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Kickball and Hot Sauce

We had a kickball doubleheader last night, which started with a game against the undefeated purple team. The purple team has a coach who doesn't play. She just stands there with a clipboard, calling off names, and advising players on strategy. Before each game her team plays, she goes around the field with her own tape measure, and measures all the bases and pitcher's mound, and if necessary, makes adjustments. One might say that the rod up her butt must have a rod up its butt. The whole business just seems against the spirit and the fun of the game, and too ridiculous for what is supposed to be recreational kickball.

Anyway, we tied them. They didn't score, and neither did we, but here are the absolutely salient points: they didn't win, and we didn't lose. Both of those points were trend breakers, last night. The next team we played allowed us to get on base a lot, but the only score we ever racked up was in a suicide attempt by Erik, who just kept running the bases, prompting wild throws and general mayhem, and that turned into a home run. It was very exciting. I almost spilled my beer.

Even though that was our only run, we won the game. We played two teams, and scored one run between them, and managed not to lose. That's a successful evening in my book. After the games are over, success or defeat is customarily celebrated at the division bar, which unfortunately, is the Brooksider. The Brooksider is a nasty, fratty meat market, with loud top-40 music, guys in striped shirts, and post-college sorostitutes getting, "the wastedest ever." In short, I hate the Brooksider. I despise it.

Luckily, everyone on our team is cool, and the bargoing crowd was up for Grinders, for awesome philly cheesesteaks, tater tots, live zydeco, and fantastic beer. Erp and Greg got it in their heads to try a smidgeon of the "absolutely insane" sauce, which came in about a half an ounce portion, in a little sauce cup. No amount of warning about how hot something is can stop someone who likes spicy food from trying it, regardless of how unforgivably, comically, inexcusably hot it is. Erp took a plastic fork, and doused the business end in sauce, and sucked it all up. In seconds, he was reeling. Greg took a similar hit, and Erik dipped a tater tot in it. Within about a minute, they were all visibly in gastronomic agony, wracked with belching hiccups.

I had tried the sauce once before, but when I did, we were given a full sauce-cup of it, into which I dipped a chicken wing, touching the bottom of the cup with the wing as I did so. Almost immediately, aside from the explosion of pain throughout my entire head, neck and chest, I began hiccuping uncontrollably, so much that breathing was difficult. I took my glass of beer, drained it, and retired to the bathroom, where I downed about five or six pint-glasses of semi-potable water before I finally got rid of my hiccups.

Do not get the absolutely insane sauce at Grinders.

I remarked to Erp, Greg, and Erik, "you guys are my favorite idiots." But I was curious about the effect of just a little tiny bit of the sauce, so I took a green pepper from my sandwich, of which I still had half remaining, and took a teeny little dab of the sauce. Maggie took a similar portion, and soon we were hiccuping too. Luckily, though, I still had half my philly, and all my tots to asborb the spice, so my agony was short lived, and not nearly as terrible as it was the first time, and I was able to quell the hiccups with two or three swallows of tap water.

Katie, Julie, and Jeff sagely refused offers to try it, after seeing the cartoon-like responses from those who had. "I've already touched the stove," Jeff said. "I know not to do it again." Jeff was with me the first time I tried it, and wasn't looking to get stabbed by satan again.

After the effects of it slowly subsided, we began exchanging ideas of things we would prefer to endure than consume that sauce. Among them were getting punched in the face, roundhouse kicked in the face by Chuck Norris, and getting one's heart broken.

This morning, I touched my eye with my right index finger, and my eye burned for about a half an hour.

Do NOT get the absolutely insane sauce at Grinders.

11:24 PM, May 12, 2006

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