Notes From An Inexperienced Chili Taster Named
"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
JUDGE TWO: Nice, smooth tomato flavor Very
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
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 he 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.
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. She said her friends call her "Sally." Probably behind her
back they call her "Forklift."
Bubba's Black Magic
JUDGE ONE: Black bean chili with almost no spice.
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
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
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 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.
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
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
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. 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
JUDGE TWO: A perfect ending, this is a nice blend
chili, safe for all, not too bold but spicy enough to declare its