The Chili Cook-Offcapades (feat: a Crap-Ton of Wendy’s Chili)

When the powers that be announced that there would be a chili cook-off at my place of employment, my crew suggested I enter the competition using a recipe from my Great Grandmother’s journal.  I went home and perused the journal in hopes of finding a winning recipe.  Here is the recipe I found.

Umm……. no.  The suet and the “mustard wet-up with vinegar” were the deal breakers.  When I reported my disappointing discovery to the crew, the conversation quickly turned to potential alternatives. At some point in the conversation, I saw a light bulb go off in Cliff the Mechanic’s  eyes.  He pulled me aside and said, “Go buy a bunch of Wendy’s chili, put it in your crock pot, and enter it in the competition.  I’ll pay for it.”    I am not a card-carrying member of the Status Quo Club, so I immediately fell in love with his plan.  I spent the rest of the afternoon rehearsing how to walk in to Wendy’s and ask for a crap-ton of chili. I knew it would be extremely important that I get my words and behavior right. I’m pretty sure Wendy’s has a silent alarm they can push to alert the psych ward at Vanderbilt Medical Center to come collect bat-shit crazy woman asking for a crap-ton of chili………………also known as a chili hoarder.

Turns out, my Wendy’s adventure was enjoyable and uneventful.  The request for ten large chilies caused nothing but employee laughter. I did, however, make their top five list of strangest orders.   The manager asked me if I was going to bathe in the chili. Hmmmm. If you’re wondering, a crap-ton of chili costs $25.02.

Filled with immeasurable glee that I didn’t get absconded by men in white coats,  I returned to my car with the crap-ton of chili.  I prayed the entire way home, “Please God, don’t let me wreck.”  Can you imagine?  The crap-ton of chili would be everywhere.  I can hear the investigating policeman now, “Woah! That’s a crap-ton of guts splattered on the window shield!!!   Oh wait, it’s just chili.”

I’m not going to lie. I was racked with concern the crap-ton of chili would look like a small chili puddle in my giant crock pot.  I had no idea how much to buy.  My worries were unfounded.  It only took 9 containers to fill that baby up to the brim.

SUCCESS! Look at this chili I stayed up all night making!Chili-cook off here we come!

When I walked into the chili cook-off arena, I felt guilty.  There were 15 entries and each one looked like it had 5 cups of effort thrown in to its mixture.   One of my coworkers had been babying his chili all night.  What if the Wendy’s chili won?

Let the judging begin.

Chili judging tools: every chili cook-off judge needs water, chili sample, spoons, and a ballot.

In the end, my boss’s chili won!  His chili looked like it was 99% meat and 1% additional other stuff.  Rumor is that there were only two beans in the entire mixture.

All hail the King of Chili (and my boss) – Peter!

Guess where the Wendy’s chili ranked?  LAST PLACE!   Sorry Wendy’s!  I tried to get you some positive press!  Despite it all, the 9 large containers were scarfed down by hungry coworkers.  There is also this………….

Earlier in the day, the following Twitter exchange took place.

When it comes to chili, don’t mess with Texas!

The fact that my coworkers put the fast-food chili in last place means we Tennesseans stand a chance of hanging with the Texans in the chili department…………..and I didn’t get sentenced to a boiling chili death chamber!  SCORE!

I had a blast today.  Last place never felt so good.  Thanks work-place management!  :-)

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