How to be at the Burgers and Brew Festival and Chili Cookoff at the same time ...

October 10, 2012 

I know that the key to this weekend is going to be a water buffalo hat.

I’m just not sure what form that hat will take.

You see, on a classic episode of “The Flintstones,” Fred needs to be in two places at once: one, his daughter Pebbles’ birthday party; the other, a Water Buffalo Lodge function. In a manic rush between the two events, he forgets to remove his water buffalo hat for Pebbles’ party, outing him as a scoundrel and an absent father.

On Saturday — as is often the case during the fall festival season — there are two events on Hilton Head Island taking place at the same time: the Kiwanis Chili Cookoff at Honey Horn and the inaugural Burgers and Brew Festival at Shelter Cove Community Park.

I have a special connection with the almost-soup that is chili (because who doesn’t?) and feel that missing our annual date at the cook-off would damage our relationship.

But, on the other hand, burgers and brews.

So I’m going to try to be at both.

Now, I’ve seen this predicament played out on a number of ’90s sitcoms and have always wanted a chance to partake. Among others, “Friends,” “Home Improvement” and “Boy Meets World” (which, to give credit where credit is due, also references the water buffalo episode) all feature episodes with dual commitments, and in all, predictably, hilarity ensues. I seek that hilarity and can learn from their pitfalls. Common elements that trip up these plans include:

• Costumes, such as the water buffalo hat, that characters forget to remove in the shuffle

• Body doubles/impersonators/Eastern European cousins who, upon simple questioning, reveal they are not whom they claim to be

• Co-workers, who somehow always seem to be the least aware people of all-time

• Morals, as doing the right thing often leads to unfortunate consequences (also known as the Doubtfire Heimlich Corollary).

I know nobody willing to be a personal stand-in, have smart co-workers and possess only a barely functional knowledge of the Heimlich. It’s the costume part I worry about. What constitutes a water buffalo hat for food festivals?

“Is that a cook-off napkin I see?”

“I know that spoon. That’s no chili spoon.”

The good news, of course, is there isn’t really any consequence for it being revealed that I’m attending both festivals. Where some characters had to deal with angry spouses, family or friends, the worst thing that can happen to me is indigestion. Fred got hit with a frying pan for forgetting to take off his water buffalo hat.

I’ll be fine popping two Tums.

Andy has not considered simply going to one festival and then going to the other.

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