FileTitle: Prose2034.html
Category: Humor
Type: Prose
Description: 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.

CAMERON:  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 taken seriously.

CAMERON:  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 beanless chili, a bit salty, good use
of red peppers.

CAMERON:  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 "Forklift."

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.

CAMERON:  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.

CAMERON:  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 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.

CAMERON:  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 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.

CAMERON:  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

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.

CAMERON:  Momma?