A story from a guy named Cameron

Recently, I was honored to be selected as an Outstanding Famous
Celebrity in my Community to be a judge at a chili cook-off because
no one else wanted to do it.  Also the original personal 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 kick.
JUDGE TWO:  Nice, smooth tomato flavor.  Very mild.
CAMERON:    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.
CAMERON:    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.
CAMERON:    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:  A hint of lime in the black beans.  Good side dish for fish
            or other mild foods, not much of a chili.
CAMERON:    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.
CAMERON:    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.
CAMERON:    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.
CAMERON:    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.
CAMERON:    Momma...

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