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the curious case of the second stall

June 2013

(with apologies to my readers and Sir A.C.D.)

Closing his notebook with a satified click, Watson waited in happy expectation. Happy, were it not for a lingering dread, based on long association, of what was yet to come.

His anticipation was all too quickly rewarded.

Out of a dark corner emerged a measured, clear voice tinged with feigned disinterest. "Watson, my dear fellow, surely the case is not closed?".

"But Holmes, The Mystery of the Dreaded Barbecue Stall has reached a most satifying conclusion. For decades people wondered why meat cooked slow and low sometimes marched higher in temperature, like stolid British fare, yet often stalled around 155F for minutes. Or worse plateaued for hours, in plain sight of a fully cooked repast waiting just 30F away. The unpredictability and obstinancy of the Barbecue Stall struck fear into the hearts of the fairer sex, whose well-laid plans for dinner were often torn asunder. Leading to murder and familial mayhem".

In the dark, Watson's medical training detected a slight moan as Holmes shifted in his chair, his long and surprisingly muscular left leg perched delicately atop a stuffed mastadon head. A present from H.M.---, in thanks for recovering the Burnt Ends of the Lone Star State.

"It strikes horror in me to recall the privations you faced tracking the stall to its lair. The endless battles with stulifying smoke. Sweet sauce in the French style that hid fine Yorkshire pork under its sickly glaze. The countless pounds of fatty meat consumed while in disguise as a "foodie" traveling the disreputable barbecue circuit. In consequence, you sit here today, in our snug **, racked in pain with le gout."

"All the more frustrating", declaimed Holmes, "as our work has not yet reached a satisfactory conclusion. For I have heard of a SECOND stall at 185F, a ghost-like apparition, that sometimes appears once the first stall is defeated. Few but the most lion-hearted of men can bear the dark malady of two stalls in one day".

"A second stall?", cried the appalled Watson. "But how is this possible, after we so soundly defeated the first?"

Holmes remained silent for many minutes. "Given my temporary incapacity, we shall have to solve the Case of The Second Stall without leaving this very parlor. But let us not speculate without the benefit of solid facts. Please Watson, consult your notes and review the case..





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