The Southwest Airlines 36th and Last* Annual Chili Cookoff took place in Dallas this past weekend--leaving everyone who came out to play with full bellies…and dirty fingernails.
Although there is some serious competition every year, it’s not all about the chili at this famous SWA event. Some Teams get way more into the other big award: Showmanship. Such is the case for the Executive Office Team, which has won first place in the Showmanship category FOUR years in a row!
There were teams of chili cookers dressed as hobos and cowboys, carneys and amigos, but no one could steal the show from the cavemen. Our theme was “Chilico…so easy a caveman can do it”, and boy did we ever. Once we decided on the theme about two months
ago, the costume and prop searches started—we ripped up bedsheets, glued fake fur to our legs and arms, covered ourselves in dirt makeup, ratted our hair (complete with twigs and dirt), and topped everyone’s caveman look off with fake unibrows!
But it didn’t end with just our costumes and awesomely decorated “cave” tent (which we covered in cave paintings throughout the day); no, these cavepeople were in character all day long: We ran to the middle of the field to invent fire and roll our newly carved wheels. The men chased the women and children with clubs all day (our apologies to any children we may have frightened); and all of us are still complaining about our sore abs from all the grunting we were doing. Our performance when the judges made their rounds was classic as we sang from our cave, “It’s getting hot in here, we just invented fire…”--how could they resist?
We never thought we could top last year’s nerdy “Chili Squad” theme’s first place win, but, as we always do, our entire department (including our brand new chili chef, Brody, who made some awesome chili) brought our Fun-LUVing Attitudes out in full force and made this beautiful chili cookoff day into one of the best Teambuilders anyone could ask for!
All the yummy chili at the event was good, but the People of SWA made the company even better…I know the Executive Office is already thinking about next year; hope to see all of you there!
*It’s always called the “last” chili cookoff because when we had our first, no one even knew if SWA would be flying airplanes in a year, let alone holding a chili cookoff, so it’s become a grand tradition!