Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Nobody Listens To Me ... Until It's Too Late

Unless this is your first time to visit my blog, you already know I have a strong aversion to veggies. Particularly green ones. If I've said it once I've said it a million times, LETTUCE IS THE DEVIL.

Go ahead snicker, laugh, say Travis is a crazy carnivore. My wife has done that very thing for years. She never heeded my warnings and very recently she paid the price for underestimating the evilness that lurks at the farmer's market. Of course me being the good guy I am, I along with some good ol' animal fat, did come to her rescue.

Let me set the scene.

Our good friends, Charlie and Cecelia were hosting a poll party. A fundraiser on behalf of the Catholic school where both My wife Jennifer and Cecelia teach. I volunteered to cook the meat (both chicken and beef fajitas) which turned out pretty danged good if I do say so myself. But I told them y'all will have to do the peppers and onions as I do not associate with such riff-raff.

Somewhere along the way the gals decided to also cook jalapeno poppers. They assigned Charlie the task of grilling the little green monsters, but first they had to prep them.

To do so my wife began scraping out the demon seeds and the guts of the jalapenos while Cecilia stuffed the hollowed innards with cream cheese and wrapped the whole shooting match in bacon. I contend it should be a crime to waste good bacon that way.

So they get the poppers finished, Charlie begins grilling them, while I mind my own business and happily grill meat.

Then it began.


My wife washes her hand for the umpteenth time but her skin will not stop burning. The poisonous oil from the jalapeno had infiltrated her cell tissue and according to her it felt as if someone were holding an open flame to her skin.

She soaked her hand in milk.

No help.

Lime juice.

No relief.

Rubbing alcohol.

Still they burned.

Feel free to hum Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire as you read this.

The hours ticked by. The party raged on. Many bottles of wine and much beer was swallowed and still my wife hurt. Tears filled her eyes. Unshed tears but tears nonetheless.

Evening gave way to night. More booze was downed. The party-goers began surfing down the slide and doing back flips from the rock fountain. Despite inebriated swimmers doing less than intelligent stunts, my wife remained the only casualty. She sat poolside with her hands submerged in ice water. The devil's candy continued to burn five ... six ... seven hours after she'd last touched a jalapeno.

A quick trip to Google suggested toothpaste so we bid the party farewell and headed to Walgreen's. The Colgate was barely paid for when she began slathering it on her hands. The flames of hope sparkled in her eyes, but it was extinguished when the fiery pain burned on. The pharmacist said only time and repeated washing would help but it could take up to 36 hours for the capsaicin oil go away.

My wife's spirits sank. She feared there would be no sleep for her that night. At home I got in the computer and quickly learned that capsaicin pill has it's own silver bullet and wooden dagger.

I read that the oil was not water soluble, therefore a mere washing did nothing. But capsaicin is soluble by alcohol and fat. So I got out the cooking oil, which had the highest fat content of any liquid in our kitchen and some Vodka. Why Vodka? Well I didn't want to waste any rum.

So I poured the two together in a pan, the vodka and cooking oil and it made a nice clear thick liquid. I had my wife stick her mitts in, and ...

The pain immediately started to go away. The liquid quickly turned battleship gray and a tentative smile lifted the corners of Jennifer's lips. She rubbed her hands together a few times and then we dumped that batch and made a second just to get rid of the devil's juice.

She soaked her hands for fifteen minutes in that second batch and that was the last of the pain.

So despite what all the doctors say about salad being better for you than hamburgers, I single-handily proved that a meat eating carnivore, a heavy dose of fat, and a bit of Russian booze can defeat the leafy green evils of this world.

Yeah,, I'm tooting my own horn, but maybe, just maybe my wife will be now be a believer.

No need to thank me, but think of me the next time you eat a juicy hunk of meat. And if you plan to supper with Satan and his salad, please, for your sake, keep a ready supply of vodka at hand.


Melanie Hooyenga said...

ROFLMAO!! This is awesome! You are such a wonderful storyteller.

I'll remember that the next time I cook with poblano peppers -- the burn doesn't last for hours, but it does burn. More so when you forget about it and try to put your contacts in. I don't think I should pour alcohol or oil into my eyeballs.

Erica Orloff said...

What a totally hilarious story (well, not the pain part . . . but the vodka part). See, we Russians know how to cure what ails you.


Teresa said...

Awesome post, Travis. I love your Devil head lettuce graphic. Sorry your wife was in pain, but I think you should patent the recipe to get rid of pepper burn on hands!!

Monnik said...

Ha! you crack me up. Great storytelling!

G. B. Miller said...

Die peppers, die!

Lettuce, walk the plank!

A very good story to cap off a very dull work day.

Lynnette Labelle said...

Too funny! I'm so glad you were able to save your wife from the pain. Great thinking!

Lynnette Labelle

Lyzzydee said...

Bless, your poor wife, Glad you and google managed to save the day.

I am with you on the lettuce front though!!

Jenn Jilks said...

Travis, salad isn't food. It's what food eats!

Being Beth said...

I feel for Jennifer. Been there, done that. HIlarious storytelling on your part, and you certainly had the magic elixir. I do wonder, if you'd not had anything but your rum, would you have sacrificed it for your wife? Oh, never mind, of course you would. Next time, save your booze and get Jennifer a package of latex gloves. Prevention is cheaper than the cure.

Janet said...

LOL. At least she didn't rub her eyes. Next time she could use latex gloves while handling the peppers.

Vegetable oil would have worked as well as the fat, you know. And I am still an unrepentant veggie lover. And I worry about your health. :P

Corey Schwartz said...

Who knew jalapenos were more dangerous than fire coral?

Glad you came to her rescue. (How did we ever live pre-Google?)

WordVixen said...

THAT explains why people so often drink beer with spicy food. I suppose even the low alcohol content helps...

And now I know what to do the next time I overestimate my pain threshold- shots!

sybil law said...

But that's a JALAPENO - not lettuce!
I need more stories of insanity to believe this lettuce bit.
(Glad you found/ invented a solution!!)

Rebecca said...

Very funny post! I LOVE jalepeno poppers! I make them quite often. The secret to avoiding the burn...latex gloves.

JasonScottAdams said...

I'm growing some jalapenos in the backyard, along with tomatoes, so I can make my own salsa.

But it's no where near as satisfying as spending a few hours smoking some ribs and chicken wings.

Three cheers for meat eaters.

writtenwyrdd said...

That was a great bit of kitchen science there, Travis, but I still like my veggies. In fact, I like TOFU! If only I could get fresh tofu here in Maine like I could in San Francisco.

Of course I like me a good rib eye, but with my cholesterol at 487 (yes, I do not lie, it was there a few months ago) I have to avoid it because I don't want to DIE. So I focus on how much I love fruit and nuts and vegetables...and lean lifeless chicken and fish. But mmmmm, steak...

Anonymous said...

If you have ever watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you'd know you could put Windex on it...

Hit 40 said...

I stay away from peppers!! I can see now that my aversion was a good idea.

Funny story

Lyndi Lamont said...

Poor Jennifer, but she's lucky she had you to come to her rescue. It makes a great story now, though. I might start eating fajitas if it weren't for the dang peppers and onions. That stuff is indigestible!


MTL said...


I am going to keep that in mind just in case I find someone who encounters such a jalapeno incident.
I will be a hero thanks to you :-)

Cloudia said...

I shouldn't arm you with this info, but here in Hawaii, a couple of people have been PARALYZED because they didn't wash the rat lung parasites off of some home garden lettuce!

Now THAT'S Veggie Hell!
(can you say trichinosis?)

Aloha, Tex

Comfort Spiral

Janna Leadbetter said...

Awesome! Travis, what a great story. Hope Jennifer is all mended now!

I'd still eat a jalapeno popper, though...

BCB said...

"...think of me the next time you eat a juicy hunk of meat."


The entire post had me laughing, but that made me fall off the couch. You Texans have such a way with words. And hunks of meat.


Nice one, Travis.

Crystal Posey said...

Your poor wife! And you good husband! I'm trying not to laugh, but that is kind of funny.

Stephen Parrish said...

Very funny. You're in top form. I was just wondering, though, by "cooking oil" did you mean VEGETABLE oil? Was is vegetables that cured your wife's hand of vegetables?

Charles Gramlich said...

I'd high five you if you were here. Well done meat man! Another villian dispensed with. Justice is a dish best served hot and with a slightly pink center.

the walking man said...

Any auto parts store...buy rubber disposable gloves for three bucks. Carry them everywhere there may be vegetables present.

Now your wife was simply doing a good deed in prepping the peppers but you know what they say about good deeds...

I personally would have used the rum...I just hope the Vodka wasn't Stolichnaya.

DrillerAA09 said...

Everything goes better with bacon. The trick is to talk someone else into field dressing the peppers! But, then you wouldn't have a great story to tell.

Ddusty said...

First--kudos to Jennifer for making poppers rather than just buying a bushel of frozen ones at Costco. I'll bet her hands are as soft as a baby's tookus after the Wesson marinade.

Hey, do you suppose vodka and Wesson would do good things for skirt steak?

Bright & funny as always. Thanks for the morning chuckle.

Anonymous said...

Too funny!

BTW, your devil's head is cabbage, not lettuce, but it's still a veggie!

Clare2e said...

Your poor wife, and not just because you will NEVER LET HER FORGET. But you lose points for not rubbing her hands in bacon grease!

As at so many other times in history, the power of the internet and a carnivore husband save the day again!

Michele said...

Nice, haha! Your poor wife and her pain, but way to come through with a remedy! And now, I know to handle jalapenos with care.



Hilary said...

Oh poor thing.. but so funny in the telling. I learned long ago to wear gloves or even a plastic bag over my hands when cutting up peppers. My hands didn't feel too much of the burn, but my eyes did when I popped in my contact lenses a short while later. It's impossible to remove them again when you can't open your eyes for the tearing.

Annie said...

Great remedy! But I have to ask, is the aversion to veggies a man thing? Is it in the MANLY HANDBOOK or something? I'm just wondering.

Travis Erwin said...

Melanie - I little booze might make good contact disinfectant.

Erica - I'm guessing Vodka has probably created more pain than it has cured.

Teresa - Just call me Dr. Erwin

Monnik - Good to see you chiming in again. Long time no see.

Travis Erwin said...

G - You are my kind of man. I mean that in a very non sexual kind of way.

Lynette - Wife Saver is my middle name.

Lyzzydee- Maybe we should start an anti-lettuce club.

Jenn -- Amen!

Beth -- Maybe some cheap Whalers but not eh Appleton or Sailor Jerry's.

Anonymous said...

Let me add something...we make our own salsa from many peppers. I never feel it on my hands and neither does my husband. But...

When you forget it's there and go to the bathroom...


Let's just say I'll have to remember that potion next time for my husband. LOL!

Travis Erwin said...

Janet - I'm glad someone is worrying about me.

Corey - Google can truly be lifesaver.

Vixen - You just want an excuse to do shots.

sybil - Oh don't think I can't produce (get it PRODUCE) some lettuce horror stories.

Travis Erwin said...

Rebecca - We never do anything the easy way.

Jason - Burn the plants now, before it's too late.

wyrdd - Wow and I thought mine was bad.

Anon - Windex doesn't sound like nearly as much fun

Hit 40 - That always been my advice.

Travis Erwin said...

Lyndi - That's why i make my own fajitas. I don't let that junk taint my meat.

MTB - Welcome. I don't believe I've seen you here before. always glad to hear from a new reader.

Cloudia - Thanks for the info. Lettuce is evil even if it comes from paradise.

Janna- Go ahead, cheat death, but don't come crying to me.

BCB - Always glad to see a twitter buddy over here at the blog.

Travis Erwin said...

Crystal - Being my wife, Jennifer suffers every day.

Stephen - No, not vegetable oil. Canola oil. Is canola a veggie? What the hell is a canola?

Charles - You can never go wrong with a hot pink center.

Walking man- A true pirate would never use the rum first.

Driller- Common sense does not apply to my life all that often.

Travis Erwin said...

ddusty - skirt steak is best smothered in brown gravy.

anon - cabbage/lettuce why get technical when you are talking demons?

Clare - Carnivore Husband To the Rescue. That would be a great book title for a comedic novel, or my memoirs.

Michele- Consider it my public service.

Hilary - Ever stop to think a good steak does not require all that protective equipment? Why eat something so evil?

Annie- Yes! It! Is!

Travis Erwin said...

Sharla - My wife has made tons of peppers of all kinds and never before have they did this to her.

cindystubbs said...

Hello big hairy Texan and may you wirte your book & many more.

Your Other Wife said...

Nice story!!! It was funnier coming from you than Jennifer!!!! Lots of people had comments huh? Jennifer doesn't suffer every day being married to a great guy like you!!!!! I should know

Phats said...

haha your poor wife that had to suck, and you tooting your own horn couldn't help but still funny!

Did you do a backflip into the pool?

Angie Ledbetter said...

Hooorahhh! Your wife owes ya big now.

Debra Lynn Shelton said...

Travis, I'm glad you found me so I could find you! This post is hilarious, and this is coming from a certified vegetarian who believes bacon, not lettuce, is the work of the devil. I hope your wife has fully recovered and will return to her love of all things veggie.

BTW: One of the detectives in my current cozy mystery is named Travis. No need to worry, he's one of the good guys.;-)

Eric said...

Travis, this is a great story (and even better since it's true and rightfully destroys them green leafed veggies). I agree with you about the wasted bacon, btw. It's almost a waste of Vodka too, but nice that it helped your poor wife's hand out.

anon said...

As a lover of all things green to eat, and red, orange, and yellow, I learned that remedy the hard way as well.
Of course I was clever enough to rub my eyes with my burning hands, just to add a little to the experience.

Jessica Nelson said...

YOur poor wife!!!

Good thing she had genius you around. :-)

laughingwolf said...

lol... good'un, travis :)

Barbara Martin said...

Your wife will be a might more careful with the jalapenos next time around.

However, I'm a veggie and meat eater.

Anonymous said...

Funny story! My sister makes those but does wear gloves, I know, useless information at this point. I like green food myself but I make it a point to avoid the ones that have the capacity to burn any and all body parts;)

Lana Gramlich said...

OMG...Your poor wife! Very clever & thoughtful of you to devise a working antidote.

Unknown said...

i love you!! im typing with my left hand in a bowl of freezing cold vodka and olive oil....i cut those jalapenos at 5pm and just now found your cure! my hand caught on fire 6 hours later, so bizarre...anyways thanks!