Sep 18, 2018

American Royal - KC, MO - Day 3 . September 16, 2018

KC Speedway Day 2
Didn't rush to the speedway today because yesterday was too flipping hot. I stopped along the way at another McDonalds...and I'm not sure that employees at the MickyD's here in KC understand the meaning of FAST food...then I drove around the speedway about three times trying to find the entrance. By the time I got to the judge's sign in, I was a hot mess, thinking I was too late to judge. Luckily for me, I found my table and was greeted by the most fantastic Table Captain to ever walk the earth.

I'd love to be able to show you photos of the BBQ we judged. Or to share with you a bit of the twenty minute monologue we had to listen to prior to judging...or to recite to you the BBQ judge's which as a judge you literally stand up and raise your right arm and promise and swear to judge the BBQ to the best of your ability subjectively and objectively for truth, liberty, and justice (or something like that). But alas, those things are all forbidden by the BBQ Judges code of conduct and I'm pretty sure a violation results in death.

I will tell you that we judged turkey, chicken, sausage, brisket, pork tenderloin, pork in another form, and ribs. I am allowed to tell you that some of the food was excellent. I'm not supposed to tell you that some of it, mainly some sausage, was so bad that we deduced the contestants must have cooked it then injected it into the sausage casing....which resulted in something I hope I never see again. The texture and the taste was similar to canned dog food. Before you get all snarky and say, "Have you tried canned dog food?" The answer is YES. I wanted to see what Trout was actually eating...and that's also why she now gets homemade food or FreshPet (because in the event of a zombie apocalypse, I know I could stomach FreshPet if it came down to living or dying). 

On Sunday at the event the vendors were was rather quiet...and people were packing up by the time we were finished judging.  I didn't stay for the awards because I had an appointment three hours away to check in at a B&B. 

But, I must mention that on Saturday and Sunday I met some fantastic people. I hung out with a couple from Montana on Saturday who were some of the nicest people I've met thus far while judging BBQ, or even traveling for that matter. I also ended up sitting next to a fellow I had talked to briefly outside while we were waiting to get into the judging area...and he was also a great person. On Sunday, I met people from my table that were fun to talk to and who made the down time of judging much more entertaining. And yeah, they were pretty awesome too!  I seriously didn't encounter one asshat the entire time I was at the event...which is shocking because I'm literally an asshat magnet.

The thing about going to these events is that everyone is there because they love BBQ. It's an automatic bond that sometimes reaches past the event and into Facebook...and even when it doesn't, it's still very rewarding to hear people's stories and to glimpse into someone's life. Talking to people usually makes me appreciate what I have and where I've been. I'm lucky to be able to travel and judge BBQ, and I can more easily recognize how fantastic that is when I meet like-minded people. I'm typically a hermit, so when I'm forced to step out of my comfort zone and be with people, I'm always amazed at what happens.

Of course, the best thing about traveling to KC to judge BBQ is what comes next...three extra days in KC to explore, to eat BBQ, to meet people, and to see fantastic things I'd never see from my living room window.

So let the games begin. 

Thank you to American Royal BBQ for having another great event. And to all those I met, THANK YOU for being such great people!!! 

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