I like spicy food. I discovered this several years ago when I was in Beijing eating at a hot pot place across from the Olympic stadium. Since then, I've tried all different kinds of hot sauces (Sriracha, "The Hottest Fucking Sauce", Habanero) and spicy foods (Middle Eastern, Indian, Thai) but nothing prepared me for Cluck U chicken.
Around 3 a.m. Friday night, after the bar closed and I was fully saturated with beer, I wanted french fries. My friend suggested Cluck U. The fries were fine, but my friend ordered "Nuclear Chicken", and I was intrigued. Now, at Cluck U, there are several levels of hot. Since Nuclear was only two down from the top, and I didn't find it all that spicy, I decided to go for the "911" sauce. Drunk as we were, my friend encouraged me, knowing full well what I was in for.
After ordering the chicken and not purchasing a drink, I sat down at the table, excited to try the chicken. As soon as I opened the styrofoam container the scent hit my nose and it was unlike anything I had ever smelled before. But I remained undeterred. I took a big bite and waited. It was spicy but nothing crazy. But this spice, it seems, like it build suspense. Ten seconds later, I wanted to rip my mouth out. My eyes welled up and tears started pouring down my face. My gums, tongue, cheek and throat all felt like they were being burned, bit my bugs, and scraped with glass all at the same time.
Not knowing what to do, I ran to the bathroom and stuck my head under the faucet. That did nothing. The pain wasn't stopping. I was sweating, crying, and unable to control any of it. On the walk home I turned into a truck driver, spitting every ten feet because I was now salivating like a wild animal with rabies. By the time I got home, drinking the sour milk in the refrigerator was a great idea. After downing half of the carton, the pain finally let up.
But, I was still drunk and drunk reasoning is spotty at best. Now that I had the antidote, I thought, I can eat the chicken, having forgotten that only five minutes ago severing my own head seemed like a reasonable solution to get the pain to stop. So, I took another big bite and, as expected, repeated the entire fire dance all over again...and finished the sour milk.
I don't know what kind of fire breathing demons are injected into that sauce, but, dear God, I had no idea food could hurt so bad. But now I know and knowing is half the battle.