Making A Red Hot Chili Peppers Joke Is Almost Too Obvious. Wait, Is It? Yeah, It Is.

This evening, I went out for Thai food with some friends and I inadvertently ate this pepper that I think was meant to be a garnish. I don't know what kind of pepper it was, other than a horrible, evil, nasty pepper---probably not its proper scientific name---but I actually thought I was going to die. For the ten longest minutes of my life, I was that stereotypical scarf-clad girl---hitherto seen only in third-rate romantic comedies starring Drew Barrymore---who sits in an ethnic restaurant with her eyes bug-wide, one hand on her throat and the other on her water glass, frantically trying to remain calm and not make a scene even though IT BURNS IT BURNS OH GOD IT BURNS HELP ME I'M DYING I HOPE I WORE MATCHING UNDERGARMENTS FOR WHEN THEY TAKE ME TO THE MORGUE.

Now, Internet, it's not like I've never eaten Thai food before, my goodness. I'm well-versed in spicy cuisine, I swear. But there's nothing more crushing to the ego than demonstrating, publicly, that you're actually not able to handle that giant forkful you've just put in your mouth, am I right? And so I tried to remain engaged in the conversation---nodding, smiling, taking a suspicious number of sips from both my glass of water and my beer, practicing the sort of breathing I only thought I'd ever have to do in labor---while simultaneously being stabbed from within by tiny pitchforks doused in gasoline and set on fire by the four horsemen of the apocalypse on an absinthe binge. 

After a while, my eyes must have rolled back in my head a little, or maybe I actually passed out from the pain and hit the floor, I don't know, but Sean was all "hey, are you okay?" and I was all "PEPPER....PEPPER..." and he was all "you want some pepper?" and I was all "No, I ate one. I ate a pepper. I'm dying. In fact, I'm afraid I can't even see you. My vision has actually blurred. Before the paramedics get here, can you just make sure that I'm wearing matching undergarments for when they take me to the morgue? Also, sell my hot pink Kitchenaid mixer on ebay when I'm gone.  But make sure you set a really high reserve." 

And he was all "Uh, just eat some rice. You'll be fine."

Obviously I was fine, Internet---you're not getting my hot pink Kitchenaid mixer that easily, you scheming minxes!---but my god, it was touch and go there for a while. There really is no point to this post, except perhaps to serve as a PSA to not eat any peppers you cannot identify by name---I can only identify one: the innocuous bell pepper! So that'll be easy!---which I guess means I should probably stop writing this now, but before I do, please assure me that I'm not the only one this has happened to. Otherwise my friends are only going to agree to eat with me in public at restaurants that specialize entirely in rice pudding and saltines. Nobody ever had a near-death experience eating rice pudding and saltines. Unfortunately, no restaurants specialize entirely in them either.

Oct 08, 2009

A friend of mine grows chilies and he gave me some called "black namaqualand". I have no idea of its taste (yet), but the name alone makes my tongue sting and my breathing very quick.

Oct 08, 2009

I'm always eating things I shouldn't really and then regretting it... I once ate what I thought was pickled garlic, a really big clove, turns out it was just raw garlic and I was left with a burning mouth and a nasty taste in my mouth for days!

(and I think you're right to be worried about the matching underwear etc, read this!

Oct 08, 2009

Poor thing! I did that once, but I'm afraid I was not as graceful about it as you. Don't worry. I'm sure your friends will still want to eat with you. :)

Oct 08, 2009

Oh no! I've done that, well, too many times. Sean is absolutely right: eat something dry-ish (rice, bread, naan, tortilla, etc) to ease the pain. Our brains tell us to reach for the water, but drinking anything will only spread the pain around in your mouth. Saltine crisis abated!

Oct 08, 2009

ooh! but i learned that there IS a restaurant that specializes solely in rice pudding! a friend of mine went there recently and now i can but dream and wish that one would open in ohio...

Oct 08, 2009

Every year my spicy-food aficionado coworkers go to this: and I very graciously decline. I enjoy spice as well, but there are limits... Food should be joyful, not painful, right???

Oct 08, 2009

My sister-in-law is Thai and she made me some spicy soup once and as I went to take a huge spoonfull of it I noticed there was a tiny, perfect baby carrot among the other ingredients and as I brought the spoon up to my mouth and shoveled it in, I simultaneously thought to myself 'Hmm, a carrot? I didnt know there were carrots in this soup. Oh God! That's not a carrot!'. And then I quickly spit it all back out into my bowl because I had sunk my teeth into the 'carrot' and my tongue was immediately on fire because it was actually some sort of tiny hotter-then-hell pepper merely disguised as a tiny carrot. Thankfully I was not eating the soup in front of my SIL or it might have been a little embarrassing....

Oct 08, 2009

I ate one of those one time. It was AWFUL. I couldn't speak either. My eyes welled up almost instantly. I was with several coworkers at a new job when it happened and I was too embarrased to say anything. Instead I just let them think I was suddenly very sad? I don't know. None of them asked but I have to think they thought it odd that I suddenly stopped speaking for a solid 15 minutes. I love spicy cuisine but seriously, it was awful. I don't think my mouth felt the same for days.

Oct 08, 2009

Luckily I've never had the pleasure of eating one of those chilis. I have however had issues with chopping jalapenos and not being able to get the oils off my hands for three days. Do you want to know how I know it was there for three days?

I wear contact lenses and every time I put them in or took them out, it was a new experience in pain.

Oh what fun. Next time I'm gonna be smart and use latex gloves.

Oct 08, 2009

Oh man. This had me laughing out loud. My Ethiopian landlord once invited me to his house for dinner and his wife had prepared this special, homemade sauce for our steaks...she'd even used spices you can only get in Ethiopia apparently. Of course, I tried it and OH MY STARS it was the hottest, most intense thing EVER. And all I had in front of me to drink was RED WINE. Not exactly the thing one should chug after a spicy bite.

Oct 08, 2009

Been there, done that. Those little red chilis are killer. First time I had Thai food, I accidentally ate one. And not to be indelicate, but the next day, when the food had uh...worked it's way through my system...I got the experience all over again. But at the other end, so to speak. Ouch.

Sensibly Sassy
Oct 08, 2009

I am glad your ok, but I am totally jonesin for a pink mixer now...

Oct 08, 2009

Tracy, no, it was GREEN! It wasn't like anything I've ever seen before in my life! It looked like....a long green bean but with seeds.

Honestly, it was beyond just being hot and spicy. My friend accidentally ate one right after I did too, and she rightly described the sensation as being like a chemical burn.

Amy --- Just A Titch
Oct 08, 2009

I refuse to eat anything even slightly spicy, so the fact that you even chanced it with an unknown pepper earns you big kudos from me. A bell pepper overwhelms me, so...

Oct 08, 2009

I've been there! When you try to pretend like you're OK and meanwhile your mouth is on fire!

Water and beer are the worst things to drink with spicy food, I read. Because they open up your tastebuds even more so it is even worse! Break and milk are supposed to help.

Elizabeth Joy
Oct 08, 2009

This reminds me of when my husband and I were first dating, and we went to a taco bar. We both put tacos together and my husband bit into his, and almost exploded. But here I was across from him, eating peacefully like I didn't feel even a mild tingle. "I'm such a wimp!" my husband thought. "I can't let this woman know I'm such a wimp, or she'll either laugh at me or stop answering my calls!" So he blinked back his tears and took another bite.

Meanwhile I'm seeing his face grow redder and redder, see him drinking copious amounts of water, smoke streaming from his ears, still forcing down the taco. Until finally he did explode. "Holy crap, woman, how can you eat this??!!"

I took a bite of his taco, and almost died. Turned out he'd mistakenly drenched his taco with a sauce labeled "Devil Hot" rather than regular tabasco. That attempt to prove how macho he was? That was when I first decided I wanted to marry him. :)

Oct 08, 2009

I've been lucky with the pepper ingestion thusfar, especially since I often think INNOCUOUS GROUND BLACK PEPPER is too spicy. (Am a profound wimp.) But I have been blasted in the face with pepper spray! An experience I don't recommend to anyone. I do recommend avoiding hoodlums.

Oct 08, 2009

I dared myself (no one to blame here) to eat an entire glob of wasabi - it must have been at least a tablespoon - and then not drink any water for 2 minutes afterwards. Well, I did it, but I almost threw up several times that night because of it, and then even days later thinking about it! I will say, though, my husband was mightily impressed. And my sinuses have never been clearer.

Oct 08, 2009

I've never eaten one by accident, but I had the same experience Karen did with cutting up peppers without gloves. I sliced up some habaneros for pickling bare-handed (because I am an idiot) and had to sit with my hands in ice water for hours to try and kill the pain.

You have my sympathies.

Oct 08, 2009

This happened to me last week at my Thai friend's house for dinner. (Seriously should have seen it coming, since she eats those peppers without blinking.) Anyway, it felt like an instant case of full-blown strep throat but MILK worked for me --after water, rice, crackers, bread, etc. didn't -- coating and soothing my throat like a calming milkshake. I'm now convinced that's why they sell so many of those Thai iced teas/iced coffees at the Thai restaurants. It works.

Oct 08, 2009

I mistook one of those killer green things for a piece of bell pepper just last week as well. Seriously thought I was going to die! I was home alone, (Thai leftovers for breakfast, anyone?) so able to spit it out before swallowing (thank the good deity of your choice!) but for a full ten minutes the entire left side of my face could have passed for a 4th of July spectacle. Fluids streaming uncontrollably from left eye and left nostril. Gah. There's no way I could have covered the situation if I'd been in a restaurant.

Oct 08, 2009

I wouldn't put it past the chef to plant that pepper on your plate for the express purpose of getting her greedy mitts on your hot pink Kitchen-Aid mixer.

Oct 08, 2009

I can't believe you nonchalantly played that off! If I partway choke on something or cough while I'm eating, I turn blue and fall off my chair (well not really, but everyone's attention is fully pulled in my direction).

Oct 08, 2009

Are you ever going to post pictures and/or write about your honeymoon? I'm dying to hear about Australia!

Oct 08, 2009

It happens to me frequently, but I live in NM. Invariably I order something I think is mild and end up begging for mercy. Here they almost always serve sopapillas and have honey on the table. If you eat honey (on bread or just pour it right in your mouth), it takes away the heat. Milk is also a good bet but not water or anything carbonated.
If you come to NM, always ask how hot the chilies are and get them on the side. Green chilies here can range from mild to OMG in heat.

Oct 08, 2009

This happened to me and my friends. We had a recipe for a pickle, so we all went shopping together and then made the pickles at my friend's house. We decided to each make one of the jars spicy. We had bought an orange pepper which none of us had seen before but was cute and colorful. Since we didn't want too spicy we cut one pepper to four parts and had each part in a 5 litre jar. After a couple of months when we tried the pickles they were soooo spicy from that little one fourth of a pepper that the whole jar had to be thrown away :(

Oct 08, 2009

I did just this very thing just this very night with some sort of spicy pepper garnish sauce. I feel your pain.

Oct 09, 2009

On our honeymoon 3 years ago, my husband and I had dinner at a very fancy Italian restaurant in Caesar's Palace.

It was very dark and very quiet and the waiter brought a few things to our table: our drinks, a plate of cheese, a plate of meat and some zucchini that he warned was "hot."

I LOVE hot food, I was not afraid of these zucchini. I grabbed a couple and scooped them up with my bread and they were so coated in red pepper flakes that in the middle of this fancy, quiet and dark restaurant I started coughing uncontrollably. There was nothing to tame it and so, like you, I kept swigging my martini and my water, eating bread trying to tame the fire in my throat.

I gave those zucchini the evil eye the rest of the meal.

Oct 09, 2009

Last week I ordered a "level 3" spicy curry at a Thai restaurant. I kid you not, the stuff was so hot it about melted my face off! Thank God it didn't, like not literally. I can just imagine the proprietor's embarrassment at having to explain the loss of my eyebrows and cheek bones.

Oct 09, 2009

I think I'm going to need to see a picture of that hot-pink Kitchenaid. :)

Scottsdale Girl
Oct 09, 2009

Might be a long comment:
I was in Kuwait with my dad and we had been invited over for dinner to his boss' chalet. They thought they would be all clever and serve native food. I being an adventurous but not INSANELYSO type eater - put one of everything on my plate and grabbed a bowl of soup. I was eating the soup, and bit down into something. My filled up with a flavor i DID NOT ENJOY and I had to pretend I was choking on something to get OUT of there and into the bathroom so I could...ahem, puke. Unfortunately the first bathroom I found was really close to the dinner table. SO i had to BREATHE Through it and try to wash out my mouth. There's more but um EMBARASSING MUCH? Turns out I had bit into a whole clove. Bleh.

Oct 09, 2009

Let's say there was this guy - we'll call him my ex (and you'll soon see why). He came home from work one day with fresh vegetables given to him by a co-worker. "Here Em," he said as he offered me a pepper. "This one is really sweet. It's eerie JUST HOW sweet it is." Then, he turned and walked away as I bit into the little devil. At the first sounds of CRUUnCHHH, he could no longer contain his laughter. At first, I didn't know why he was laughing hysterically, but about 4.69 seconds later a fire from hell escaped from that little morsel and I thought it was the end for me! I have felt your pain, and am so thankful we both survived to tell about it.

Oct 10, 2009

Did you know there's a GREAT rice pudding place on Polk at Union called Loving Cup? She also does AH-mazing custom fro-yo. The owner's a client of mine (I am in commercial real estate in SF) and a total doll. Go there!! Eat lots of rice pudding in great flavors! No peppers allowed...


Oct 12, 2009

Just noticed that your "About Me" page has not been updated since you were married. :)

Oct 12, 2009

Billie, it hasn't been updated since I got ENGAGED.

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