Writer. Warning: opinions. My lawyer advised a disclaimer, but didn't include any jokes to go with. Damned if I can think of any either.

The Great Chili Experiment

I am starting to wonder how much rain it will take before my apartment building slides off its muddy hill into the street like a pat of butter sliding on a hot skillet. Even the grass has given up.

The roof of my building features terra cotta tiles which are apparently prone to become dislodged occasionally. They are left with no alternative at this point but to plummet down into the yard. I know that they occasionally do this because there are two embedded out there. They struck the ground on their edges and now protrude from the earth like corn chips from a thick bowl of chili con carne.

I’ve been monitoring them for weeks, wondering who, if anyone, would remove them. No one has. I’ve never seen such a thing before and I was filled with delight when they weathered our recent snow storm still standing.

I took this as a sign from the universe that I should eat some chili and make some scientific observations about its effects. I know that chili gives me gas, but I also know that chili is delicious. What I needed to know for sure is how long after I consume chili am I, shall we say, best advised to not go out in public.

I knew it was going to be a rainy weekend so I wasn’t likely to emerge from my bunker until Sunday when I had a date planned, so on Friday afternoon I purchased some “Firehouse” style spicy chili at the grocery store. I brought it home and enjoyed a bowl of it.

Soon after, the show began. It must have sounded to my neighbors as though I was testing various duck calls. I can only hope that my closest neighbors, Upstairs Cutie and Smokey Hippie were not affected by the stench. Sometimes, certain allowances must be made in the name of Science.

I had to cancel my Friday night plans to meet my buddies and watch them drink beers, but I figured things would calm down soon. I was wrong.

On into the day on Saturday I was still emitting similar sounds to a trombone player being bear hugged during a solo. Saturday night came, and I again had to remain in my apartment lest I give anyone the impression that I have severe gastrointestinal issues which surely warrant a doctor’s attention. I began to experience concern that my Sunday date would have to be canceled as well.

I went for a run on Saturday night in hopes that the jostling of my organs would help to settle matters. I saw my friend Claire on the sidewalk while I was running and chose not to stop to talk. I just shouted a greeting as I ran by.

On Sunday I awoke wondering who was testing out their bagpipes with a ball peen hammer, only to discover that it was my own ass still under the effects of the chili. Things seemed to be quieting down, but there were still serious questions about my fitness for public consumption.

By this time, my stomach was making some percussive noises to accompany the horn section due to hunger. I had been drinking a lot of water in hopes that it would flush my system out, but I had eaten only small meals since my tasty but dangerous chili Friday afternoon. I didn’t want to introduce any more non-chili foods than necessary in order to remain as scientific as possible, but I was really, really hungry.

I went into the kitchen to survey food options. I opened the cupboard and there, like a plump delicious forbidden fruit, sat the other can of chili I bought Friday. Dang. I forgot about that two-for-one special.

“Okay,” I thought. “I’m hungry, and I have this can of delicious chili here, but I also have a first date with this girl later and if I eat it there is no way it can go well.”

The dilemma weighed upon me. Did I want to be full and happy, or potentially have a fun night with a lady friend? I went outside to consult the famous oracle Sidewalk Tomato, but it had dematerialized. Presumably someone somewhere else needs its guidance more than I. That, or a rat made off with it.

In time, after some sidewalk reflection, I decided that a bowl of chili now is better than an awkward first makeout session later.

“Fork it!” I exclaimed aloud to the neighborhood at large. I then rushed inside to make my chili. I hit it with a dash of cajun spices just for some extra kick, and it was glorious. So good!

Then the post-chili depression set in. What had I done? I could easily have made a tasty salad instead and saved myself the hassle of canceling a date. I fell to my knees in my living room, pausing briefly in the video game I was playing, and lamented to the heavens. “Why?” I pleaded. “Why?!”

Just then my phone booped and blorped that I had a message. My lady friend forgot she had a birthday party to attend, and wanted to know if we could reschedule.

I let fly with a horn solo that would have impressed even the legendary Dizzy Gillespie, un-paused my video game, and therein shot a terrorist square in the face.

Ah, the life of a single man. So many pleasures!

3 thoughts on “The Great Chili Experiment”

  1. Christopher Curzio

    For what it’s worth, proper homemade chili is infinitely more delicious than the chili solutions found in a grocery store, and its impact on your gastrointestinal system is substantially less violent. It’s win-win, except for the prep time.

  2. jim

    “chili solutions”

  3. Sidewalk Tomato

    A rat did make off with me. :( I might be out back behind an Azteca right now. Well, wherever I am, it smells like cheap chips & I’m somewhat diminished in size.

    . . . This story was extremely funny, because I did not witness any portion of it.