For those of you who have lived in Texas, you know how true this is. They actually have a chili cook-off about the time Halloween comes around. It takes up a major portion of a parking lot at the San Antonio city park. The notes are from an inexperienced chili taster named Frank, who has visited from Springfield IL.

Frank: "Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cooking contest. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judges table asking for directions to the Coors Light truck, when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (native Texans) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy and, besides, they told me that I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted."

Here are the scorecards from the advent: (Frank is Judge 3)

Chili #1 Eddie's Maniac Monster Chili

>Judge #1 -- A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.

>Judge #2 -- Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.

>Judge #3 -- (Frank) What the hell is this stuff?! You could remove dried paint on my driveway. Took me two beers to put out the flames. I hope that's the worst one. These Texans are crazy!

Chili #2 Austin's Afterburner Chili

>Judge #1 -- Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang.

>Judge #2 -- Exiting BBQ flavor; needs more peppers to be taken seriously.

>Judge #3 -- Keep this out of 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 give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.

Chili #3 Ronny's Famous Burn Down the Barn Chili

>Judge #1 -- Excellent firehouse chili. Great kick. Needs more beans.

>Judge #2 -- A bean less chili, a bit salty, good use of peppers.

>Judge #3 -- Call the EPA. I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my back bone is in the front part of my chest. I'm getting pie-eyed from all the beer...

Chili #4 Dave's Black Magic

>Judge #1 -- Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.

>Judge #2 -- Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish, or other mild foods; not much of a chili.

>Judge #3 -- I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Sally, the barmaid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. That 300-lb woman is starting to look HOT...just like this nuclear waste I'm eating! Is chili an aphrodisiac?

Chili #5 Lisaís Legal Lip Remover

>Judge #1 -- Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.

>Judge #2 -- Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.

>Judge #3 Ė My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off may forehead, 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 bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if Iím burning my lips off. It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw those rednecks.

Chili #6 Pamís Very Vegetarian Variety

>Judge #1 -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spices and peppers.

> Judge #2 -- The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.

> Judge #3 -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous sulphuric flames. I pooped on myself when I farted and Iím worried it will eat through the chair! No one seems inclined to stand behind me anymore. I need to wipe my butt with a snow cone.

Chili #7 Carlaís Screaming Sensation Chili

>Judge #1 -- A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.

>Judge #2 -- Ho-hum; tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last minute. **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.

>Judge #3 -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldnít feel a thing. Iíve 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. My pants are filled with lave to match my shirt. At least during the autopsy, theyíll know what killed me. Iíve decided to stop breathing; itís too painful. Screw it; Iím not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, Iíll just suck it through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.

Chili #8 Karenís Toenail Curling Chili

>Judge #1 -- The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili. Not too bold, but spicy enough to declare its existence.

>Judge #2 -- 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 heís going to make it. Poor fella, wonder how heíd have reacted to REALLY hot chili.