So Friday night was our ward’s Annual Chili Cook-Off.  Sugar Daddy has been somewhat obsessed with the chili cook-off for several years.  (If you’ve missed previous installments of SD’s Great Chili Quest, you can read about it here and here.)  For those of you who need a recap, recall that in the first chili cook-off SD entered here, he narrowly lost the award for Hottest Chili.  At that time he vowed that he would do whatever it took to win that prize.

Last year he made some freaky hot chili, but bitter irony, the award for Hottest Chili had been eliminated.  This year he plotted his revenge.  “Screw the award!” said he.  “I’m going to make a chili so hot that all will be forced to bow before me–or taste the fiery flames of hell!  Mwahahahaha!”  Okay, that didn’t happen.  He did make a ridiculously hot chili.  And I don’t use the term “ridiculous” lightly.  It was out of control.  Absurdly hot.  He started brewing it Wednesday evening.  I could never eat more than a teaspoon of the stuff, and even that was too much.  And I am no girly girl when it comes to chili, but this was more than just chili.  It was a biological/chemical weapon.  Black with fiery hotness.  You would singe your eyebrows if you looked at it too closely.  I wish I could tell you how he made it, but I can’t.  I think he might have violated some city ordinances.

Anyway, we went to the Chili Cook-Off, and there was some good chili there this year, unlike most years.  There was even one other chili that was hot.  Good hot, not crime-against-humanity hot.  Since the ladies’ auxiliary presidency was judging the contest, however, that entry was not destined to win the Grand Prize any more than SD’s was.

However, after they announced the winners of the cornbread and pie competitions (separate competitions–not even Mormons are depraved enough to make cornbread pie, at least around these parts) and were about to announce the winner of the coveted Best Chili prize, the bishop interrupted the proceedings to inform us that they had a special award to give this year.  Brother W, who had won the Best Chili prize last year, moved out of state this summer, but on the day the ward was helping him load up the moving truck, Brother W pulled the bishop aside and said, “Bishop, I have sinned.”

“Well,” the bishop said, “if you have something to confess, we can talk, but while we’re loading up your truck might not be the most appropriate time.”

“No,” said Brother W, “it has to be now.  You see, I won the chili cook-off last year.  But I didn’t make that chili.  It was Costco Stag Chili.”

As restitution for his sin, the bishop said, Brother W insisted on returning the dutch oven he’d won, which would now be known as the Repentance Pot, and this night it would be awarded to the maker of the Chili Most Likely To Need a Half-Inch of Cast Iron To Accommodate It.

I don’t suppose I need to tell you who the lucky winner was or how incredibly pleased he was with himself.

“I’m very proud of you, honey,” I said.  “Now you can relax and make normal chili again.  Perhaps something edible for next year.”

Frankly, I’m not sure which is more pathetic–the fact that this (otherwise) good brother cheated in the ward chili cook-off, or the fact that he won.  It says a lot about the kind of people we hang out with, I think.

As a post script, SD was not the only triumphant member of our household that evening.  Considering that I was eight months pregnant and could hardly walk, we decided to skip the traditional post-chili square dancing (no commentary, please), and we went bowling with another couple (who are also expecting, but not quite as soon).  I hadn’t bowled since high school, at which time I had a high score of 44, but everyone in the group expressed confidence that I could break my personal record and score at least 50 this time around.

Well, apparently my bowling problems in high school all stemmed from the fact that I was not eight months pregnant with a bad case of sciatica, because in the first game, I bowled a 45.  The second game, I bowled a 47 (the Alias score, as SD calls it).  And the third and final game I bowled an earth-shattering 71.  Go me.  I freaking rock!

If you’re curious what happened to the leftover chili (of which there was a-plenty), suffice it to say that it’s in a better place now, where it can’t hurt anyone.