Sometimes in bed at night, I’m too tired to continue with the novel on my bedside table (currently the excellent Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles) and all of the piled up magazines are either too old or uninteresting. So I keep a couple of books of essays and short stories nearby so I can still get a quick — yet satisfying — read in before I nod off. One of those books of essays is the This I Believe collection, by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman, based on the NPR series of the same name.
I mention this because last night, after opening the book at random, I came across an essay I wished I had come across a couple of weeks ago. It was then that we here at NPT were getting ready for the premiere of our Tennessee Crossroads special, Smokin,’ which features Joe Elmore and the crew hitting barbecue joints and rib shacks throughout the state. The essay is Jason Sheehan’s wonderful “There is No Such Thing as Too Much Barbecue.” With affirmations like, “I believe that good barbecue needs sides the way good blues needs rhythm….” and “I believe that if you don’t get sauce under your nails when you’re eating, you’re doing it wrong,” Sheehan, a restaurant critic for Denver’s Westword, newspaper, will make you a believer too. If you enjoyed Smokin,’ you’ll love this brief, but perfect essay.
Read it at the NPR This I Believe site.