Texas Chilli Cook-Off
Subject: The Chili Cookoff
Date: Sunday, January 31, 1999 5:04 PM
Recently I was honored to be selected as an Outstanding Famous Celebrity
in Texas, 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.
FRANK: 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
JUDGE TWO: Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken
FRANK: 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
Chili # 3: Fred's Famous Burn Down the Barn Chili
JUDGE ONE: Excellent firehouse chili! Great kick. Needs more beans.
JUDGE TWO: A beanless chili, a bit salty, good use of red peppers.
FRANK: 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.
Chili # 4: Bubba's Black Magic
JUDGE ONE: Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.
JUDGE TWO: Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or
other mild foods, not much of a chili.
FRANK: I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to
taste it. Sally, the bar maid, was standing behind me with fresh
refills so I wouldn't have to dash over to see her.
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.
FRANK: My ears are ringing and I can no longer focus my eyes. I
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
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
FRANK: My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous
flames. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except Sally.
Chili # 7: Susan's Screaming Sensation Chili
JUDGE ONE: A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.
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.
FRANK: 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. 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.
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.