September 21, 2010

non sequitors

for the majority of my commute to work, i take a pretty busy county road that has two lanes in either direction, separated by a wide grass median. the speed limit on this road is 55, although it can feel like a slightly "slower" road since there are regular traffic lights, occasional residential lots directly fronting the road, and a few schools / churches / etc.

HOWEVER. the speed limit IS STILL 55 MPH. if you feel like 55 is too fast, i will be very annoyed while driving behind you, and will probably tailgate you because i'm an aggressive a-hole when i'm driving to work behind someone who is going 20 GODDAMN MILES UNDER THE SPEED LIMIT when i have places to be.

another solution, if you're a pansy-ass slowpoke more cautious driver, would be to use the right lane. you know, the slow lane? the one that isn't the passing lane, or the fast lane? except apparently NO ONE IN VIRGINIA is aware of this concept. i assumed everyone with a license was aware that if you're on a highway with more than one lane, the left lane is for passing and speeding. NO ONE DOES THIS HERE. at least once a week, i get stuck behind two yahoos who are both doing 45 mph, side by side, in either lane. FOR MILES ON END. just poking along, during rush hour, while cars pile up behind them in both lanes desperately trying to find an opening to pass one car or the other. it makes me far more infuriated than is healthy.


on sunday night, after a delicious dinner at Mad Fox Brewing Company with some lovely friends, i headed to chris's house to watch a movie. he was munching on some tasty vietnamese sandwiches while we lounged, and due to my complete lack of willpower i found myself absently reaching for a bite before long. i took a wee nibble from the edge of one sandwich, aiming to get mainly bread, when chris turned to me suddenly and goes "oh, um, you should be careful - there are hot peppers on this one."

this statement occurred concurrently with a sudden PANIC! PANIC! PANIC! message from my brain, and before i knew what was happening some sort of base instinct took over and i opened my mouth and literally dribbled out the chunk of pepper that i'd just started chewing, exactly like a toddler who realizes halfway through a bite of broccoli that things are Not Cool.

i am BAD with spicy food. it's not that i don't like it; it's that i have practically no natural tolerance for hot spice and it causes highly stereotypical white-person reactions like turning red, sweating, and, you know, HURTINESS IN MY MOUTH. and that's when i have, like, hot wings. not when i bite directly into a raw hot pepper.

the pain on my tongue, where the pepper had been sitting for those few seconds, was instant and violent. i ran to the kitchen, making some sort of "EHH! EHH! EHH!" noise, probably while flapping my arms about ineffectively. i threw open the fridge door and couldn't find milk, and since the pain was reaching OMG SERIOUS PROBLEM level, i grabbed some watermelon and started shoving it madly in my mouth to try and stop the burning. chris came over and found some milk for me, which he helpfully poured out and handed to me as i stood paralyzed, whimpering slightly.

for the next 10 minutes i had to sip slowly on milk so that my tongue wouldn't go more than 2 seconds without the milk-balm, or the burn ramped back up immediately into paralyzing levels.

chris, on the other hand, went back to the sandwich, where he proceeded to eat SEVERAL of these peppers, with no apparent reaction.

SOMEONE here is experiencing these peppers incorrectly, i just don't know who.


  1. Oh no! Like you, I detest spicy food so I am sure I would have had the exact same reaction. We went to Madfox for the first time last month and I thought it was quite good.

  2. Ohgod the people who drive 45 in a 55? Makes me insane. INSANE. I have somewhere to be! Today! ARGH.

    I like spicy food to a point, and that point is when "spicy" becomes "physical pain."

    The funniest thing I have ever seen was my ex-husband looking at a bottle of Dave's Insanity Sauce, saying, "It only says to add TWO DROPS to this batch of chili, but I'm going to add more," and then watching him dump HALF THE BOTTLE in the pot. His face turned beet red and I thought for a moment he might actually pass out from the sweating.

  3. I wholeheartedly agree about the drivers.

    Ouch, that's no good about the pepper... But I want to hear about Max Fox. I have been wanting to go there...

  4. People who drive slowly in the left lane when there are two or more lanes, like on say the BW Parkway, seriously make me consider wrecking my own car just to ram them with it.

    I don't understand really spicy food. Slightly spicy is okay but how is a burning mouth good? I prefer not to be hurt by my food.

  5. Funny, the hubs always says that it's the Maryland drivers who insist on going slow in the fast lane. Since I was born and raised in Maryland and now live in Virginia, either way, I'm insulted. I'm lead footed all the way. The reality is, there are bad drivers everywhere and they should get the eff out of our way.

    Well, they should.


    As for the pepper thing, I think it's possible to build up a tolerance but given your level of reaction, I'm not sure it's worth it.

    And, finally, I'd love to see someone flapping their arms effectively but it never happens. *sad face*

  6. Around here, people driving 55 in a 55mph zone are treated like they're driving slower than mud. If you're not driving at least 65, you might as well get off the highway.

  7. In many states there are LAWS that you may not drive in the left lane if you aren't passing someone. You see signs on many highways that say either "slower traffic keep right" or "keep right except to pass." So it is not just some sort of common courtesy, it is the LAW and the WAY THINGS ARE DONE.

  8. I have the exact same problem with spiciness pain tolerance...and with stupid driver tolerance, come to think of it.

  9. Virginia drivers also do not know how to yield -- which, in theory, is the same as the problem you describe... everyone seems to think, "It's all about ME" and to heck with the other people.
    You don't know how lovely it was to drive in Seattle rush hour traffic last spring. I couldn't stop exclaiming about how nice everyone was!
    But then, I think it is bad to drive near our county seat during rush hour or on a weekend (Speaking of which: Farm Tour 3rd weekend of August out here). Therefore I might be a roadrage wimp.

    I have a video of my MIL taking a bite of a dried chili that fell off a decoration. If I ever figure out how to get it off the cassette tape and onto vimeo, I am SO posting it on my blog. Or sending it to America's Funniest Videos. Although I confess to being embarrassed that I was ROTFLMBO during the entire thing, it was hilarious. I mean, she did it on purpose! For some reason she thought it wouldn't be hot. I do have some sympathy for you, since it was an innocent sandwich... that said, I suspect that you also may have been AFV-worthy.

    And my word verification is "wooti"

  10. I'm the exact opposite when it comes to spiciness. I don't lightly dot, I slather with the hot stuff. I have no idea why.

    The driving? I can't do. I would be nervous about the speed and the passing and the signaling and the not dying in a fiery metal encased inferno. But the lane thing sounds awful, so we'll just say I agree. Down with the slow drivers!

  11. Drivers are EXACTLY like that in BC! Fuckers.
    I also can't handle the spicy. I die. And cry.

  12. I actually like some spicy foods, wings being one of my favorites...but one day my dad made them and I made this mistake of eating one before he taste tested it....oh my god, I thought I was going to die.

  13. I was JUST thinking about the exact thing this morning on the GW Parkway here in VA. MOVE OVER if you are not passing. There are signs and it's the law but it doesn't seem to be enforced. Ever.

  14. Those drivers make me crazy! And yes, I tailgate sometimes, too, which makes the boyfriend criticize my driving. Which then requires me to pull out the, "I will pull this car right over and you can walk" routine.

  15. omg - people who can't figure out the slow lane/passing lane concept drive me BONKERS!

  16. I can't handle spice. I'd be in the same predicament as you if I ate a pepper though I think I might crank up the dramatics. I can handle wasabi but I think that's because it's a spice that penetrates the nose mostly not the tongue even though you eat it with your mouth. Chew on that, will ya? WEIRDORAMA!

  17. Spicy is the spice of life. You can't help that you're all white bread :P

  18. Slow drivers make me crazy….But, I am totally in love with spicy food. And when I say spicy, I mean the kind that makes most people cry. I swear, I have asbestos for a tongue!

  19. I believe he has not sensory thingy majigs on this tongue anymore hence why he can't feel the spice. Therefore, in conclusion and thereof, he's the one experiencing it incorrectly. :D

    I can be very scientific.