Sun Ra - Column for 4/11

Feel the Burn

There are few dishes I enjoy as much as Szechuan string beans. String beans are one of my very favorite vegetables, and when they are stir-fried to just the right level of cooked-but-not-limp they are perfect. Well, perfect after a liberal dose of hot peppers.

So I'm sitting around eating Szechuan string beans last night, and my wife comes by and I offer her my fork; she stabs a bean, eats it, and then gets this strange expression on her face, as though she had just closed her mouth around a sea urchin. Now, I know she likes string beans, and Chinese food, so I ask her what's wrong.

"Fpaify!" she says.

And I thought to myself: yes, it is pretty spicy - each bean had upon it several large flakes of those Chinese hot peppers - but not objectionably so. Ah, but my wife doesn't like her food as spicy as I like mine. Although she does enjoy spicy food compared to my parents, for whom black pepper is about as hot a condiment as can be tolerated.

So, in the interest of society at large, I decided to create a quick "Spiciness Quiz". Use it to determine what sort of restaurants you should eat at, how hot you should make the dishes for any given social gathering, what to bring to potlucks, who you should marry, and how manly you actually are.

The Quiz:

  1. I prefer my food to be:
    1. A little spicy.
    2. Very spicy.
    3. I eat lava and shit fire.
    4. McDonalds.
  2. When was the last time you encountered food you rejected as too spicy?
    1. Within the last month.
    2. Within the last year.
    3. When was the last time you encountered money you rejected as too valuable?
    4. I don't visit places like that.
  3. French Food:
    1. Like it.
    2. Love it.
    3. Might be good if they used some real spices.
    4. I don't eat food that failed to support Beloved Leader during the Great Patriotic Defense of the Homeland War.
  4. When I am eating Chinese food and I encounter a dried red pepper, I:
    1. Put it aside.
    2. Eat it.
    3. Tuck it between cheek and gum.
    4. Chinese food is too spicy.
  5. Favorite Indian:
    1. Korma
    2. Vindaloo
    3. Chicken 65
    4. Tonto
  6. Hungarian goulash is:
    1. Plenty spicy.
    2. Not very spicy.
    3. Useful as a cool beverage between courses.
    4. Communist.
  7. What is your favorite type of hot pepper?
    1. Jalapenos.
    2. Habaneros.
    3. My own cross-bred variety, which I developed after many years, requires a haz-mat suit to harvest, and which I call "Louise".
    4. Bananas.
  8. Where do you obtain the peppers you use in cooking?
    1. Grocery Store.
    2. Farmer's Market.
    3. Howlin' Mad Murdoch's Mail-Order Guns 'n' Hot Sauce.
    4. I don't cook.
  9. When you are cooking, do people comment on how spicy your food is?
    1. No.
    2. Yes.
    3. Once they regain consciousness.
    4. I said I don't cook.
  10. Is your cooking spicy enough to have "consequences"?
    1. No.
    2. Yes.
    3. Yes, but closing the bathroom door activates the containment field.
    4. I said I don't cook, God damn it! Are you deaf?

Scoring: Give yourself one point for every A, Three points for every B, and ten points for every C. Give yourself zero points for every D. Multiply your answers together.

0: Why do you have taste buds, again?
1-9: You prefer your food to be bland.
9-50,049: You prefer your food to be bland, mostly.
50,050-24,300,000: You like your food to be a little spicy.
24,300,000-10,000,000,000: I salute you!

Now, go forth and eat!

- Sun Ra

Columns by Sun Ra