The Edmondson Blog

Ring of Fire

The chilli showdown has been rescheduled for Friday 30th November. Feel free to come along and get involved in the fun. Let me know if you'd like to enter a specimen.

Notes from an inexperienced chilli taster named Frank, who was visiting Texas from the East Coast:

Recently I was honoured to be selected as a judge at a chilli cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment, and I happened to be standing there at the judges' table asking directions to the beer wagon when the call came. I was assured by the other two judges and (Native Texans) that the chilli wouldn't be all that spicy, besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted. Here are the scorecards from the event:

Chilli 1: Mike's Maniac Mobster Monster Chilli
Judge one: A little too heavy on tomato. Amusing kick.
Judge two: Nice, smooth tomato flavour. Very Mild
Frank: Holy shit, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that's the worst one. These Texans are crazy.

Chilli 2: Arthur's Afterburner chilli
Judge one: Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeño tang.
Judge two: Exciting BBQ flavour, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
Frank: Keep this out of reach of children! I'm not sure what I am supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich manoeuvre. They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.

Chilli 3: Fred's Famous Burn Down the Barn Chilli
Judge one: Excellent firehouse chilli! Great kick. Needs more beans.
Judge two: A beanless chilli, a bit salty, good use of red peppers.
Frank: Call the EPA, I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the drill by now, get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I'm getting drunk from all the beer.

Chilli 4: Bubba's Black Magic
Judge one: Black bean chilli with almost no spice. Disappointing
Judge two: Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chilli
Frank: I felt something scraping across my tongue, but it was unable to taste it, is it possible to burn out taste buds? Sally, the barmaid, was standing behind me with fresh refills; that ugly bitch is starting to look HOT, just like the nuclear waste I'm eating. Is chilli an aphrodisiac?

Chilli 5: Linda's Legal Lip Remover
Judge one: Meaty strong chilli. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
Judge two: Chilli using shredded beef; could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.
Frank: My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chilli had given me brain damage, Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from a pitcher. I wonder if I'm burning my lips off. It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw those rednecks!

Chilli 6: Vera's Very Vegetarian Variety
Judge one: Thin yet bold vegetarian chilli. Good balance of spice and peppers.
Judge two: The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions and garlic. Superb
Frank: My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous sulphuric fumes. I shit myself when I farted and I'm worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems to be inclined to stand behind me except Sally, she must be kinkier than I thought. Can't help feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my arse with a snow cone!

Chilli 7: Susan's Screaming Sensation Chilli
Judge one: A mediocre chilli with too much reliance on tinned canned peppers.
Judge two: Ho Hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chilli peppers at the last moment. I should note that I am worried about judge number 3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.
Frank: You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn't feel a damn thing. I've lost the sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chilli which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. At least during the autopsy they'll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing it's too painful. I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I'll just suck it in though the four inch hole in my stomach.

Chilli 8: Helen's Mount Saint Chilli
Judge one: A perfect ending, this is a nice blend of chilli, safe for all, not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.
Judge two: This final entry is a good, balanced chilli, neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when judge number 3 passed out, fell over and pulled the chilli pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he's going to make it. Poor yank, wonder how he'd have reacted to a really hot chilli?
Frank: ----------Judge 3 unable to report.


Edmondson's Film Nights continue on Wednesday 31st October at 8pm sharp with Top Secret! As always, there will be time to discuss the movie beforehand, along with an introduction to the feature film, covering trivia, bloopers and other assorted facts.


Keep Your Mouth Shut

Some amusing quotes from Matthew Parris' and Phil Mason's Mission Accomplished – Things Politicians Wish They Hadn't Said:

Can I have a pot of that nice avocado mousse.

Peter Mandelson, reported remarks in a fish and chip shop in his Hartlepool constituency, pointing to the mushy peas. He insists that the story is apocryphal.

It’s not a day for soundbites, really, we can leave those at home. But I feel the hand of history on our shoulder in respect to this.

Tony Blair, press conference, during Northern Ireland Good Friday peace negotiations, April 1998

Jack Straw, Home Secretary, visiting a Bournemouth old people’s home during the 1999 Labour Party conference, to a resident: “Do you know who I am?” Resident: “No dear, but if you ask matron, she will tell you.”

I asked Boris Yeltsin to tell me briefly what the situation in Russia was like. “Good,” he said. I asked for a longer version. “Not good,” he replied.

John Major, former Prime Minister, reminiscing, November 1999

I asked the barmaid for a quickie. I was mortified when the man next to me said it’s pronounced “quiche”.

Italian Ambassador to Britain, Luigi Amaduzzi, 2001

Right Brain or Left Brain?

Do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise. I initially saw her turning anti-clockwise and couldn't get her to turn the other way. Then I looked away and when I looked again, it happened. Weird.

Hat tip: Roly

How You Know You've Indulged Too Much

I tried out a few new establishments over the weekend. After a few drinks in Industry (the first time I've been on the lash in the City for a very long time), I headed to the Great Eastern Dining Room for some well-trodden "Asian Fusion". Industry was a classic trendy bar full of try-hards desperate to look good. The music was loud and there wasn't enough Ralf Lauren on show for my liking, but the drinks were cheap (£4 for a G&T) and it was good to try something different. GEDR was a second choice after Viet Hoa was experiencing problems in the kitchen. The food was superb: starters of salted squid and crispy pork belly were followed by a beef curry and a whole sea bass. I'd definitely revisit and try other items if I was in the area.

On Saturday morning I ventured to Marylebone High St a brunch of salmon and poached egg benedict at The Providores, an exceptionally popular New Zealander-owned restaurant. Washed down with a couple of "flat whites" (coffees) it set me up for the rest of the day.

Top Secret!

I get the Film Nights back on track next week with a showing of Top Secret!

[Introducing his men]
Du Quois: This is Chevalier, Montage, Detente, Avant Garde, and Deja Vu.
Deja Vu: Haven't we met before?
Nick Rivers: I don't think so.
Du Quois: Over there, Croissant, Souffle, Escargot, and Chocolate Mousse.

Police Advertising

Next time, they should take account of the exhaust pipe!

Take the Personality Test

The Sniper

Two old friends were just about to tee off at the first hole of their local golf course when a guy carrying a golf bag called out to them, 'Do you mind if I join you? My partner didn't turn up.'

'Sure,' they said, 'you’re welcome.'

So they started playing and enjoyed the game and the company of the newcomer.

Part way around the course, one of the friends asked the newcomer, 'What do you do for a living?'

'I'm a hit man,' was the reply.

'You're joking!' was the response.

'No, I'm not,' he said, reaching into his golf bag, and pulling out a Beautiful Martini sniper's rifle with a large telescopic sight.

'Here are my tools.'

'That's a beautiful telescopic sight,' said the other friend, 'Can I take a look? I think I might be able to see my house from here!'

So he picked up the rifle and looked through the sight in the direction of his house.

'Yeah, I can see my house all right. This sight is fantastic. I can see right in the window. Wow, I can see my wife in the bedroom. Ha Ha, I can see she's naked!! Wait a minute, that's my neighbour in there with her... He's naked, too!!!'

He turned to the hit man, 'How much do you charge for a hit?'

'I'll do a flat rate, for you, one thousand dollars every time I pull the trigger.'

'Can you do two for me now?'

'Sure, what do you want?'

'First, shoot my wife; she's always been mouthy, so shoot her in the mouth. Then the neighbour, he's a friend of mine, so just shoot his dick off to teach him a lesson.'

The hit man took the rifle and took aim, standing perfectly still for a few minutes.

'Are you going to do it or not?' said the friend impatiently.

'Just be patient,' said the hit man calmly, 'I think I can save you a grand Here...'

Ghandi's Revenge

A letter to my friends with testicular fortitude:

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is time for the 1st Annual Rusty Water Competition.

I believe everyone has been growing chilies during the year and it is time to put your cultivation skills to the test.

I propose a showdown on Saturday 24th November, at a venue to be confirmed.

There will be two rounds:

1. The naked munch - where entrants will sample each other's raw specimen
2. The application - where each entrant will bring along a dish of which ingredients include the specimen on show (examples include salsa or chili con carne). This will be sampled by other entrants

Points will be awarded for look, smell, taste, length of effect and any other categories which we agree. Some points should be reserved for T+24 hours, to judge effect on exit. Instant disqualification for cheating (i.e. using pre-packaged sauces)

I hope this sounds like a plan. Happy to incorporate other ideas.


James "King of the Ring Sting" Edmondson

The Future of the Film Nights

This is my eventual aim for the world famous Edmondson film nights.

Look into my Eyes

On the way out to Tampa (with the kids) a couple of weeks back I registered for the government iris trial, meaning I can skip immigration queues on returning to this green and pleasant land.

It did the trick: on landing at Gatwick last Tuesday I bypassed the 30 minute queue, looked into a mirror and went straight through to the baggage reclaim. It's a no-brainer to register.

Moving on Up

I've given my notice in at TfL: I'm off to work for Hedra in their Procurement and Supply Chain team. I start there in the new year, once I've finished off building my kit car!

The Catch

I actually cancelled the film night on Wednesday to head up to Bushey to see Van (who is looking more and more like Farrokh Bulsara) in his new eatery, The Catch, which has been spun off from Van Antonis and reopened as a fish restaurant. Once again, the food was superb, reflected in the reviews it's getting.

Simply Scary

Hat tip: George

Lost Video from Coaster Tour

I've uncovered this forgotten video of my 2005 roller coaster tour with George of him on a ride sitting next to a female member of the public.

Buffalo Theory

A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest animal in the herd, and when the heard is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest animals that get killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members.

In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Now, as we know, excessive intake of alcohol kills brain cells. A little thought will show that it is obvious that the alcohol attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way regular consumption of alcohol eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain faster and more efficient machine.

That’s why you feel cleverer and more able to critically comment on the world around you after a few glasses of wine.

Hat tip: Puppa

Tonight's Film Night

Due to excessive interest, I have been advised by the Health and Safety Executive I should cancel tonight's film.

Apologies. Service will resume soon.

I'm Back

I'm back in the country. Some of my photos from Florida are online.

Don't forget Film Night tomorrow evening.

Film Club

This Wednesday, I will be showing Where Eagles Dare, the classic war film starring Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood. As before, kebabs start at 8pm, with the feature presentation starting at 8:30pm.

The iPod Touch

I couldn't resist. I was browsing Best Buy yesterday and they had the new 8Gb iPod Touch in stock and before I knew it I was swiping the Amex. It's an impressive piece of kit: the screen is particularly snazzy and the touchscreen technology is ahead of its time. I've already copied a few DVDs onto it to watch on the way home. If only my taste in music reflected the sophistication of the hardware.

Family Engagement

My brother has proposed to his girlfriend of 5 years, Jools, who accepted. Exciting times in the Edmondson household: north and south combine and The Family extend its influence above Watford Gap.

Live Free or Die Young

On Thursday, my Pa and I hired a couple of Harley Davidsons (1 x Road King; 1 x Heritage Soft Tail) and headed out on the open road. We scrapped the idea of riding to the Atlantic Coast (too far) so instead did a big loop around central Florida. You see a different side of Florida when you head inland, away from the wealthy coastal cities. A grand day out.

La Plage

I'm off to Florida tomorrow for a week, so service could be intermittent. Enjoy your week at work.

Gay Paris

Took an early morning Eurostar to Paris on Saturday and met up with Howard et al for lunch and the rugby. We dined in a superb restaurant, called Le Grand Cafe on Saturday night before heading to Bastille for some late night refreshments. It was a great evening until we tried to get home: the Metro had shut and the whole of Paris was queuing for a taxi; it took two hours to get back to the hotel.

Sunday included a trip to Longchamps for the annual Prix de l'Arc de Triumphe horse race. The atmosphere was amazing; the crowd was charged and some serious $$$ were being bet. I did not wager.

Except for missing the Eurostar home and having to pay extra to catch the next one, it was an absolutely fantastic weekend. Click here for some choice photos.

The Edmondson Odeon

The inaugural film night went off with a bang on Wednesday night, with the auditorium full to the rafters. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was chosen as the first film to watch, which provided two hours of laughs. With fare from Best Mangal to keep everyone going, it was a fun, and an overwhelmingly successful, night.

Where Eagles Dare will be shown on 17th October. I've decided to tweak the timings for the evening, and start the main event AFTER eating, to allow guests to mingle before settling down for some intense viewing pleasure.

The Ultimate Drum Showdown

The Premiere

The first film night takes place tonight. I will be showing Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, one of the funniest films of the 1980s. I will kick the evening off with an introduction to the film, some interesting facts and stats, along with some bloopers to look out for in the film.

Food will be in the form of chicken shishes from Best Mangal. Lagers will be provided.

Showtime is 8pm. Be there.

Postman Pat's Day Off

Carbon Footprint

I'm a little ashamed of how much flying I've done this year. By my own reckoning, I've flown to:

January: New York
March: Krakow
March: Edinburgh
March: Paris
April: Amsterdam
May: Orlando
June: Alderney
July: Vilnius
July: Cork
July: Palermo
August: Cork
September: Tampa
(November: Delhi)
December: Edinburgh

I will be making a suitable donation to Cool Earth. I urge you to do the same.

What's On

Thanks for everyone's votes on the Film Night schedule. Taking into account the number of votes for each film, this is the plan:

3rd October: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (9 votes)
17th October: Where Eagles Dare (4 votes)
31st October: Weird Science (9 votes)
14th November: The Day of the Jackal (4 votes)
28th November: Top Secret (3 votes)
12th December: Ferris Bueller's Day Off (4 votes)
9th January: Rambo: First Blood (3 votes)
23rd January: Back to the Future (4 votes)

I've tried to alternate between comedies and non-comedic features.

Roll up! Roll up!

© 2007 The Edmondson Blog