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The Best Medicine
Recently, ol' Frank from back East was visiting friends down Texas way. He was a bit of a celebrity because foreigners didn't often make it to these parts, being somewhat isolated in the Big Thicket, as it were.
Anyway, ol' Frank was asked to be a judge in the annual chili cook-off. Now folks 'round these parts didn't think nothin' of it. In fact, it was an honor to put him in there, since usually the folks selected only the most experienced tasters for this very serious event.
Well, as part of ol' Frank's obituary, we thought we'd publish his last words as a celebration of his life, especially since we don't get much interesting stuff happen around here.
Here are the scorecards from the event:
CHILI # 1: MIKE'S MANIC MONSTER CHILI
JUDGE ONE: A little too heavy on the tomato for the palate. Amusing kick in the finish with an interesting nose.
JUDGE TWO: Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild, velvety palate with a smooth finish.
FRANK: Holy shit, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove asphalt from your driveway with this stuff. I needed two beers to put the flames out. Hope that's the worst of it. These Texans are crazy.
CHILI # 2: RICK'S RADICAL ROADKILL CHILI
JUDGE ONE: Smokey, with a hint of pork. The armadillo might have sat out a bit longer. Slight Jalapeno tang.
JUDGE TWO: Exciting BBQ flavor. The dried 'coon was an exciting touch. 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 manoeuvre. They had to call in three extra beers when they saw the look on my face. And that rice looked more like maggots!
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: Call the freaking EPA!!, I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano and my esophagus is so raw I'm hacking blood. Everyone knows the routine by now: Sally the barmaid pounded me on the back till my backbone became my breastbone. I'm getting positively shit-faced putting out the fire!
CHILI # 4: BUBBA'S OL' BLACK MAGIC
JUDGE ONE: Black Bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing and drab.
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 couldn't taste it. Sally the barmaid was standing behind me with fresh refills; that 300-lb bitch is starting to look HOT, just like this nuclear-waste I'm eating.
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 farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from corroding by pouring beer directly from a pitcher into my mouth. It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Freakin' Rednecks! ! !
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.
FRANK: My heart stopped twice in the past 10 minutes. My intestines are now a roiling sewer pipe filled with gaseous, sulphuric flames. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that slut Sally. I'm sure I've got permanent damage to my intestines. I need to wipe my ass with a snow cone!
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 literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. I should note that I am worried about Judge # 3.He's had to be resuscitated three times and there's some kind of noxious gas coming from his orifices.
FRANK: You could put a freaking grenade in my mouth, pull the goddam pin, and I wouldn't feel a damn thing. I've lost the sight in one eye and can hardly see out of the other, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which fell out of my goddam mouth, which is insensate at this point. My pants are full of a lava-like substance. I can't really tell, but it looks like buzzards are circling overhead, but it could also be spots in front my my eyes. At least during the autopsy they'll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing, it's too painful. I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I'll just suck it in through the four inch hole in my abdomen.
CHILI # 8: HELEN'S HEAP O' HELL 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 #3 passed out, fell on the chili pot and pulled the whole thing on top of himself. Not sure if he's going to make it. Poor Yank.
FRANK: - - - - - Urk...
Frank's funeral will be held at 3p today at the Bethany Grace Baptist Church, with Rev. Billy Joe officiating. There won't be a casket, since we sent what little we could salvage back East to his family before the dogs ate it all. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, folks make a donation to the Rockefeller Center for Congenital Diseases.
The mayor has declared that next year, the chili festival will be called the Frank Memorial Cook-Off and Clean Up.