The Humor and Life, in Particular Web site
author:  Margie Culbertson

October '97 Contest WINNER!
Best Short Humor!

Cameron Column:   Chili


W. Bruce 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 person 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 crazy.

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 thecayenne 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. Superb.
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 a bit 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'lljust 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.

©1997 W. Bruce Cameron
Permission granted to re–print my column at The Humor and Life, in Particular Website. WBC

ABOUT W. Bruce Cameron:
In 1997 Bruce wrote:
  "I am a 41 year old humor writer living in Evergreen, CO. My Cameron Column is published twice a month via the internet. I have regular subscribers in 50 countries, and my work can be found sprinkled all over the web. My October 97 essay on flying (Cameron Column # 5) achieved a milestone of sorts when it was made available through various internet zines and websites to 75,000 readers. My wife and three children (two of them teenage girls) provide plenty of material for my column, which rarely attempts to tackle the serious issues of the day."

However, big things have happened to Bruce!

As of 2007:
  Bruce is winner of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists award for Best Humor Columnist in newspapers with a circulation greater than 100,000 in 2003 and again in 2006!

Winner of the 2006 Robert Benchley Award for Best Humorist!

Regular appearances on television such as "Everyday with Rachel Ray;" Speaker; Conductor of Writing Workshops across the U.S.

Author of two best–selling humor books: How to Remodel a Man and 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter (which, of course was made into a highly–successful television show).

Yes, Bruce has come far. (His wife and three children still provide material for his writing!)

As of 2008:
Bruce's "8 Simple Rules ..." will be made into a movie soon!

You can read more of Bruce's writing at his website: Click HERE.

You can see how proud Bruce is of this essay, because he has highlighted it on HIS website. See it by clicking: HERE.

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©Margie Culbertson

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