I guess I have entirely missed the point of a chili cook-off. You see, growing up, I – wait. No, never mind. This has nothing to do with growing up. But I’ve always sort of been of the opinion that when you had a food contest, the goal for each contestant would be to cook the best tasting food. Chili included. Should not the goal for each contestant to be to produce the absolute best chili anyone has ever had? Well apparently not. Now the point is to see who can set someone’s mouth on fire the fastest. And there’s your opening paragraph.
Seriously though, did I miss some sort of memo? Here at work the other day, there was a small, unannounced chili cook-off hosted by the ladies in marketing. And of course, out of the seven or so women there, only like two of them made the chili. The rest of the entries were actually cooked and prepared by the husbands. I need not finish this paragraph, but I will anyway – if for no other reason than to hit my word quota. But yeah, you guessed it: women cannot cook chili. My red-haired wife not included.
Well, this is not really a rip-on-women column so much as it is an anti-humanity column. Because – let’s not forget – men are still humans. And when you get them engaged in any sort of competition, their humanity starts showing. They all think they’re cool and tough and, well, just good chili cooks. “Hey guys, watch this. Ima put some habanerro in mine.” And all his buddies high-five and tap their beer cans together, one hand in pocket, thinking they’re cool, standing on the back porch, listening to Leonard Skinnard. I sort of liken chili cook-off contestants to NASCAR fans. I don’t know why.
So basically, the point of a chili cook-off has become to see who can make the hottest chili, even at the cost of taste. I tasted some the other day in this cook-off that tasted like absolute horse shit. It was terrible! But hey, it was hot! So I’m standing there shaking my head going, Seriously? “Hey man! Hot enough for ya?” (with a light punch on my shoulder) Ahem. Yeah dude. Congrats, you made some salsa. That tastes like fetid anteater sperm. It’s terrible. It’s hot though! Sigh.
They apparently don’t care what it tastes like, or even if it has any taste at all. It’s just a bowl of heat. And the couple in this contest that the women made tasted like spoiled donkey tongue was the meat ingredient. Literally. It was so terrible that I vomited it right back into the chili bowl. Oh. Wait. Perhaps that is exactly what someone had done before me. We’re just recycling our sample, plus the samples we’ve already had before said sample, into the crock pot. Maybe that’s why they call it a crock pot. Zing!
I’m also not a very good judge of chili cook-offs because I have certain precautionary practices I must engage. Like first of all, I have to ask who made this particular chili. Well, it’s supposed to be secret so you don’t vote for a chili based on who has the best breasts. (I will admit, I have been biased by such things before.) I get it. But dude, I’m asking because I need to know my second point: what’s in it? See, I have some food allergies. If someone stupidly puts some pumpkin spice (hey, you don’t know our marketing women) in it, for instance. Or ground almonds.
So if I want to taste your “chili”, then I need to know that it’s not going to kill me. And that’s the second subpoint: no one wants to tell you what’s in it. Like you’re going to go home and try to copy their ridiculous recipe. Yeah, I want to make liquid fire that has absolutely no taste! I think we all know how to do that.
And thirdly, when I do find one I actually like, I have a tendency to want to eat it. Like not just have a taste, I would like a bowl of this one, please. And then perhaps a second and maybe even a third bowl. “Nope! I found it! No need to try the others!” That’s what I do. I find the one I like and my judging stops there. So you should probably not invite me to be a judge in your “chili” cook-off. And just for the record, if you’re just trying to be mister tough cool guy wanna-be chili cook because you think you can impress the ladies with how hot your “chili” is, then you should definitely be putting quotes around it. Because it ain’t real chili.