Saturday, June 30, 2007

20th Annual Cedar Rapids BBQ Roundup

And now we return to the nauseating phantasmagoria that is the modern barbecue festival!

Our last festival sight-seeing tour took us to Memphis. This time around, it's Cedar Rapids, jewel of East Central Iowa.

From what we have been able to determine, a barbecue festival is a nation within a nation. And the official state religion of suicidefoodistan sanctions—nay!—mandates an all-encompassing belief in the redemptive power of animals just asking for it.

First up: this bizarre rechanneling of patriotic fervor into fevered carnivory. (Are they really so far removed, those two sacred impulses?) The message here has become garbled, buried under the insistent rumple of Old Glory, but it might go something like this: “I am an American pig. I am angry. I have such contempt for the lower nations of the world that I flaunt my willingness to eat myself and the members of my family. I taste like… freedom!”

The colonel stars in an equally mysterious scenario. After much discussion we have come to the conclusion that some filthy do-gooder has attempted to drag the kiln-baked colonel from the oven, but he is having none of it. See the grooves his trotters carve in the floor? He wants to stay in that oven. He needs to reach the desired temperature.

The other imagery is straightforward. For instance, this rib-brandishing chef. He is, of course, a mainstay of suicide food, down to the chef hat and the bandanna of the damned. Raise that platter high, you shining symbol of suicidefoodism’s sour promise! (Not to mention misplaced apostrophes. Finger lick'in (sic) good, indeed.)

This lantern-jawed fellow takes his own succulence very seriously. The whole of Chi-Town can go up in flames all over again, and he won't mind—as long as you cast a hungry eye in his direction. Really, his pride is practically sinful.

Our Cedar Rapids travelogue ends with this puzzling signage. A scampering boar requests that you vote for him and acknowledge his suitability as a foodstuff. Fair enough. This is standard, by-the-book suicide food behavior. It's the policeman pig trucking off a load of piglets that is novel and troubling. What have the wee ones done? Were they not delicious enough? Is that their crime?

(Thanks to Dr. Jason for the referral and the photos.)

Addendum: You should know that the 20th Annual CRBBQR featured more entertainment than animals thoughtfully ushered into the afterlife. Music abounded too, provided by the likes of the Boogie Woogers, Large Midgets, and Obsidian's Dream. (There was even a booth from Veridian Credit!)

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