As some of you know Neil does bbq competitions with his fellow teammates and bloggers, Four Q. When they decided to do their first competition in 2006, their motto was “have fun/don’t come in last”. They took fifth in ribs. When Neil decided that he wanted to do more competitions, we agreed that the household funds would not be used to support his habit.
The way he fed this monkey was to raise money by cooking. His first cook was on the house as seed money. That money had to be turned over to make more money. Yet another clue as to how we got here. The more he competed the more he wanted to compete. It was no longer about just having fun he wanted to win.
Fast forwarding, Neil no longer cooks for “the fun of it”; it’s to make a living. He now feels that money from the business should be used to support his competition fix. Something I failed to mention was that whenever the team won, Bigmista pocketed the money for more competitions. This is even after he started using business money to compete. Now for the most part I would agree this would now be a vein of the business accept for the fact that 1) he competes under Four Q, not Bigmista, 2) the competitions are on days that we have markets. We’re a one trick pony until the new smoker arrives and preps for the fixins’ (sink, etc.), and if he has the equipment the only money we would make is if he won, and 3) the business is putting out money for gas, meat, and competition fees that we may not recoup. And if he makes nothing he looks to the business account for money for his next fix.
Now while I love Sylvie (Soul Fusion Kitchen), Shu (Professor Salt) and Luis (BBQ Junkie), and wish Four Q would win every competition it does nothing for my family as a whole to have my family’s livelihood at the mercy of some judge’s taste bud. I have explained to Neil that right now his reward should be the fact that he is making money doing something he loves as well as the fact that people are lining up for his food and spreading the word at an alarming rate.
Our last discussion about this he told me that he made a commitment to the team and I reminded him that his commitment to me and his daughter come first. He had no response. I also reminded him of his post on the bbq-brethren about business before comps. Guess who is still leaving on the 24th. He tries to pacify me by saying he’s not doing anymore this year. BIG WOO!!!