The Pepper and the Pendulum

Pepper please.

Would you like some fresh pepper? Does the Pope like hamburgers? See, any waiter worth their salt knows that I’m a pepper freak. How they know this is a mystery to me. Maybe they are social media power users and have been casing me for years. Maybe they’re psychic and for some reason choose to use their special abilities to work for tips. I don’t know. I’M NO GENIUS. What I am, though, is somebody who likes a lot of pepper on their food. Like, a pile of pepper. In fact, I’ve been known to empty pepper shakers in one sitting. Salt I can go without. Frankly, I feel that most of the food in this country is grossly over-salted. As a corollary, it is also grossly under-peppered. Therefore I have unofficially dedicated my life to leveling the playing field between salt and pepper. Think about it: when was the last time you heard a doctor recommend decreasing your daily intake of pepper? The answer is never, because such a doctor would be immediately stripped of their “MD” license plate. By me. With a screwdriver. And a ski mask. At four in the morning. That’s right – I feel so strongly about advocating for increased pepper use that I am willing to vandalize a doctor’s personal property, and at odd hours, to boot. Fortunately, no such medical expert has been brazen enough to sully pepper’s reputation as a decent, hard working spice. A spice that can be enjoyed on every food imaginable, including ice cream. Especially ice cream.

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Don Chipotle

Versatile topping.

It burns. I am referring to the sixteen ounces of hot sauce I just drank straight from the bottle, not the rash on my legs. That’s a horse of a different color; a horse that went rustling through a forest of poison ivy to retrieve a Frisbee. Stupid horse! Stop playing Frisbee and get back to doing normal horse things! You don’t even have opposable thumbs! YOU’RE A HORSE! [shameful silence] I’m…I’m sorry. I really need to stop taking my own expressions literally. Back to hot sauce! Man, I put that stuff on everything, and I mean everything! From counter tops, to cabinet shelving, to dining tables: give me a level surface, and I WILL put a bottle of hot sauce onto it. Don’t believe me? Why, just yesterday, I put a bottle of Colonel Custard’s Cajun Catsup…on top of my bookshelf! [starts laughing] I know! I know! Who puts hot sauce on a bookshelf?! [stops laughing, deadpan] I do. When you love hot sauce as much as berating imaginary, Frisbee-playing horses, you want it to be readily accessible. That’s why I keep a bottle under my pillow, one in the center console of my car, and one on the shampoo rack in my shower (WARNING: do not reach blindly for the hot sauce while covered in suds, as you will wind up with a mouthful of lavender body-wash). Hey, all this talk about hot sauce is making my mouth water! Hand me that bottle, would you? Yes, the one in your pocket. I put it there about forty-five seconds ago.