Whenever I get to thinking that I might have a bit on the ball, might have a goodly functioning brain, or might have a decent amount of common sense, I do something that causes me to really, really wonder.
To kick her off today, I think most of us soon-to-be-really-old types still want to convince ourselves that we can do the same things we did back when we were younger. We want to think that we can be just as good physically, think just as well, and even do the same things we did in le boudoir back in our glory days. I guess it’s just hard to admit that we really can’t do what we did back when, as admitting it is really admitting to our own mortality, and no one likes to think that they have less days remaining than they’ve already expended here on this planet.
That being said, one of the things I always prided myself on in my youth was my ability to eat hot, spicy foods. I was one of those people who could and would eat anything – hot barbeque sauces, hot Mexican food, and after buffalo wings came along, hot buffalo wings. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today, those hot buffalo wings.
This past Monday, my friend Greg walked up to me and said, “Ed, let’s go over to Wild Wings and have lunch, my treat. I just got a new job!” Talk about an invitation a guy like me can’t refuse! His new job was something that had been in the works for some time, and anytime a friend of mine has some fresh new income coming in it’s cause for celebration! So Wild Wings it was, and around 1 pm we headed over to sample their bill of fare.
Wild Wings Café, for those of y’all not in the know, is a relatively new, mostly Southern chain of sports bar/café type joints. They have lots of monitors with all kinds of different sporting events playing on them, a big bar, and a menu loaded with different kinds/flavors of wings. It was in the midst of this that Greg and I plopped down at our table, received menus, and began pondering the many and varied choices.
My eyes darted over my menu, which is quite typical for me. I will reread menus and change my mind multiple times if I’m allowed the time to do so at any given restaurant. On this particular day, however, I was pretty focused. I was in a mischievous type mood, which, when translated into food choices means that I’ll want hot wings. The hotter the better. To wit, I looked over and asked Greg just what they called the hottest wings that Wild Wings Café offers?
“Ed,” he answered, “They’re called “Braveheart” wings. They’re hotter than hell, I had two a while back and woke up during the night it got so bad. You don’t want to eat those, it’ll mess up the stomach of an older guy like you.” I sure wish he hadn’t of said that now, because when he did this past Monday it inspired me to order a sampler plate of eight wings, Greg picked the flavor for four of them, and I ordered four Bravehearts. Yep, that’s right, four of them.
We went on talking, and before too much time had passed our waitress brought out our eight wings. I should have known it was time to punt this whole deal as I could smell those Bravehearts before she even got into our line of vision. They smelled like pepper and hot sauce times fifty, and when she brought them over to us I could see why. They were so loaded with pepper and hot sauce that their color varied from black to very dark orange. Even sniffing them caused me to want a swallow of cold water. Despite all the evidence before me, however, I wasn’t going to let it stop me from eating them. Hey, I could always eat hot stuff when I was younger so there’s no reason I can’t now, right? I smiled confidently, picked up a wing, and was about to bite into it when Greg said,
“Rethink your strategy, Ed. It’s gonna be more than you can handle.”
Well, that was all it took – I bit right into it, and oh sweet, sweet Jesus and Little Richard! It was hotter than Satan’s balls in a sweatsuit! A rush of mega-spicy air immediately whipped through my nostrils which caused me to cough, and my eyes started watering like they’d been poked. The back of my neck beaded up with sweat, this Braveheart even burned my fingers just from my holding it! In the midst of all this self-inflicted pandemonium I managed to look over at Greg, and he was grimacing in a concerned way, which make me want to suck it up and go for another bite…..
I did, and things got even worse. My nose began running profusely, my fingers burned even more hotly, and I swear to God that I could feel that first bite hitting my stomach. Greg shook his head and then went on about the business of eating his own stuff. Deep inside, I knew I had a decision to make – admit defeat or keep on eating? Well, I love Rocky Balboa, I like being an underdog, and I never like to give up. So, I kept on eating and finished off all four of those Bravehearts. And what was it like after I finished them?
I’ll tell y’all – my taste buds were numb, my eyes and nose were pouring, my entire face was coated in sweat beads, and I had to drink two big glasses of ice water just to be able to wash them all down. Greg didn’t say very much, other than suggest that it might be a good idea for to be close to a bathroom in about five to six hours.
Now regarding this, he was wrong – it didn’t take five to six hours for Mother Nature to tap my shoulder, it took maybe four at most. And fortunately, when my stomach screamed that first sigh of “you dumb, dumb azz, now personally enjoy the napalm that you’ve had me enjoying the past few hours”, I was close to a bathroom. So, when that first bad pain hit, I ran in, dropped my pants faster than a whore needing to pay her utility bill, and proceeded to experience what could only be described as a massive torching of my own heiny. It was hot, it was painful, and it couldn’t have been much different if I’d poured gasoline over my azz and then struck a match. It was brutal times infinity.
Fortunately, I got to experience this gastric sweetness a grand total of seven more times, two that evening, twice from 1:30 to 2 am the following morning, and three more times from 8 to 8:30 am later the following morning. I wanted to punch myself in the face for being so stupid by the time it was all over, even though I had not the strength to do it, and my heiny ended up being sorer than……hey, I won’t even say it out loud. Just suffice it to say that friend Greg pretty much summed it all up when he said to me yesterday morning,
“Ed, lot less shame in admitting you’re old than to be crappin’ out those flames, huh?”
All I could do in response was feebly nod, as he was a hundred percent right. In the future, heat will be defined as what I feel when I look at Marilyn Monroe’s pictures, not from what…..hell, I won’t even say it out loud!