2017-05-10 / Editorials

Don Lively


Well, here we go again. It's that time of year. Annually, about this time, I have a serious talk with myself about my dignity and my sanity. Mostly, I question myself and, frighteningly, I find myself answering. It's been said that talking to one's self is not a sign of insanity, however, answering yourself, actually having a back and forth, out loud conversation where the talker is both the questioner and the questioned, well, that probably borders on crazy.

Anyhow, the root of the situation that causes me to talk to myself is this inquiry:

What kind of man would, on a hot May weekend, dress in a white three piece suit, white shirt, white Stetson and white Tony Lama's, and spend two days dodging all manner of sauces and condiments that would permanently ruin said duds, all the while portraying a lovable buffoon from The Dukes of Hazzard?

Well, Boss Hog would.

Boss Hog and I talk to each other since he is me and I am him.

I'm Boss, for the ninth consecutive year.

This coming weekend, in my beloved home town, over forty cooking teams will assemble for one of the premier barbecue cook-off competitions anywhere in Dixie or beyond.

It's officially called The Boss Hog Barbecue Cook-off, and it's the reason I'm willing to suspend my dignity for a few days, cause, folks, this is one boy-howdy of a party I'm talking about.

If you've never been, you don't want to miss it this year. There are hundreds of barbecue cook-offs all over America but none like The Boss. It's a Southern style, loud and proud, meat slinging, music playing, boot-scootin' shindig that could only be accomplished by the blessed people of the Blessed South.

If you get there at the right times, designated in the event's literature, you can sample some of the mouthwatering pork barbecue, pork ribs, or chicken wings. The folks doing the cooking are serious about their craft. They arrive a couple of days ahead of time and set up camps all over the large lawn. They clean and test their cookers and implements to make sure that everything is perfect. They inspect and re-inspect the cuts of meat that will be used for the competition.

Then, they get to work.

They will spend the two days toiling over the hot surfaces attempting to create the perfect meat masterpiece.

They will be working, but you don't have to.

The event always features some exceptional musicians on the Boss Hog stage. The bands are chosen partially based on their ability to get folks out in front of the stage dancing to the tunes. I've seen some local folks who I would have never guessed had the moves, dancing up a storm. Of course, I've also seen a few other local folks who should have remained sitting. Nah, not really. I've even been known to hit the dance area myself, praying the whole time that no overly exuberant dancer sloshes wine or barbecue sauce on Boss's clothes.

There's also a beauty contest that requires neither beauty, nor brains, to enter. All it requires is that you are not female, but for the contest, you don't mind dressing in women's clothes. No folks, it's not a social experiment, it's the Queen Of The Wing, womanless beauty contest.

There's not much more I can say about that, you need to see it to believe it.

During the weekend there is also a highly regarded and state certified hog calling contest. Okay, the highly regarded and state certified is a bit of an exaggeration, but, the contest is fun and open to any and all who are brave enough to step forward. Trophies are awarded to the best callers in women's, men's and kid's categories.

So get your "sooie" on and come see me.

There's plenty more.

A fireworks show on Friday night.

Carnival rides, inflatables, games and contests for kids of all ages.

All sorts of food from corndogs to funnel cakes, roasted cornon the-cob to sausage dogs and French fries.

A beer tent with the friendliest bunch of bartenders you will find anywhere in the galaxy.

And, Boss will be there.

Come find me and say howdy.

I'll be the one dressed head to toe in white, looking spectacular.

See y'all there.

Don Lively is a freelance writer and author of two books of Southern Humor, Howlin' At The Dixie Moon, and, South O' Yonder. He lives in Shell Bluff. Email Don at Livelycolo@aol.com.

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