bouncy little trailer. Here's my view

The booth right behind me is the Fraternal Order of Police.

They must have good barbecue because there is always a line.

It is prime people watching/overhearing territory:
  • "Hey, Kenny where in the world did you find you that corn dawg? I have got to git me a corn dawg and I have got to get it now."
  • An extremely elderly couple passes slowly, in their little boat hats and cardigan sweaters despite temps in the eighties and their pressed khakis with extra starch.
  • cigarettes, always the cigarettes hanging from ruddy faces
  • A man in a Viagra tee shirt says into his cell phone, "where am I? Have I gone to far?"
  • Everyone who passes my little drink trailer smiles and says hi, or hey.
  • Excited little girls in matching flowered dresses
  • Big shots in their golf carts
  • Little boys in camo chant "I want BBQ! We want BBQ!" as they each hang on their gramma's arm
  • Plaid shorts and boat shoes
  • Awkward teenage boys contrast comically with smooth politicians, both sauntering by
  • cigarettes and cell phones
  • pot bellies in overalls
  • "Oh those fried pies. Well, did y'all have some? Yes we had to, didn't we? How could you not have a fried pie?"
  • Girls - young women - so involved with themselves, so very, very busy being pretty, like they are having a hard time being away from a mirror for so long
  • Plates of corn on the cob and fries and ribs and candied apples and cheesecake on a stick and deep fried Oreos and Twinkies and strawberry shortcakes and I didn't eat lunch.

Last night I brought home a chicken, benefiting a nursing scholarship charity. Bill and I benefited too! And the dogs got enough skin that they were just a little loose this morning. The area vets work overtime this weekend. Pancreatitis and just gastric gallops from all the sharing that unknowing humans do.

Tonight I think we're getting ribs. No sharing with the dogs. We're walking down and eating there so as not to torment the gang waiting at home.

But they'll be smelling us big time when we get back. And they won't be thinking kind things about their useless Servants!


  1. "cigarettes and cell phones" that sounds like a video....

  2. Oh- how you perfectly summed up a huge wave of people, smoke and meat into selected comments! Enjoy your dinner tonite! We braved the crowd with a toe crunching stroller last night and believe we have done our due!
    kari and kisja


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