After a weekend of camping at the lake, I parked the camper in storage and went... right back to the lake.  Literally within a half-mile from where I'd spent the previous 48 hours camping, the Beer & Brats Festival was a great way to cap off a great weekend.I guess I should admit right away that I was told I was pronouncing the word "brats" wrong.  I was told it's supposed to sound like "brought" instead of "brat".  Of course, this was coming from Deadfish Joey, so who knows if it's the correct pronunciation or not.

I was supposed to bring out my speaker set-up and emcee the event, but it turns out Jon at Texas Tour Gear had the sound set up just fine and all was needed was my smiling mug.  That meant an afternoon of beer, brats and occasionally a stage annoucement.  It doesn't get much easier than that.

The real work from the beer & brats came overnight.  And Monday morning.  And Monday afternoon.  And right now.  Heartburn is killing me.  I just mentioned again to someone last week that I don't eat hot dogs, brats, sausage or any other meat encased inside stomach linings.  I went back on that.  When in Rome...

I gobbled up two brats, the sides and more than one or two craft brews.  I'm still feeling it.  That eating performance put on by me, however, was not the most impressive (I guess that's the word for it) eating performance of the evening.  That honor went to my 12-year-old son, Tyler.  I told him he was wasting food and that there was no way he was going to finish two brats and all the sides.  It's amazing what a child can do to spite & prove wrong a parent.

The making of a man. Photos by me.

On the way to completely proving me wrong, he even had a few bites of his brother's untouched plate just to prove his manhood.  He later understood what manhood meant:  a moment of glory followed by unending misery.  After Jesse Howeth took one for the team and played a little longer than he was initially scheduled due to a no-show artist, Kirk Baxley closed out the night only the way he can... with an explosion of energy from the stage.

I'm suffering today from a meat hangover.  It's not pleasant, but I have no one to blame but myself.  I know better than to overdose on encased meat.