Continuing from part 1, here’s the second part of my review of the 2010 Weekend of Fire at Jungle Jims. We arrived early to the event to wonder around JJ’s since Chem had never been. Of course, we hit up the beer section first.
Following a lengthy stay drooling over all the fermented wonders we took a stroll through the rest of the store. Even though I’ve been to Jungle Jims three times now, I’m still awestruck at the shear size of the place. Chem shared the same sentiment by saying, “It just doesn’t end! It keeps going!” With that, it was time to head back upstairs for the show was going to start.
We got there just in time for a rather stunning announcement which followed along yesterday’s short vendor gathering. One of the JJ’s personnel, who all looked like completely miserable except for Jim, made the announcement that when the event is over on Sunday everyone needs to pack up immediately and be out within an unreasonably short amount of time because, and I quote, “the Oscar event center is booked for another event.” Really? No, “thanks for coming” or “glad to have everyone here”. Just a sharp, sell stuff then get the hell out.
If you booked a event right after a massively publicized event like The Weekend of Fire then that’s your fault. There’s no reason to make the vendors, who will have just spent the weekend working they’re butts off to make your event amazing, feel rushed and pressured into dismantling their booth in record time just because you overbooked. I’m sorry, but that was really the start of my complete disillusionment of the people that handled the event. And the sad part is, more kept happening along those lines but I’ll get to them as they occurred.
The first place I wanted to take Chem to in the show was Defcon’s booth. When I trained Chem in the ways of capsaicin, the first product I had him try was Defcon ZERO Batch #3. Needless to say, it was what got him hooked on spicy and now he gets to meet the evil genius behind it. Defcon was showing off his new products AND a new type of ZERO…ZERO Sludge. We also got a nice look at the new Deathmatch trophy complete with a little toilet.
We wondered a little bit more as people started to stream in as the event had officially begun. That’s when the guys at Torchbearer Sauces caught my eye. They were touting a new sauce called Zombie Apocalypse which had Jolokia in it. I’m a sucker for a good Zombie reference and the sauce was quite tasty!
Of course, no show would be complete without the break out sauce makers, Johnny and Nichole of Heartbreakin’ Dawns. Johnny was showing off the very cool, hand-blown glass container for his first collectable that was going to be filled with a white hot sauce. Folks, the picture just doesn’t do this thing justice. It was absolutely gorgeous and came complete with a little skull embedded into the glass stopper on top.
Next up on the events to check out was the first contest of the day. I must say, the amped up competitions from last year really drew quite a crowd which helped heightened the suspense of seeing people go into gastric distress from eating insane things just to win a prize.
The first competition was the horseradish eating contest sponsored by Bald Eagle Foods. Contestants had to consume 10 pieces of sausage which were resting upon a bed of Buck In Rut Extreme Horseradish. I’ve had the pleasure of trying this stuff before and let me tell you, it’s beyond the hottest horseradish I’ve ever put into my mouth.
The bell rang and the players began to eat. Fun part about horseradish is it hits you right away and very hard. Contestant after contestant instantly squirmed in nasal agony save for one brave soul.
As you can see, the brave soul was not Joe. But in fact, it was Jeff Stevenson from Crazy Uncle Jester’s. This guy is THE CALMEST competitive eater I’ve ever seen. Nothing fazes him. He has a poker face like no other, and he just sits back and steadily eats, calmly looking around at everyone else as if to say, “I don’t really see the big deal, mmmm….this is tasty”.
The winner was announced. Unfortunately no one puked but I knew good fortune was with me this year and I’d catch a great shot of a reversal for there were 6 plus more competitions to come. Chem and I walked out to the balcony to see a sight that I thought I’d never see. The Jungle Jim’s monorail was in operation for the first time! We had to ride it!
Even though we felt like guinea pigs for riding the slow moving possible death trap, it was fun. We got to see Jungle Jim’s at a birds eye view at 5 miles and hour. Very cool. With that relaxing ride I’ll end part 2 here. Be sure to tune back in for part 3 which will be coming at you soon!