Hot Tamales

 The other night I made chili. Delicious decision, you say, with a bubble pipe hanging out of the corner of your mouth.

Because nothing says “cold weather” like being gassy and leaking from all your face holes.

And indeed it was. The recipe called for roasted peppers, and I roasted those suckers over the open flame of my gas stove like I was born to do it; and maybe I was. The problem was – is, I should say – that I have the tendency to be a complete idiot. Thus, when the chilis were roasted and cooled, I scraped off the skin with my fingers because it was fun and I’m three years old.

Poblanos are not particularly spicy; however, they do pack a punch because of capsaicin. Everything was fine and dandy until I tried to go to bed that night, and my fingers began to burn.

It was basically like picking the nose of the Wicked Witch of the West, and her boogers are FIRE and proved a worthy adversary for our hero.

Holy shit. The flesh is melting off my fingers. I’m going to have blisters everywhere. The tips of my fingers will have to be amputated and I’ll be left with a stubby paw of a hand that can no longer grip things like delicate boogers from my nostrils.

I went and examined my fingers in the light of the bathroom. Nothing. The flesh wasn’t peeling off my skin like the skin off the peppers; in fact, there were no outward signs that my fingers were burning with the Flame of Udûn (hello, fellow LOTR nerds!).

YOU SHALL NOT — Oh, whatever. Go on by.

I washed my hands in warm water. OH MY GOD I AM DYING. I washed my hands in cold water and felt sweet, sweet relief, that lasted for probably ten seconds. I tried to man up and go to sleep with the tips of my fingers spouting flames like Selma Blair in the Hellboy movies.

I didn’t last long. So instead I googled solutions. Most places suggested washing with Olive Oil, but I am extremely lazy and did not feel like walking the thirty steps to the kitchen. I googled some more, until I found that, apparently, putting white toothpaste on the affected area will soak up the capsaicin. Yes, my toothpaste is WHITE! I fist-pumped in self-adulation and gleefully made toothpaste casts of each of my fingers.

I fell asleep with my hands in prayer, and dreamt about having stubby paws for hands.

Could you please stop asking me to “shake” on it? That’s very insensitive.

25 thoughts on “Hot Tamales

  1. Great story! I had a similar experience, however my error was not discovered so blissfully in bed, but rather going to the bathroom and touching a rather sensitive part of my body. My evening was spent sitting on a bucket of ice water. (Sorry for the mental image)

      1. You are not alone in your mirth. My wife, daughter and 4 friends, over for dinner, thought it amusing as well. I was told of the toothpaste idea as well, but I only had mint flavored and was not about to apply that, even if it was “white”.
        P.S. I was unable to urinate for 3 days.

  2. Nice work on the chili. It looks delicious. I thought for sure you were going to say you rubbed your eyes or touched something else and set that on fire, so maybe you got off pretty easy in the end? Did the toothpaste work? God bless the internet, if yes.

  3. Poor Whit! I had a roommate once who used to eat peppers, the very very hot ones, and then while sleeping she would pull out all her eyelashes! Crazy. But oh, she loved her peppers. I’ve put that capsaicin on myself for body aches (it’s an ingredient in that stuff) and then taken a hot shower. NOT a good idea!

  4. Oh, no! I haven’t had burned-y fingertips, but I have had an “encounter” of the biblical kind way too soon after my husband chopped peppers… never again. NEVER.

    Like, EVER.

  5. I’ve heard stories from my dad about this. Something about using the bathroom after messing around with peppers with bare hands. I think this is why he couldn’t have any more kids after my brother.

  6. Good tip with the toothpaste. I stay away from those devil hot veggies. Food should never attack you!

    Hey I have another tip for using toothpaste in an unorthodox way. Ever have a CD or DVD that skips? Rub some toothpaste (not gel) in a circular motion over the dry disc (on the back). Rinse under warm water, still rubbing in a circular motion. Unless scratches are really deep, the disc should work properly.

  7. So I was looking for a new blog to read and I got here and saw a picture of chili, and said “Ok, I’ll bite.” (No pun intended), and I am glad I did!! You are hilarious!!!

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