Wednesday, April 02, 2008

It Came From Chinatown...

You know that voice in the back of your head that pops up when you're about to do something stupid? It says things like, "Hey, maybe you shouldn't do three more shots and then ask the bouncer if he's got a staring problem," or, "perhaps it would be unwise to escort home the girl who keeps scratching her crotch and appears to have missed a spot while shaving around her Adam's apple." I'm sure you're all familiar (I assume the readers of ZFS! are deviants, to one degree or another). Anyway, I bring it up because this edition of ICFC is all about what happens when you ignore that little voice; it's about doing incredibly stupid things and the consequences that immediately follow. It's also, it should be noted, the first time that ICFC has moved beyond the fun, informative world created by Andrew Zimmern on Bizarre Foods and into the retarded, painful badlands of Johnny Knoxville's Jackass.

First, a little backstory. As I'm sure you all know, the way that ICFC generally works is that, while Girlfriend is attending to her Grad School education, she selects and purchases the product for me to choke down for your amusement. This has worked well, I think, and so it always shall be. Except for during weeks like this one... Girlfriend, stuck hosting parent/teacher conferences all of Monday night, wasn't able to make it in to Chinatown. Which was totally cool... her job is like actually important... so I offered to take charge this go around. I figured, hey, how hard could it be to find some sort of weirdo crap to eat? I'll pop down on my lunch break, pick up something wacky, and all will be good in the hood.

So, keep that in mind; it means that I have absolutely no one to blame but myself for what happened after I ate a straight, unadorned handful of... Dried Chili Peppers

You can almost see the little voice in the back of my brain going, "Dude, what the fuck are you thinking?!?!" Now, look, I like spicy food... I dig Mexican food, I dig hot sauce, I dig all your basic salsas and srirachas and pico de gallos and all of that good stuff. In fact, that's the sort of food that I tend to gravitate towards. Which is how I found myself in an Asian market's "sauces and spices" aisle with another voice in my head piping up, one that was louder than my protective voice and also quite possibly drunk: "Hey douchebag... you haven't eaten any spicy food for ICFC yet and, hey, you're not a pussy are you, C-dog... huh, are you??? No, you're not. You're from Texas and jalapenos are like kisses from a beautiful lady. You'll be fine, panty-waist. Buy the dried chilies. Buy them motherfucker."

So I did. What's the worst that could happen?

I could smell the heat. It was a musky vapor coming off of them like rising swamp gas or the smoke effects at a hair-metal concert. As soon as they were out of the bag and on the plate, I knew... knew... that this was going to suck beyond all rational thought or comprehension. The only logical thing at this juncture would have been to throw the peppers away, postpone ICFC again, and find something that wouldn't make me pray for the sweet release of a quick, painless death.

But of course, I am not one prone to logic:

Crunchy, papery, and completely flavorless... a little dusty, maybe... certainly very dry. They reminded me of what it would feel like to eat those husks of exoskeleton that locusts leave clinging to trees after they molt. For about two seconds, I thought that maybe it wouldn't be a problem. Maybe these peppers were like super mild or something. Maybe... oh... OH...


I spat out the chewed pulp as quickly as I could, but it was too late. The fire hit my mouth like a runaway, two-ton garbage truck smashing an old lady at a crosswalk. The oil, the capsaicin, coated my tongue and my lips like napalm shat from Satan's asshole. My whole face lit up like an arson Christmas tree on the surface of Mercury. It felt like a hot, steel boot stomping on my face. It felt like rage, anger, suffering and the exploding of the Death Star, all centrally located inside my head.

How many more ways can I described a tasteless, mean sort of pain? There was no depth to these peppers; no layers of complexity or notes of soil or chocolate or fruit. There was only the Hindenburg disaster and The Great Chicago Fire and the bombing of Dresden and whatever comet crashed into the Earth, killing off the dinosaurs. To paraphrase Ralph Wiggum, it tasted like burning. I escaped to the kitchen, unsure of my next move, but trying I think in a vague, primal sense to outrun the pain. It didn't work:

That's what regret looks like at it's purest, most base form.

Know this, though. I have learned my lesson. That voice in the back of my head? It shall henceforth be heeded like nobody's business. It knows all. It is wise. It only wants the best for me. To not listen is to invite a serial killer into your home to check out your knife collection. Or, more accurately, to not listen is to find yourself standing in your boxers, chugging a half-gallon of milk while flipping off a camera and internally pleading with a God you don't believe in to just make it stop, please just stop:

I'm sorry you all had to see that (me in my underwear, I mean).
Next week, back to the good kind of ICFC. The kind where we learn stuff and it's all goofy and high-fives and the corpses of my tongue and lips aren't strew across the battlefield of my apartment by the end of it. Maybe we'll do something in a bland yogurt, or a pale, thin gruel. Lukewarm tap water comes from Chinatown, after all.
Anyway, see y'all then!!!
NOTE: I just want to give a special shout-out to Girlfriend for taking some spectacular pictures this week. If they gave out Pulitzer Prizes for photographing your stupid boyfriend being an idiot, she'd be a hands-down lock for the win.


Blogger Sally Tomato said...

Best. One. Ever. You have to try to sell this series as a book. I mean it. Sooooo funny. "Napalm shat from Satan's asshole" - oh my God I'm still laughing.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Irish and Jew said...

best edition ever!! Those pics are awesome!!


10:24 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Sally... Heh, thanks. Yeah, I've thought about doing this as a book but, you know, it's one of those things were I really wouldn't even know where to start. I think it could work though.

Jew... And some thanks to you as well. Girlfriend really outdid herself with the pics this week, my opionion.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Lioux said...

OMG, Clinton!!!

You are a brave, brave man.

Do you think of Girlfriend's hobby as 'photography' or more like 'evidence collecting'?

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Lioux's Little Voice®™©™ said...

Clinton is a BRILLIANT man!!!

What could POSSIBLY happen to you if you continued reading ZFS!!

11:55 AM  
Blogger jason quinones said...

here's a suggestion:

it came from clinton's toilet!: the gastrointestinal aftermath of it came from chinatown!

a mouthful of dried red hot chilli peppers chugged back with a half gallon of milk...i don't even want to imagine the explosive,raging,flaming,watery discharge of pain you must have endured.

like being raped by satan's cock i imagine.but in reverse.

12:03 PM  
Blogger jason quinones said...

these are great pics too!

i am surprised that the GF got so many good pics cuz if it were me they'd all be blurry cuz i 'd be too busy laughing my ass off to take a steady shot!!

12:07 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Lioux... I'm soooo brave. I'm awesome. And her photograph is art, particularly since I'm the subject.

Lioux's Little Voice... Listen to the voice. Everything will be fine. Have some peppers.

Jason 1... Seven kinds of gross.

Jason 2... I know, right? She should be photographing the plight in Bosnia rather than my fat ass eating weird stuff.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Digital Fortress said...

To use the bombing of Dresden and Ralph Wiggum in the same sentence was freakin’ comedy genuis to me. Many compliments on your writing, you crack me up every time. Don’t ever quit writing, but for goodness sake put on some pants.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Thanks, dude. As for the pants... hey, I gotta give the ladies what they want.

(ladies want fat guys in old-man boxer shorts, right?)

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Lioux's Little Voice®™©™ said...

Hmmm. Chinatown really isn't that far.

And I DID just get my paycheck.

I think my insurance premium is paid up to date.

What could POSSIBLY go wrong?!

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two things 1) You're supposed to eat one of those peppers, not 4 at a time! You're officially crazy. 2) And where exactly could we order that picture of you in your boxers? It's for, umm...this girl I know. Her name? Uhhh...ummm...Cubicle-mate Andrea...yeah, Andrea.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

You know you can see me in my boxers anytime. I work pantsless. Doye.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Bill From Gainesville said...

sometimes I will order Nuclear Hotwings and eat all of them. Very hot. The back of my neck sweats. the sweat on the back of my neck has its own sweat, thats how hot it is, Then the next time I make number 2 it is often accompanied by BURN.... so my question is just to follow up how did it feel on the back end? More incentive to listen to that conscious fellow?

4:16 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Well, see, thing is, I didn't actually swallow any of it. It was more of an instantanious burn, then I spit it all out, then I chugged a ton of milk. So very little actually went down the ol' gullet, or if it did, it was drowned in milk.

In other words, my poops have been burn-free. But(t) thanks for asking!

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyone else weirded out by bill's question?

4:36 PM  
Blogger Midwesterner in NYC said...

@anon: No. I am officially on the Bill from Gainesville fanclub bandwagon.

Clint, does the drinking milk trick really work or is it an urban legand?

5:04 PM  
Blogger Big Daddy said...

Oh man.

I'm Latino and can handle all kinds of spicy hot.

But those little fuggers are what they use in Kung Pao Chicken, and even I think that's hot.

You're brave.

Have you never had them in Chineses food before?

5:31 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Anonymous... I'm just flattered that he cared enough to ask. Thanks, Bill!

Midwesterner... Totally works. Or at least it helps better than anything else. Beer, sadly, failed me.

Big Daddy... Stupid, not brave. I should have known better, particularly since I *have* had them in Chinese food.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Lioux said...

Why would ANYTHING from Chinatown be found in Chinese food?!

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have learned my lesson. That voice in the back of my head? It shall henceforth be heeded like nobody's business. It knows all. It is wise. It only wants the best for me. To not listen is to invite a serial killer into your home to check out your knife collection.

No more ICFC??? *cries*


9:58 PM  
Blogger Bill From Gainesville said...

Until Anon brought it up I didnt even think of how odd a question that was, I basically asked another dude about his ass and his number 2 and stuff, plus I truly cared about the answer. Damn straight Anon, I AM weirded out by that.... oh, and also, HUGE fan of Zombie, and Midwesterner myself. In fact My Post from yesterday Mentioned BOTH of them --- Part of why I blog is because of having the opportunity to read their stuff for over a year now.

10:22 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

I was going to say that Digital Fortress said it best, what with the compliment of your peerless comedic talent and all, but I totally disagree with his whole "put some pants on" statement.

Also, I love the Wheat Thins next to the whiskey. That's like the adult version of oreos in milk!

12:21 AM  
Anonymous girlfriend said...

Todd, I was wondering who would notice the 'thins and liquor. The both of them symbolize Clint's and my relationship. Also, I like a little soft goatcheese spread on my 'thins.

7:02 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Lioux... That's just how they roll.

Phoenix... Oh no, ICFC will live on. I'm just going to try to cool it with the eating crap that physically hurts me.

Bill... Aw, thanks dude. Your comments are the bleu cheese dressing to the hot wings of my heart.

Todd... Thanks. My pants are off right now in your honor. The secretaries at my job are THRILLED!

Girlfriend... It's a daily struggle for me to not get drunk and eat her Wheat Thins. The pairing is delicious.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Todd said...

Clinton: Oh, good idea! I'm going to do that too! I'm sure the patients will love it.

Girlfriend: I am a HUGE fan of goat cheese on Wheat Thins.

8:37 AM  

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