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Effects of Eating a Too Hot Pepper

Presented in timeline form:

-15 minutes: Friends are encouraging, but everyone repeats one caution: no matter what, do not touch your face with your hands. Keep them behind your back if possible.

+0 minutes: The immediate effect isn’t actually very dramatic. The mouth burns, of course, but not much more so than when eating any normal hot pepper. There is an instinctive desire: “This is not good food. Spit it out immediately.” However, it is not difficult to override that and chew and swallow. The taste, so far as that sense still functions, is actually pretty decent.

+1 minute: Every facial organ of fluid production, from the salivary glands to the tear ducts to the nose runners, is working in overtime. The face itself is flushed, and the entire body is slick with sweat. However, the only real distress is the psychological one of being unable to wipe the various fluids off the face. Physiologically, this is perfectly possible; it is just a very bad idea.

+10 minutes: At this point the stomach begins to hurt. Be aware that vomiting may begin with no warning or preamble. Speech is possible, but the voice is a hoarse croak.

+15 minutes: Bread is suggested as a means of cooling the mouth. It is tried but does not work. At this point, the mere notion of keeping something in the mouth that is not actually attached there is vaguely nauseating, and to swallow may well be physically impossible.

+20 minutes: Burying the face in a double handful of ice cubes turns out to be startlingly nice, so long as there is someone around willing to carry the ice. Do not trust onlookers who claim that this does not work: they lie. Another benefit is that this pose makes for memorable photos.

+30 minutes: Physical effort beyond the minimums of breathing and standing gets nauseating quickly. Attempting to walk more than a few dozen yards can induce vomiting. The facial fluid organs are all still going strong. Most of the body is shivering with chill while the head and neck are still flushed and hot. It is an unusual sensation.

+1 hour: A long cold shower goes a long way toward improving things. The face is still flushed and there is an aftertaste but otherwise physical symptoms are mostly gone. Consumption of food and beverages is possible, with an interesting side effect: everything tastes extremely, unnaturally sweet.

+18 hours: The sore throat goes away around here.

+24 hours: The sweetness of food is still amplified, though the magnitude of amplification seems to be diminishing.

Further results pending.

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1 Comment

Comment by Rourke Mac OS X Mozilla Firefox 3.0.1 Subscribed to comments via email
2009-06-28 23:57:42

That’s kind of amazing.

Two sub-questions: (1) What’s the context (how did you end up eating a super-hot pepper)?

(2) “Friends”? You’ve made friends already?


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