This is an oldie, but a goodie!
Notes From An Inexperienced Chili Taster Named Frank Who Was Visiting Texas:
Recently I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off
because no one else wanted to do it. 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, both native Texans, that the chili
wouldn't be all that spicy, and they told me I could have free beer during
the tasting, so I accepted.
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
fromyour driveway with it. Took me two beers to put the flames out. Hope
that's the worst one. These hicks are crazy!
Chili #2: Arthur's Afterburner Chili
JUDGE ONE: Smoky with a hint of pork. Slight Jalapeno tang.
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 beer line.
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 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.
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 barmaid, 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
expelled gas and four people behind 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
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 No. 3. He
appears to be in a bit of distress.
FRANK: You could put a 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 that 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 suck it in through the 4-inch
hole in my stomach.
Chili #8: Helen's Mount St. Chili
JUDGE ONE: A perfect ending. This is a nice blended chili, safe for
all; not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.
JUDGE TWO: 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.
FRANK: (Editor's note: Judge No. 3 was unable to report)