Traveling to Memphis is a bit of an adventure for sure. However I have even more of an adventure on this trip as I am traveling with my Dad aka Mr. Happypants. Dad is letting me drive him to Memphis then he is carrying on to Florida. Don’t get me wrong my Dad is a great guy but he has some definite views on the world. Many of which I tend to disagree with. He was a cop for 25 years and after then a small business owner. My Dad talks in a certain way that’s well….. lets just say direct. Its either that or pretty much unnerving dead air silence from him. My brother and I often refer to Dad’s way of talking as the cop talk. Its the “let me ascertain the facts” type of lingo. We have reminded him of this over the years. He gives you this defiant look and we all sort of move on. It just always better to move on. Think Ray Romanos Dad – Frank on Everybody loves Raymond. That’s pretty much my Dad.
To my Dad food is just food. Its either good or bad with no gray. Ask my Dad what flavor profiles he is getting from something and he will look at you like an alien. Then he will tell you he thinks you are full of nonsense. He is a straight up salt & pepper, canned peas, cook it till its deader than cement kind of guy. Burgers, hot dogs, meatloaf and M&M meat shops kind of guy. NTTIAWWT Don’t mess around with him on that either. No, just don’t -I have tried on many occasions.
Plus don’t even try to get him to buy any other roast other than eye of the round cooked to a limp gray. (Dontcha know its good value look at how lean it is!!) He is also the same guy who tried to buy Walmart’s ready made “BBQ” ribs that you microwave in front of me. He couldn’t figure out why I was a little annoyed. So that’s pretty much my Dad in a narrow focused sort of way. He is also a really thoughtful out of the blue kind of guy. Last year knowing we needed a fridge for the competition trailer he offered to buy it for us as a very early Christmas gift. He is that kind of guy. Gruff on the outside not tolerant of anything, or anyone, and unfailingly thoughtful at the oddest and most unexpected of times. He also helped me paint some of my house and fix things.
Prior to getting in his truck to drive I got “the” lectures. I knew they were coming I was prepared. The don’t you dare go a km over the speed limit lecture. The you are not smoking in my truck lecture, the I am not eating at any where fancier that Cracker barrel lecture, the why do you need to buy anything at duty free lecture, the well what time are we getting there lecture, the I don’t want to stop anywhere lecture, the I don’t want to learn how to use a cell phone lecture, the don’t mess with my “golden oldies” radio tuning lecture, the can’t you turn that black butter (My blackberry) thing off lecture, the why do you need so many clothes when I can go away for 2 months and take only this minuscule bag lecture , the well I only need 1 pair of shoes why do you need 3 lecture, and so on and so on. Dad has become over the last couple of years since my Mom has passed on very, very stuck in his own ways of doing things. (Understatement of the year) Yup that’s my Dad. I love him.Wouldn’t want to trade him for any other Dad either.
So Mr. Happypants and I set of this morning at 5am. It was -15 in Barrie this morning. Damn. Cold. Loaded up with timmies we crossed through the great white North of Barrie Ontario and headed to the Detroit border. Stopping a couple of times for the inevitable potty breaks we talked about his trip to Florida and my trip to Memphis. My father is as obsessed about Florida as I am about BBQ. Explaining to my Dad about BBQ competitions is always complicated. He does not understand why I pay to go and stand sometimes in field full of mud praying that my meat will turn out well. Why I am paying the potty mouth guy (what Dad and my daughter call Myron Mixon) to take his class. When I inevitably come home from a competition he does not understand why I am beyond thrilled with a Fourth place like I was this past year in Louisa Virginia. He does not understand that beating Tuffy Stone, LeeAnn Whippen and others just once was a thrill for me like no other. That I did not need a GC to feel awesome. He just turns to me morosely and says better luck next time. Hopefully you will actually win. Yup thats my Dad.
We stopped for lunch at Cracker barrel. I always have the same meal there. Its always chicken fried steak. Always. I have this artery clogging meal once or twice a year and thats it. Dad tried it for the first time. (It took some convincing) I don’t think he liked it as he ate fries and biscuits and not much of it.
Along the way I got cut off by an idiot in one of those supped up Honda Civics that remind me of beetles on acid – and I cursed at him. Douche noodle. Yup thats what I called the little twit. (Please make sure to click the link to find out who came up with that most interesting of curses on January 30th its epic) Well let me tell you that lecture was one of the longest. The why don’t you talk more like a lady lecture was combined with the I know we did not raise you to speak like that lecture, which further rolled into the I don’t know whats wrong with you people which he made an even further lamented lecture into the I am sure your Mother would not be proud of you for speaking like that lecture. Trust. It was a long and benevolent (in my opinion) silence that I received after those lectures.
We set out for our final destination. Jungle Jims International Market for the day. I had heard about this most interesting of places from a friend of mine Cam. He has gone back twice. I now understand. This is like a playground for foodies. Truly it was. I could spend days in this place. For my Dad not so much. So we left but not before I managed to grab 7 bottles of wine and some snacks. Ok and also some spices and a few other things. As quick as I could I got out. I didn’t like to keep Mr. Happypants waiting. We will be off again early in the AM. We will be staying downtown in Memphis tomorrow night. I will probably need to crack open one or more of those bottles of wine. I am 100% sure I will get a lecture about that