My lesson for today.....
I try to learn something new everyday. Subjects don't really matter, if its something that I can acknowledge that Wow, ok I didn't know that well then that helps make a great day even better.
Today, I learned exactly what a habanero pepper looks like, I also learned exactly what they taste like, and last, I learned that the fires of hell are very real.
Had to make a run to Bass Pro shops for last minute bowhunting stuff and my fiance' Sandy and I decided to try a new restaurant that we had never eaten at, but we both like Mexican food and it was on the way.
I ordered a fajita steak that was covered in jalapenos, onions and melted cheese. On top were 3 very unique peppers that had been roasted, one red, one green and one kinda orange-ish. Pretty presentation. I have been on a jalapeno kick here lately, just can't get enough of them for some reason and the jalapenos were the deciding factor on me ordering this dish.
Our meal arrived after enough time for some chips, salsa and a couple of pretty stout margaritas, like noted above the dish looked great and Sandy even commented on how pretty it was. Yep it was tasty too. I had made my way through about half of the steak when I realized that the 3 top peppers were still there. I had a pleasant little burn from the jalapenos and while not really recognizing the other peppers I didn't think they would be all that hot. I grabbed the roundish orange one and popped the whole thing in my mouth, kinda squished it and swirled it around with my tongue and chewed it a bit. Not bad! Great pepper flavor! It wasn't until I swallowed the dang thing that I had that first, Oh ****! moment. You know, that moment when you just did something that somehow you knew wasn't going to be pretty?
The heat started slow, then ramped up exponentially with every beat of my heart. My ears were the first to go.......solid ringing, then the nose started running! Sweat started dripping off of my head and my hair was immediately soaked. I could see Sandy talking to me through the tears in my eyes, but couldn't hear a word she was saying. I had a death grip on the table as I waited for my mouth, tongue and throat to stop burning. It didn't. Just kept getting hotter and hotter, my pulse was racing and I could feel every beat in every single one of my taste buds!
I grabbed a glass of water, nope didn't touch it. Stuffed a tortilla in my mouth, but since it was warm that only magnified the raging inferno going on in my body! I started to look around for the kid I had seen earlier eating the ice cream. I was gonna body slam him if he resisted as I was thinking that the ice cream being a dairy product would help. I finally saw him 3 tables over but the greedy little bastage had already finished his cone! I grabbed the napkin and tried to wipe out the pepper residue off my tongue, the rough fabric only seemed to make it worse, so I grabbed the ice water again and stuck my tortured tongue as deep into the glass as I could and just held it there. That helped marginally and allowed me to snort in a breath or two. As I was starting to attract attention the waitress came rushing over and asked if everything was ok, Sandy said, no, I think he needs a glass of milk! God bless her, but I knew the waitress was busy and it would be a while before she could get back to us.
Milk, dairy, cold, kept running through my mind, the only thing I could see within reach was the little dish of sour cream sitting on the table from Sandy's meal. I grabbed it and started licking it directly out of the bowl, anything to quench the inferno and intense searing pain in my mouth. My tongue felt swollen and charred, and I was hoping it would just go ahead and burn to 3rd or 4th degree as the nerve endings would be so damaged that at least the pain would stop! But no.....as I kept licking and shoving the sour cream into my mouth the pain seemed to level off, I put the dish down and took another drink of water. I still couldn't speak, but I just shook my head at Sandy when she told me she was dialing 911. No, I think I'm ok I managed to croak out and took a deep long breath.
I started to take stock. The table was wrecked, overturned chip basket, sour cream everywhere, glasses knocked over etc.... I managed to look around at the other patrons and saw that all the tables around us were empty and i was getting some really weird looks. I looked down at my shirt and saw that amid the sour cream and guacamole and snot stains running down my chest I was also completely covered in sweat!
The waitress finally came back with a glass of milk, looked at the mess and commented that the cook only puts those peppers on there for garnish!
REALLY?????? Then why did he cook the **** things first!!!!! And why the HECK isn't there a WARNING?????
Needless to say, I was done with dinner. In fact I am pretty sure that I have cured my need for jalapenos as well. On the bright side, my sinus's have not been this clear in a month.
I still can't hear out my left ear real well and the ringing will stop one day hopefully. But in short I feel pretty confident there is no permanent damage.
The only thing I am really concerned about at this point is what is going to happen tomorrow am????????????