Another Stuperbowl

Isn’t it amazing, in less than 50 years our country developed another cultural holiday.  Superbowl Sundays are cause for more TV viewers (worldwide) than any other time around the year.  This includes “Rhoda’s Wedding” (just kidding).  

The actual game has become almost secondary to all the partying, food, restaurants, and private events that dance around the sacred game.  Looking back over the years most Superbowl games were terrible, one-sided games.  When that happens, everyone will rally into the kitchen and it becomes a beautiful day of gluttony.

One year in the 80’s I recall being invited to a neighbor’s home for the “Big” game.  This was the home of a young, newly married couple.  They invited all the residents of the apartment building, where I then lived.  The new couple were like Barbie & Ken.  I hardly knew them.  He was always running around acting like Mr. Perfect Athlete.  His new wife dressed like a fashion model. She would arrive home from work and disappeared every day into their small apartment.  The only other time you’d see her was when she left with him.  Then, she was fashion queen.  I know my apartment had very little closet space, so I don’t know where they stored all their wardrobe.  It had to be immense.

Anyway, they invited everyone to their place to watch the Superbowl.  Prior to the invitation, I just assumed people like that would have a pinch of knowledge regarding social skills and manners.  That was a very wrong assumption. 

Keep in mind, this big event was a year or two after the Colts left Baltimore, so I was still in shock and (as today) I had little interest in sports in general.  I was looking forward to meeting some new folks and of course; adult beverages and food.  I made a yummy dip of some kind, as I was asked to bring something. 

Upon my arrival, I realized two uncomfortable things.  One was, the only food being provided by the hosts was chili. The other was, the only beverage available was Tea. I didn’t notice any ice.  The tea was recently brewed and was rather warm.  Still… no ice.  Since only tea was available, that was a hint that there were no adult beverages.  That’s acceptable to me.  However, most hosts announce that fact prior to inviting anyone. 

So far I was the only guest to have arrived, when another couple from the 3rd floor showed up.  I had met these two before, but they were extremely shy and not talkative. 

Now in the host’s apartment were both hosts, the couple from the 3rd floor and me.  5 whole people sitting around the living room, smelling the chili cooking and holding a warm glass of tea, trying to be polite. 

Suddenly, the guy (host) pops up off of the couch, heads into the bed room, where he changed into gym clothes.  He thru on his jacket and announced he was heading down the street to the gym to get in his daily workout. Then out the door he went.  His wife, although quite attractive, had all the personality of a plastic soap dish.  She appeared quite uncomfortable and unprepared for her husband’s behavior.  She immediately went into the kitchen to stir the chili.  Upon doing so, she announced the chili was ready.  So, the three of us (remaining in the living room) stood up, assuming we were to go to the dining room.  WRONG… 

She brought out a tray with 3 bowls of her homemade chili.  Along with the chili were some napkins and spoons.  From my vantage point, I could see that the chili looked a little thin, watery and steaming hot.  There was little space on their coffee table for the tray and the glasses, and whatever else. 

I was then trying to balance a bowl of hot lava and a glass of warm tea while concocting some way to eat with an over-sized soup spoon.  At the same time, I was conducting boring conversation and had to keep myself presentable for potentially new friends.

I felt so bad for the hostess, now that her rude husband left for the gym while he should be home assisting her hosting guests.  God forbid any others show up.  God was listening, or He hung a “go away” sign on their apartment door, because no one else showed. 

After some shuffling around stuff on the coffee and end tables, the hostess made room for everything.  It was at this point that I also realized, this was everything.  She wasn’t serving anything else.  Another low score from her hostess and manners school. 

By now, I was getting rather hungry.  My stomach was making some growling sounds which weren’t getting to far out of hand.   So, I took my spoon and dipped it in the bowl of chili, which had now cooled 2 or 3 hundred degrees.  I carefully took a taste.

Before I continue, allow me to explain what chili means to me.  Chili and Pizza are the same.  There’s no such thing as bad chili or pizza, there’s just some that is better than others.  Many people agree with that philosophy. 

My philosophy had to be re-written on that Super Bowl Sunday. This (so-called) chili was just awful.  It was like dish-water with beans.  NASTY doesn’t just describe boys for Janet Jackson.  As I force-fed myself this disgusting chili, I discovered why it was so terrible.  The couple from upstairs were coughing and nearly gagging.  The hostess could tell it wasn’t well liked, as hard as we were all trying to hide our near nausea state.

She began explaining that this was one of her first times cooking in the kitchen.  They usually go out to eat.  I figured Barbie just didn’t want to soil her apron.  She went on to tell how she put the ground beef in a pot of water to cook it.  SHE MEANT TO SAY BOIL IT!!  As any water cooked out, she added more.  When it began to boil and most of the red was turned to gray, she added a can of Campbell’s Pork & Beans.  Stirring that to a boil she began to add salt and pepper to her tasting.

Remember when she brought the bowls of chili out for the guests?  It was obvious that she didn’t bring one for herself.  That was because she doesn’t like chili.  She later explained that she expected her husband to bring her something from McDonald’s on his way home from the gym.

It was now about 10 minutes to game time.  I barely got most of the bowl of “beef boil” down.  I think the other couple may have dumped theirs into the few living house plants when the hostess wasn’t looking. 

Finally, the game was about to start.  The hostess’s husband never did get back, when I said I’d have to leave early because I had to get up early, which was true.

I thanked the hostess for a wonderful time as I was hoping I had a full bottle of Tues waiting for me at home.  I said good-bye to the upstairs neighbors and slithered out the door. 

It was weeks before I saw any of those people again.  Nothing was ever mentioned about the big Super Bowl Party. Probably for fear of alerting the health department.

By the following Summer,  Barbie & Ken had moved out.  Rumor had it that they were divorcing.  Wow, how could that be? 

So, with another Super Bowl Sunday here…  Make the best of it.  Be sure to enjoy a big hot bowl of CHILI.. 

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