Joke Title: The Chili Cookoff
Notes from an inexperienced chili taster named Frank:

"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

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 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 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."

* 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.

* 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 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 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. 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. 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. FRANK: Momma...