Now it would have been possible to end the interaction at this point and get some less spicy wings (Because a bucket is significantly cheaper than two different boxes). I would have been declared the winner and we would have had a perfectly nice dinner. He chose, instead, to make a play and try to salvage the situation. He turned to the guy at the counter and asked if we could have a sample of the suicide sauce. The guy shrugged and said "Sure." He knew what was going on. He came back with a small cup of the sauce. I bought a Diet Dr. Pepper in case it really was too hot for me, and asked the counter guy whether it was REALLY that hot.
"I think so. I've never tried it." This was not a good sign. If a guy works at a restaurant and doesn't at least TRY its super hot sauce that must mean he's afraid, and if he's afraid there's probably good reason for him to be so. In the kitchen the Mexicans had stopped their cooking and were peering out of the little window to watch the gringo consume the sauce they usually glazed on to the chicken somewhat thinly straight from a cup. I was trapped, so I did the only logical thing a man can do in that situation.
I downed the cup of sauce and smiled. The taste was decent, peppery with a bit of a Bar-B-Q type flavor. Its immediate kick was pretty harsh and I knew I was turning red (the curse of pale skin.) I nodded and said "It's pretty hot, not too bad but hot." Then the after kick hit and I knew that I was going to be suffering for the next few minutes. Because I was already in over my head I licked the cup clean before discarding it and proceeded to try and have a conversation with the other guys while my mouth felt like my saliva was made of lava. The pain was getting a bit more intense but I'm very good at dealing with pain. I have high tolerance for pain and I also know how to channel it so it just feels like a sensation rather than unbearable agony. What I couldn't control was my body's reaction. My lungs closed up a little and my nose started running. My eyes got a little watery and I was pretty flushed. Through it all I was chatting and playing it off, in between napkin runs.
Then I made another mistake. I took a sip of Dr. Pepper. Here's a tip for those of you who don't know about spicy foods. Drinking water, or water based drinks is a BAD IDEA. It just makes the jalapeno burn hotter. Milk is the appropriate drink for dealing with hot mouth because it's basic and hot foods are acidic. I didn't have any milk, and the Dr. Pepper, after the temporary cooling effect, set my mouth on fire. I spent the next five minutes sipping Dr. Pepper, my mouth approximately 4 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the sun, and chatting like nothing was going on because YOU NEVER SHOW YOUR PAIN!
We ended up compromising and ordering the mid-level hot wings. The pain eventually subsided and we went back to his place. He claimed victory because the hot sauce had made my eyes water a little. I claimed victory because I'd eaten the suicide sauce straight without flinching. We both felt satisfied.
Later when we ate the wings something peculiar happened. He found even the hotter version overly spicy. His girlfriend agreed. For my part I couldn't taste the spice at all. The suicide sauce had apparently overloaded those nerves. I munched on them complaining about their being bland. He complained they were too hot. His girlfriend took one taste and ran for the fridge to get some milk.
This sort of stuff is happening throughout our nation even as we speak. Now some guys wouldn't actually go through with drinking the suicide sauce straight from the cup, but I daresay most would. In my next entry I'll explain why women are to blame for this stuff and why it's their insanity that is responsible for much of male stupidity.
*Please note that by men here I mean primarily heterosexual men. I don't know whether homosexual men do or do not do these sorts of things. I have known a fair number of homosexuals, but the majority of their irrational behaviors were, not to be offensive, womanish. They bought overpriced clothes or spent too much time on their appearance or whatever. I would assume some gays are like this. As with every characteristic sexual orientation allows for wide variation within each group.