This Newsroom Chili Cook-Off Feud Is One for the History Books

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Nov. 15 2019, Updated 5:10 p.m. ET

Maggie Vespa is a weekend news anchor for KGW-TV in Portland, Oregon. She first went viral earlier this year when she responded to a man who criticized her for wearing high-waisted pants on air...by wearing five different pairs of high-waisted pants on five different newscasts over one weekend.

Now, she's gaining attention for her hilarious Twitter thread about the newsroom's "annual(ish)" chili cook-off, which she has entered several times. It's a story for the ages. It will make you gasp, make you cry laughing, and also really make you want to try Trader Joe's canned chili. Just saying. 

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You know that wherever there's a chili cook-off, there's a dramatic story about it. I don't know what it is about chili cook-offs, but they tend to bring out some things in people that normally don't see the light of day. Let's let Maggie proceed. 

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Good chili often takes a long time to cook. You need that meat and those beans to simmer in all the yummy juices to get the maximum flavor. Already the fact that she forgot about the chili cook-off until the night before doesn't bode well for Maggie.

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OK, now she's setting the scene. She's not a great cook, but it's not clear if her coworkers know that at this point. Is a great chili recipe one of those in her "arsenal"? We are about to find out...

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Truly, this is incredible. If I was relatively new at my job and I was nervous and wanted to participate in a chili cook-off, I would never in a million years buy canned chili and try to pawn it off as my own. I'd be nervous that someone saw me at Trader Joe's the night before and would rat me out, and I'd get fired or something. This took a lot of chutzpah. 

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But she couldn't keep up the façade. She confessed to her coworker John Tierney (the reason he's a "monster" will become clear in a moment) and a couple of other people that she did not, indeed, cook the chili she claimed was her own. The problem was, people loved the canned Trader Joe's chili. 

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Obviously, the fact that she put in so little effort and got so much praise for it did not make John happy, especially because he really tried to make the best chili. Couldn't compete with good ol' TJ's, though. 

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And that's why he's the monster. He ratted her out! He revealed her secret and besmirched her good name. Honestly, if I was Maggie, I'd be glad my secret was out there. I don't know that I would have been able to live with myself if I won a chili cook-off with canned chili. But that's not where this story ends.

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For this year's chili cook-off, Maggie stood by her canned excellence and once again brought in TJ's finest as her entry for the chili cook-off. I mean, she did upgrade to owning a crockpot and she did warm it up, so she technically cooked it? Right? Right? 

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I love that she labeled hers "John Tierney's Worst Nightmare." This year, Maggie is standing proud next to her shamelessly canned chili, adn you know what? It's working. 

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People love it! What is it about this Trader Joe's canned chili that makes it so good? How can no one else in the newsroom make a chili that even comes close to the deliciousness that comes from a can?

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Either Maggie's coworkers are all really bad at making chili or Trader Joe's chili really is that good. I mean, it looks pretty legit from the picture! This is the best ad for TJ's canned chili ever in existence. I hope Trader Joe's gives Maggie a lifetime supply for the good press she's giving them. 

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