The Chili Cook-Off
Recently I was honored to be selected as an Outstanding
Famous Celebrity in my Community to be a judge at a chili
cook-off because no one else wanted to do it.
Also the original person called in sick at the last moment
and I happened to be standing there at the judge's table
asking directions to the beer wagon when the call came.
I was assured by the other two judges that the chili
wouldn't be all that spicy, and besides they told me I
could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted this
as being one of those burdens you endure when you're an
internet writer and therefore known and adored by all.
Here are the scorecards from the event:
Chili # 1: Mike's Maniac Mobster Monster Chili
JUDGE ONE: A little too heavy on tomato. Amusing kick.
JUDGE TWO: Nice, smooth tomato flavor Very mild.
KENNEDY: Holy smokes, what is this stuff? You could
remove dried paint from your driveway with it. Took me two
beers to put the flames out. Hope that's the worst one.
These people are crazy.
Chili # 2: Arthur's Afterburner Chili
JUDGE ONE: Smoky (barbecue?) with a hint of pork.
Slight Jalapeno tang.
JUDGE TWO: Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be
KENNEDY: Keep this out of reach of children! I'm not
sure what I am supposed to taste besides pain. I had to
wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich
maneuver. Shoved my way to the front of the beer line. The
barmaid, looks like a professional wrestler after a bad
night. She was so irritated over my gagging that the snake
tattoo under her eye started to twitch. She has arms like
Popeye and a face like Winston Churchill. I will NOT pick a
fight with her.
Chili # 3: Fred's Famous Burn Down the Barn Chili
JUDGE ONE: Excellent firehouse chili! Great kick. Needs
JUDGE TWO: A beanless chili, a bit salty, good
use of red peppers.
KENNEDY: This has got to be a joke. Call
the EPA, I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like
I have been sneezing Drano. Everyone knows the routine by
now and got out of my way so I could make it to the beer
wagon. Barmaid pounded me on the back; now my backbone is
in the front part of my chest. She said her friends call
her "Sally." Probably behind her back they call her
Chili # 4: Bubba's Black Magic
JUDGE ONE: Black bean chili with almost no spice.
JUDGE TWO: A hint of lime in the black
beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not
much of a chili.
KENNEDY: I felt something scraping
across my tongue but was unable to taste it. Sally was
standing behind me with fresh refills so I wouldn't have to
dash over to see her. When she winked at me her snake sort
of coiled and uncoiled-it's kinda cute.
Chili # 5: Linda's Legal Lip Remover
JUDGE ONE: Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly
ground adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
JUDGE TWO: Chili using shredded beef; could use more tomato.
Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.
KENNEDY: My ears are ringing and I can no
longer focus my eyes. Belched and four people in front of
me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed hurt when I
told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally
saved my tongue by pouring beer directly on it from a
pitcher. Sort of irritates me that one of the other judges
asked me to stop screaming.
Chili # 6: Vera's Very Vegetarian Variety
JUDGE ONE: Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good
balance of spice and peppers.
JUDGE TWO: The best yet.
Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.
KENNEDY: My intestines are now a straight pipe filled
with gaseous flames. No one seems inclined to stand behind
me except Sally. I asked if she wants to go dancing later.
Chili # 7: Susan's Screaming Sensation Chili
JUDGE ONE: A mediocre chili with too much reliance on
JUDGE TWO: Ho Hum, tastes as if the chef
threw in canned chili peppers at the last moment. I should
note that I am worried about Judge Number 3, he appears to
be in a bit of distress.
KENNEDY: You could put a hand grenade in my mouth and
pull the pin and I wouldn't feel it. I've lost the sight
in one eye and the world sounds like it is made of rushing
water. My clothes are covered with chili which slid
unnoticed out of my mouth at some point. Good, at autopsy
they'll know what killed me. Go Sally, save yourself before
it's too late. Tell our children I'm sorry I was not there
to conceive them. I've decided to stop breathing, it's too
painful and I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need
air I'll just let it in through the hole in my stomach.
Call the X-Files people and tell them I've found a super
nova on my tongue.
Chili # 8: Helen's Mount Saint Chili
JUDGE ONE: This final entry is a good, balanced chili,
neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was
lost when Judge Number 3 fell and pulled the chili pot on
top of himself.
JUDGE TWO: A perfect ending, this is a
nice blend chili, safe for all, not too bold but spicy
enough to declare its existence.
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