OK, you can call me a sissy, but I really cannot handle the current fad of putting hot sauce on everything that would even pass for food. It has gotten so bad that they are even putting the heat in whiskey. That is just plain heresy. My patron saint, Jim Beam must be spinning in his grave.
In order to maintain my reputation as an ace reporter (others might spell the ‘A’ word another way) I did extensive research. It seems some scientist, with way too much time on his hands, named Scoville, came up with a scale for measuring the burn in peppers. It starts off with 0 for bell peppers goes up to 2,500 – 8,000 for jalapeno, then on to 100,000 – 350,000 for habaneros and tops the scale at a stump burning 1,000,000 for ghost peppers. Your tax dollars at work.
Oh by the way, next time you get too frisky at some saloon and put you best move on one of the ladies. She coyly reaches into her handbag and gives you a spritz of pepper spray. You just got wacked with 5,000,000 units worth of Scoville’s finest. Not to worry, you’ll be just fine in an hour or so. Try and keep the screaming down, it annoys the other patrons.
For all of the hot sauces that are available in the US none of them can compare with the stuff available south of the border. I have had the misfortune of having a flame out on a couple of occasions. I was in Honduras helping train their soldiers. I walked into the mess hall and noticed that there was a jar of peppers in oil on the table. I tried one with some amazing results. I bet they are still telling the story about the ‘dancing gringo’ to this day.
I was down in Mexico on vacation. We were at a small beachside town south of Vera Cruz. At a restaurant on the water and following the adage, “Once burnt, twice shy” I asked the waiter if the meal I was ordering was hot. He replied, “Oh no senor, our children eat this.” Uh huh, Mexican kids must not have taste buds because one bite into the meal I was pouring liters of cold beer down my throat doing my version of the ‘Mexican Heat Dance.’
Well, somewhere along the line I failed in raising my kids. All of them like the hot stuff. Jim is addicted. To teach him a lesson I went up on “Google” and found a place that sold seeds for the ghost peppers. I got him a packet and he planted them last spring. He raised a good crop and being curious he sampled one right off the plant. It was his turn to show off his terpsichorean skills. He grabbed the hose and watered his tongue down for 15 minutes or so.
So always follow the rule of thumb for the hot stuff; ‘If the dog won’t eat it, neither should you.’ © 2015, Jim McGowan
Sometimes you just cannot win for loosing. This weekend the powers that be at the Harmony County Arts Commission and High Colonic Studio (Walk in, Waddle out.) tried to reach out and touch their new bestie friends forever in the Muslim community.
Taking their cue from our friends in Texas, and with the aid of Pamela Geller, the HCACHCS (pronounced Hiccups) decided to have an art competition depicting Mohammed, camels, sheep, goats or any combination thereof. Don’t go there.
This contest was quite a reach since high art in Harmony County usually has something to do with cans of spray paint and blank walls. To be honest, a strategically placed, multi-color tattoo is as good as it gets.
The Hiccups had a rather long and virulent discussions as to where the event was to be held. One faction was for an outdoor venue. The only open space in town was a large lot between Saint Bingo’s Catholic Church and the Temple Ben Blarney Synagogue. Rabbi Moises Monaghan and Father Patrick Saperstein thought it was not a good idea. What with the price of stain glass windows being so high.
The faction of the council thought that it would be a good idea to hold the event in the local National Guard Armory. The main objection was that such a potentially violent competition should not be held in a place that stores a large number of automatic weapons. Further examination of this objection led to the conclusion that since Harmony Countydiots are better armed than the Guard it really did not matter.
As happens too often the Commission meeting turned into a Class A Donnybrook. Once again the sheriff and his deputies had to step in and restore order. After the tear gas cleared the air and a few of the Commissioners quit flopping around on the floor from the Taser blasts the meeting reconvened and a decision was reached.
It was determined that the event would take place in the County Jail parking lot with all the County EMTs in attendance. One stop shopping at its practical best. Things were going along nicely and there was a big crowd on hand. Then things took a turn for the worse.
A group from the next county over called, “Have You Hugged an ISIS Bomber Today?” showed up complete with towels for hats and banners in a language nobody understood. That was when Granny Franny Feinstermacher got fed up and set her pet hog, ‘Habib’ on the unwanted visitors.
It is amazing how fast a 500 pound boar can move when he is inspired. Flashing tusks and high pitched squeals has an amazing effect upon one’s political views. In a matter of seconds things went from blue to red and people who haven’t jogged in years were breaking Olympic records.
Calm was eventually restored and the competition’s judges were unanimous in their decision. Habib won pig-feet down. The only problem was that the EMTs were unfamiliar with treating tusks wounds. © 2015, Jim McGowan
Last Saturday I went to my SGIC’s (Senior Grandkid In Charge), Mary Katherine, college graduation. It was an adventure to say the least.
The ‘wake up’ call for the trip was at zero dark thirty. Not being a morning person I was less than pleased. My usual response to the invitation to watch the sunrise is, “You go ahead. If it doesn’t rise let me know.”
In preparation of the trip I made some super strong coffee. The kind of stuff in which you could float a horseshoe. Let me tell you IT WORKED! I don’t think I blinked all day. I then took the world’s fastest shower, got dressed and sped out of town. It wasn’t till I reached the on-ramp that I realized I didn’t take my car.
MK was graduating from Landers University in Greenwood, SC. It is a small college in the Uplands. I have my suspicions about the place. It doesn’t have a football team. Can a school really call itself a university if it doesn’t have a football team? What excuse do the students have to drink cheap beer in the fall?
To say that Greenwood is out in the sticks is an understatement. It can be reached only by a two-lane road that goes through farm country. I was fully expecting to hear banjo music, ala “Deliverance.” The town itself is in contradiction to the McGowan Rule of Town Selection, “Never move to a town where the churches outnumber the saloons.”
I went to Mary Katherine’s place first before the ceremony. You can figure out what kind of setting it was located. The building behind hers was a recently raided as being a meth lab. There goes the neighborhood.
The guys that run the proceedings had to be ex-military. It was a ‘hurry up and wait’ operation. We had to be seated an hour before the start. Not that anything was happening, we just sat there staring at a dull gymnasium.
Finally the band struck up the usual “Processional” (Why don’t they play something else. Something like “When the Saints Come Marching In”.) First came the college big shots. They were followed by the faculty in some really funny hats, and finally the grads. The head beaver got up and began his talk.
His speech was, ‘Congratulations to Everybody’. He congratulated the Board of Trustees, the faculty, the staff, and the guys who fixed his toilet. As an afterthought he congratulated the graduates. In turn everybody on the podium congratulated him. It was a regular love-in.
At last we got to the handing out the diplomas. It went as expected. The grads get their name called, walk across the stage, get handed their hard earned diploma, flip off the guy presenting them and boogie back to their seats.
MK graduated with honors, but who am I to brag? However, now she has to face the ‘real world.’ Best of luck, Mary Kathrine, Grandpa Jim is always here to help. “I know a guy.” © 2015, Jim McGowan