• Richard Scrimger

not the humidity

Let's talk about hot sauce.  Every Christmas  there is one gift that dominates memory and conversation, provokes more comment and laughter than all the other gifts combined.  This year that gift was a kris kringle joke -- one kid to another -- the gift of hot sauce.


You don't think hot sauce can be exciting, do you.  Well, you are wrong.  Take a roomful of giggly Christmas teens and young twenties (sidebar:  what do we call these guys?  There should be a word for the years from, say, 18-24, especially if single and underemployed, more or less adult but essentially irresponsible.  Yadults? Adolts?  Groan ups?  Anyway...) and add a bottle of the world's spiciest product.  It's called Death Sauce and the bottle is covered in warnings.  Yeah, something like that one in the picture.  Sam put a drop on his finger, licked, and  immediately began to cough and hiccup. The spasms lasts fifteen minutes. Yes it was mildly funny, and that might have been it -- a smile, a shrug, and a lesson learned.  But for some reason we (I was in on this too) couldn't quite believe that the stuff was as hot as Sam was making out.  Could a single drop could be that potent?  One drop?  And so, like gustatory lemmings, only stupider because we did it one by one, we sampled.  And one by one we succumbed to our own case of coughs and wheezes and hiccups as the stuff burned its way around our mouths and down our gullets.  Was it that hot?  Yes it was.  Yes it was.  Yes  it was. Yes it was. Yes. It. Was. Each time was funnier because more of us were in on the self joke.   And then  ... you remember building up a static electric charge by rubbing your feet on the carpet and then touching the door?  And it hurt, but you did it again and again and again?  For the next hour or so we tried putting the hot sauce into things.  Was the sweet potato soup spicier with Death Sauce?  Ouch!  Yes it was.  Okay, how about a Bloody Ceasar -- was it too spicy?  Ouch!  Yes. My lips are burning!  What about salad dressing?  Gravy?  Shortbread cookies?  Ouch! Ouch!  (Ok not Gramma's shortbread.) No prizes for guessing the sex of the hot sauce experimenters.  Imo suggested a card cutting lottery with the loser drinking a shot of Jose Cuervo and Death Sauce, but when Sam held the deck out for her to pick (we all had our cards -- mine, sadly, the two of diamonds), she laughed and shook her head.  That stuff is way too hot for me, she said. Is she on her way out of adolthood and into adulthood?  Maybe not yet. When I was gagging and gasping from my Lava Tequila, Imo laughed so hard she fell out of her chair.

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Richard Scrimger | scrimgerr@gmail.com | Toronto, ON, Canada