During our stay in Memphis, I fell into a conversation with a charming, 84-year-old porter at our hotel. When I told Zac we lived in Toronto, he broke into a big smile and told me he'd spent seven years up north working for the Canadian Pacific Railroad about fifty years ago.
"I've been everywhere: Toronto, Sault Ste. Marie, Moosejaw, Calgary, Whistler." Every time he named a city, he checked it off by raising a finger. "I remember one time I met this man at Union Station in Toronto," he continued, "and when I asked him how he was doing, he said, 'I'm just right.'" Then his face lit up in a smile. "I liked that so much, that whenever anyone asks me how I'm doing, I always say the same thing, 'I'm just right.'"
I like it too. A lot, actually.
Our trip was all about "just right." The "meat blindness" I described in the first post about our trip indicates "too much," I know, but a barbecue excursion implies excess. Being "just right" under such circumstances demands a certain boldness of appetite -- the southern US is, after all, a corner of the world where macaroni and cheese is listed as a vegetable on most menus. Memphis did not become the fourth fattest city in the United States by equating "just right" with moderation, that's for sure.
It was in that spirit that we descended on the World Barbecue Championship.