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If you can't take the heat
Beware the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, hottest pepper.
NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY
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By Edie Gross
A. Decline, recalling that this is the same co-worker who ate a mustard packet he found on the office calorie counter simply because someone dared him?
B. Decline, saying you've already eaten lunch and you're counting calories?
C. Decline, noting that a message left with the peppers states that at least one of them measures 2 million on the Scoville heat scale, and your extensive knowledge of Scovillian science tells you that swallowing this pepper is akin to gargling with law enforcement-grade pepper spray?
D. All of the above?
E. Accept the challenge because you've never turned down free food in your life, you're trying to eat more vegetables and you mistakenly believe that a Scoville is like a Pakistani rupee--2 million of them really don't add up to much?
Obviously, the answer is E.
I should point out that this is the second time I've accepted a pepper-eating challenge from Assistant Sports Editor Justin Rice.
The first pepper we split a few weeks back--also found on the newsroom's communal calorie counter--was really mild, so I was admittedly a tad cavalier this time around.
The pepper we pulled out of the bag to eat this time was squat, wrinkly and salmon-colored. It looked harmless, sort of like that quiet neighbor who later turns out to be a serial killer.
In any case, we each popped half of the pepper into our mouths and began to chew. At first, it was kind of tasty. About 10 seconds into the experience, my taste buds experienced a little kick.
Roughly 3 seconds later, things got interesting. And by "interesting," I mean "the same feeling you get when you rinse your mouth out with jet fuel and then apply a coat of lip gloss with an acetylene torch."
Turns out, a co-worker had gotten these peppers at a local hot pepper eating contest, and he'd left them on the calorie counter, figuring folks could take them home and cook with them.
He even typed "Super Hot Peppers" at the top of the note he left with the bag, thinking for some reason that would be enough to deter any monkey business.