By: Raul Parra
Email: rp@99sportsproblems.com
Twitter: ParraPalliative

I’m sitting here waiting for the last hour to wind down on my smoked wings.  I can smell the sweet hickory in the air.  Like a sacrifice, it burns so it can feed the gods and in doing so it creates milky white apparitions in the sky.  I’m pondering now as many ticks come and go, like random city buses zagging and zigging in fog infested nights.

What is it about BBQ that stirs my soul?  What is it about fine drink that pleases me so?  I kick back and wonder.  Sounds ring out around me.  The sickening off beat rhythm of a basketball being bounced is enough to drive any time keeping drummer mad.  The random yapping of a so called dog.  I hear rim, another shot and a miss.

I try to push my thoughts out, but I am not successful.  They keep coming at me like a desecrated zombie, shambling toward me without care to injury or death.

Again it hits me.

Why am I drawn to smoked meats and strong drink?

Then a flash of inspiration!

A strong beer and good meal is community.  A stranger in a new city may only have to find the right pub in order to belong.  After the first round, he is family.  Gathering around a well kept fire and chewing on the bounty of the day is enough to raise even the most foulest of spirits.  Strangers become friends, friends become tribe and tribe lifts up to realm of spirit.

We often share stories after a few rounds of good spirits.  This is becoming rare in the modern age of internet and “all you can view” TV.  We create myth and legend around the table,  something desperately needed in a time of 24 hour “realism.”

We tend to share in a BBQ setting.  The normal selfishness of everyday life seems to melt away.  We open our homes to others.  We act, even if it is untrue, as if our bounty could never end and encourage others to take their fill, often before we’ve had our own.

We experience the outdoors in a way that most city dwellers never would.  I know as well as you do, hanging in your backyard is not exactly the great outdoors.  However, in some cases this option is all certain people are left with.

When done right, merriment in the form of liquor and good food reminds us that we are together on this rock.  Not only are we together… we are OF it.  Not the masters of it.  We are not observing it.  We are it. We are the thing.

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