BBQ Smackdown II: The Rib-off

That's right. Last Friday was the second BBQ Smackdown at Traction. This time, there were three contestants: Russell "Crispy" Quinan, Ben "The Kid" Wilkinson and yours truly. Of course, I walked away with the trophy. And of course, Crispy has sought a legal injunction (translation = public sore losing). Personally, I would never stoop so low as to dispute the wisdom of a fairly judged contest that had found me to be the lesser man, but I'm not Crispy. 

However, I've pasted his email to our council below for you to be the judge of the judging.

For your review and consideration:

They say that a Barbecue competition is the great equalizer among men. Unlike team sports, the barbeque master works alone, with no one to blame when staring defeat in the face. Like the puppet master who so elegantly manipulates string to give the doll life, the great barbequer makes flame and meat sear together into an almost mystical level of flavor and texture perfection. This is not a subject to be taken lightly, or to be manipulated for one’s own personal gain. The steaks are very high.

A “smackdown” was to occur on Friday evening, November 7th. What happened was far more sinister indeed. What happened was either an extreme travesty of justice, or perhaps, a plot far more intricate and dastardly, hatched on the day of Adam Kleinberg’s last Smackdown loss.

I submit to our General Council the facts of the evening in the hopes that any sane and or reasonable man or woman would agree that the following is clearly some sort of cleverly devised conspiracy perpetrated by Adam Kleinberg himself:

1. Mr. Kleinberg used agency “status meeting” time to pre pitch his barbecue recipe and story to the staff.

I think we can all agree that equal time must be given to all participants to pitch their wares. Not only did Mr. Kleinberg tell the entire staff about his barbeque prowess and menu, but he did so while standing atop our crow’s nest, some 10 feet above the heads of the audience—portraying himself as a deity. I can safely say that neither Mr. Wilkinson, nor Mr Quinan had the same opportunity to stack the perceptual deck in their favor.

2. Timing was unfairly manipulated by Mr. Kleinberg

Mr. Kleinberg knowingly captured an obvious advantage by continually changing the time of the barbeque. The invitation clearly says 3:00 PM. When asked when the meat should be coming off the grill, Mr. Kleinberg continually said in “20 minutes.” Apparently 20 minutes means 2 hours and 30 minutes because I believe the competition started approximately 5:30 PM. Both Mr. Wilkinson and Quinan had to actually turn their grills off and wait for Mr. Kleinberg. I should add that both Mr Wilkinson and Mr. Quinan were there and ready to begin on time while Mr Kleinberg was still hastily preparing.

3. A “scream off “ determines the winner in a BBQ competition?

Would a scream off break the tie between two fine artists? Would Salvador Dali hold a scream off against Van Gough? I think not. To select the winner of a barbeque competition, I would suggest a more appropriate tiebreaker to elevate the audience’s perception of the art form that is barbeque.

4. If a scream off is indeed fair (although I say NAY!) But if it is, how many people had left and were not there to cast their scream? Ballets were handed out in an orderly fashion, but screaming is anything but. Can Mr. Fanning actually measure the “loudness” of a screaming room of meat eaters? It is clear to me that his arm “meter” was broken and unable to deliver consistent and accurate measurement of decibels. Was every screamer even a valid screamer? This direction is fraught with peril.

It is clear to me that this entire competition was a cleverly manipulated farce; with malice of forethought I might add, by Mr. Kleinberg, who enlisted the help of the Master of Ceremonies himself, Mr. Theodore Fanning (if that is his real name?). I submit to our General Council that the two of them we’re planning on splitting all the winnings and beginning a new life in some other region where they could continually hatch these schemes on unwitting participants. They must be stopped.

I think the entire competition’s results are suspect and the only logical course of action is to hold the trophy in a safe and secure location until Mr Kleinberg and Mr Quinan can find some other respectful tie breaker that takes into account the art of flame and meat and not the screaming of a drunken audience.

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