East & West Side Chilis to Battle Saturday, March 6, at Yuba Pass

By Don Russell

Not unlike professional football, or national politics, the Great Yuba Pass Chili Cook-Off (GYPCCO) is a genteel substitute for war. It is, basically, a no-rules conflict between right and wrong, between good and evil. Representing the former are western county cooks. The east side will the represented by delusional participants convinced of their own rectitude. Eventually, we should pray for them all, but the first order of business is to demonstrate their unworthiness.

However, to preserve the fantasy of fairness, two east side citizens have been named judges. We don’t expect them to respond to decent bribes, but we hope to bury them through sheer numbers. They are pondering just what enticements they prefer.  

By scheduling the culinary conflict on the first Saturday of March, a Sierran contempt for weather is amply demonstrated. Still, we hope there won’t be another wind storm, which once provided every stray dog a free meal on the tarmac. 

Although a casual reader might think this writer has tired of winning, judges are reminded that the winner’s name is d-o-n r-u-s-s-e-l-l. Were we a better person, we would offer to spread the wealth and fame around. We are not, however, that better person. And there are no rules.

The GYPCCO invites all comers, without personal invitation, nor formal registration. Just show up. Judging generally begins at noonish sharpish. No amenities are offered. Participants should have tasting cups for the huddled masses wanting to be fed. A majority of entrants will walk away disappointed: there are no rules, no standards, and no justice. 

No taste buds matter.  

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