Surfin' Chili 2003: Setup Special

The greatest chili cookoff team on Earth presents the Greatest Show on Earth - the secret behind-the-scenes look at how Surfin' Chili gets ready for the JSC Chili Cookoff using time-honored traditions.

C minus one week and counting....

The weekend before the cookoff is the Tie-Dye and Propaganda Party. We start out with pristine white t-shirts emblazoned with the Surfin' Chili logo, and use rubber bands or string to section off parts of the shirt. Then we use squeezee bottles of RIT dye to drop the ink precisely (more or less) where we want. That's a far cry from the early days when we would dip the shirt segments into the bucket of dye.

While the shirts are drying, we start on the propaganda portion. We sit down with a stack of old magazines and take out pictures that we think would be good with funny captions. During the week we'll trim the edges, paste them on construction paper, and print out the captions with the Surfin' Chili web address. We also write down ideas that have come up for the skit, and think of "Burma-Shave" sign gags. After that, we'll know how many pieces of posterboard and other supplies we'll need.

Next: C-3 days and counting