As heard on the Good Stuff with Jim Thompson

“Okay, I’ll see you there.” Three Fingers didn’t have any experience as a Chile taster, but was honored to be selected as a judge at the chili cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment and he happened to be standing there at the judge's table, asking for directions to the Bush Light truck, when the call came in. He was assured by the other two judges (Native Texans) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy; and, besides, they told him he could have free beer during the tasting, so he accepted and became Judge #3.

Here are the scorecard notes from the event:


 Billy Bob -- A little too heavy on the tomato paste. Amusing bite. 
Clarence -- Nice, smooth garlic flavor. Very mild. 
Three Fingers -- Holy crap, what the heck is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that's the worst one. These Texans are crazy. 


 Billy Bob -- Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang. 
Clarence -- Nice flavor, but needs more peppers to be taken seriously. 
Three Fingers -- Keep this out of the reach of children. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to call 911 for me. They brought in more beer when they saw the look on my face. 



 Billy Bob -- Excellent firehouse chili. Great taste. 
Clarence -- A bit garlicky, good use of peppers. 
Three Fingers -- Call the EPA. I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting bleach. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. The barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is shaking hands with my bellybutton.  I'm getting kinda dizzy from all of the beer. 


Billy Bob -- Multi bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing. 
Clarence -- Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili. 
Three Fingers -- I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Dolly, the beer maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. 


 Billy Bob -- Meaty, strong chili. Jalapeno peppers freshly ground, adding considerable bite. Very impressive. 
Clarence -- Chili using shredded beef could use more tomato. Must admit the jalapeno peppers make a strong statement. 
Three Fingers -- My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I passed gas, and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Dolly saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I'm burning my lips off. It really ticks me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw them. 


 Billy Bob -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spices and peppers. 
Clarence-- The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, garlic. Superb. 
Three Fingers -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames... No one seems inclined to stand behind me except Sally. Can't feel my lips anymore. 

Billy Bob -- A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers. 
Clarence -- Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. **I should take note that I am worried about Judge #3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably. 
Three Fingers -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn't feel a thing. I've lost 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. At least during the autopsy, they'll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing. It's too painful. Screw it; 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. 


Billy Bob -- The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili. Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence. 
Clarence -- This final entry is a good, balanced chili. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted, passed out, fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he's going to make it. Poor guy, wonder how he'd have reacted to really hot chili? 
Three Fingers -- No report.


Larry Lindstrom The Laidback Golfer