This year our chili was ready by the official opening time of 10:30 a.m., possibly because we started drinking tequila earlier than usual, which helped ease conflicts between me and my friend Keggan Luskey. I like to measure all the ingredients precisely, while Keggan tends to eyeball everything. This year I let him add the chile powder, and he let me fix our off-center banner.
We used eight different kinds of chiles, including the Trinidad Meruga Scorpion, currently the worlds’s hottest pepper. Keggan found a bag of Scorpion peppers at Whole Foods (I think), and we ended up using the whole bag, which I was afraid would make the chili too hot. But we were all quite happy with the results, having long ago adopted the philosophy summed up in Rick Nelson’s song “Garden Party.”
I was happy to notice this year that several other teams were producing hotter chilis of the sort that my teammates and I enjoy, showcasing the key ingredient. I was also gratified that the two major political parties produced equally awful chili, which validated my worldview.