I am the alpha and the omega
June 05, 2005
Extended Murphy's Law
If a series of events can go wrong, it will do so in the worst possible sequence.

The New Century's spiciest Burger

It started with this rather innocuous company email a couple of weeks ago challenging people to take on the habanero hamburger at the Prince of Wales pub.
As soon as I saw the word hottest, my mind wandered - would it be Sahara hot, or would it have really sexy dancers on it?

A quick flash preceded a moment of pondering and hesitancy. A battle enraged in my mind - To go or not To go. And then, to help in my decision, I shot a quick couple of emails - whether they have veggie burgers, and whether there is transportation.
Phat came the reply. A call confirmed that they do have veggie burgers. And possible transporation. (If you haven't realized by now, the place where I work, communicates mainly by emails, even with a person in the adjacent cubicle)

The D-Day came - the 2nd of June. A half-hour drive to the pub landed me in front of a small two storey building, with a really cramped pub tucked inside it. A brite red board advertising Prince of Wales Pub, San Mateo swung lazily outside, innocuous in its own way with no insinuation of the fiery hell awaiting unsuspecting visitors and first-timers.

To step inside, the air reeky of cigar smoke and nauseating alcohol, was to go into a world apart, a bygone era in the middle of silicon valley - an anachronism unfolding in itself.

Live country music permeated the air, plucked guitar strings and tapping feet, cowboy hats, laughing and drinking, all confined in a cozy room; pale red, pink, velvet and yellows sprayed across the room from aging bulbs and lights; dart boards with the obligatory floor markings competing for space with large tables and high-heeled chairs; lively posters and wallpapers highlighting the real mood of the place.

Mind you, this is my first time in a authentic pub.

I joined the perfunctory queue to the counter, to place my order - a Veggie Habanero burger. What I didn't expect and what I WAS warned about was a dirty yellow declaration form informing me in petite legalese that the pub would not be held responsible for anything that happened to me, my stomach in particular. And then I trotted to the lawn outside, still brite at 8:30 pm due to the daylite savings time. A more joyous crowd lazed around, hiding their high-tech profile behind sleazy t-shirts and torn jeans.

A quick science lesson, for those ignorant about the habanero.

The Habanero is generally known as the hottest pepper in the world, typically measuring about 300,000 units on the Scoville scale, the standard yardstick by which a pepper's "hotness" is measured. By way of comparison, the well-known Jalapeno weighs in at a mere 2,500 Scoville Units. At something less than one-hundredth the potency of the powerful Habanero, the Jalapeno is a veritable lightweight. Even the formidable Cayenne and Tabasco peppers can only claim a measure of 25-30,000.

In other words, the Habanero is not a chile to take lightly, not a pepper to toy with. It is a serious chile - a chile with attitude. It demands respect. It's black seeds almost seem as though the fires of this Faustian fruit had already scorched them, even before the pepper had grown to fulfill its demonic destiny.

Taken from G. L. Please, Too hot to handle.

I suggest the link above, quite a worthy article, a read that describes the authors experience with the above burger with even more fluency.
And for comparision, the Indian dry chilis that is used commonly in food is equivalent to the Cayenne peppers memtioned above.

A half hour wait, gladly passed by mindless gossip with colleagues.

Then came the announcement:
"Mr Sathish, Your habanero is ready."
followed by delightful jingling, almost disillusioning you for what lies ahead. A short while later, IT lay before me - buns, lettuce green chilli, a patty, and what seemed like a dark red paste, with no allusion of its fieryness. No other sauce, no beer and only a clear glass of water, with ice floating sluggishly, to give me company.

I took a bite.

It hit me. Thousand taste buds screaming in pain. STOP IT. STOP IT.
I continued on. The second. The third ...
And soon, hiccups from eating too fast.
Water and some more bites later, it was all over.
No coughing, no burning lips, no painful tongue. Only slight tears from the eyes, and nasal leakage. Nothing that an ice-cold glass of water, or a declicious ice-cream sandwich cant treat. And treat, it did. That sandwich, at that time, tasted like heaven.

What was it like?
Burning hot, for one. It was quite spicy, but not as spicy as I thought it would be. And I had another advantage on my side - I had burnt my tongue over some hot soup the previous nite. And it tasted pretty good - one of the better burgers that I have had.

What I earned?
A brite red bumper sticker that adorns the outside of my cubicle and goes something like this.

Someday I hope to collect eleven of them - thats the number of stickers outside the cube of the person who has eaten the maximum of these.

Would I have it again?
Sure. In fact, two; and if possible, even three. Though the side effects will not be felt at that time - only the next day when frequent visits to the toilet will become a part of parcel of that work-day.
To go further - there is even a competition in a couple of weeks - to find out which company can eat the maximum of the habaneros. I will be there to contribute a bit, and to the beat the heck of Electronic Arts which won last time with 55 of the spicy burgers.

The end of another peaceful work-week, followed by rest and relaxation in the b-e-a-utiful Muir Woods.

Posted by satosphere at 12:46 AM


Whats hot
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from satosphere. Make your own badge here.
Interrupt Me
Mail Me
Status on Yahoo Messenger

WTF Dude
Twin Gemini
Suzy Q
Lazy Geek
Blythe Spyryt
Devilish Angel

Google Blog
Sepia Mutiny
Flickr Blog

Indian Bloggers
IITian Community blog

Google Ads

Google Search


Great Links
Google Search
Unreal Tournament
Digital Blasphemy
Old Home Page

August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
January 2006

Google Ads

Thanx to

Image: Epiphany Stock
Ranking: TTLB Ecosystem
Images @ Photobucket
  Image Copyright © Epiphany Stock
Webset Copyright © Blogfrocks
Best viewed in Firefox at 1024 x 768 resolution.
This site is a member of The Indian Bloggers Ring.