Recently I was honored to be selected as an Outstanding Famous TEXAS Celebrity 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 Monster Chili
JUDGE ONE: A little too heavy on tomato. Amusing kick.
JUDGE TWO: Nice, smooth tomato flavor Very mild.
FRANK: Holy shit, what hell 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 Texans 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 taken seriously.
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 beer line. The barmaid looks like a professional wrestler after a bad night. She was so irritated over my gagging sounds 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 more beans.
JUDGE TWO: A bean less chili, a bit salty, good use of red peppers.
FRANK: This has to be a joke. Call the EPA; I’ve located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting 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 “Forklift.”
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 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 even if she weighs 300 lbs.
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 farted 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. Rather irritates me that one of the other judges asked me to stop screaming, screw these rednecks.
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.
FRANK: 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. I need to wipe my ass with a snow cone!
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, Frank; he appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.
FRANK: You could put a hand grenade in my mouth and pull the damn 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 shirt is covered with chili, which slid, unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava-like shit to match my damn shirt. 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 4" 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.
FRANK: Is that you mama?