A Hot Mess

My husband Curtis likes things spicy in the bedroom.

... And in the kitchen. And the living room. And the bathroom. And every-flippin'-where else in this house.

Let me explain.

The other day, someone he works with brought him a huge bag of extra-hot habanero peppers. Curtis is renowned at work for his love of all things tongue-blistering hot ever since he won a hot pepper-eating contest there. So people are constantly bringing him hot sauces and salsas and different varieties of peppers to see if he can stand the heat.

Anyway, last night I made this Mexican chicken and rice concoction for dinner, and Curtis was all, "This would be perfect with some of my habaneros!" So he sliced up two or three of them. But rather than eat them raw, he decided to toss them into the skillet for a couple minutes - seeds and all.

As I was standing there dishing up the kids' dinner, I heard the baby start coughing on his little play mat in the living room. I mean really coughing.

"What's wrong with Corbin?" I asked, alarmed.

"I'll get him," Curtis said. When he brought Corbin into the kitchen, he was red-faced and spluttering.

"What the ...?" I muttered, soothing him.

And then Curtis started to sneeze.

And then my throat started feeling really itchy, and I started coughing too. And the more I coughed, the more I couldn't stop coughing.

And then Colin and Cameron and Coby ran into the kitchen from their bedrooms in the back of the house, also coughing. "My throat!" Colin cried in a raspy voice between hacks.

"It's the peppers!" I exclaimed. My eyes were watering and my nose was running in a stream. Snot was pooling above my lip and I ran to pass out tissues. "Oh my gawd, open the windows! Turn on the exhaust fan!"

Sneeze, sneeze, snort, sniffle, cough cough cough. It was horrible. Everyone was afflicted; even the dogs were sneezing. And I was petrified that somebody was going to throw up from all the coughing.

"It's like you pepper-sprayed the entire household!" I gasped accusingly.

"Make it stooooop!" whined the kids, running in circles.

There wasn't a single room in our house with decent air. Everywhere we went, the horrible pepper-fumes assaulted our lungs and eyes and noses.

Poor Curtis looked so helpless and pitiful, rinsing out his skillet of peppers with his eyes watering, stopping to sneeze every so often. It wasn't like he'd meant to pepper-spray his wife and children.

The irritating air hung around in the house for a good half-hour despite our best efforts to ventilate the place. The kids refused to eat. Finally, it was time for me to teach my Zumba class at the gym and Curtis took the boys to the playground to get them out of the house. And when we got home, the air was normal again.

Adding spice to your life is not such a bad thing. Unless you do it literally with some hot-ass peppers.

He's lucky I love him.


  1. A really good friend has a neighbor that grows all these peppers, including ghost chilis, seven pot brain strain, and Trinidad scorpions. Tell Curtis to try those peppers if he wants something truly hot. I did and...wow!

  2. Wow that is a hot mess! Thanks for sharing!

  3. dang, I get chocked by jalapenos at work when we drain the juice I can't imagine habaneros

  4. Okay, way too TMI here. but my husband loves peppers too and was making this new thing on the grill which included raw peppers, bacon and cream cheese. He had a huge thing of jalapenos and had to clean them all, which he did. Once cooked they were really good, still hot but darn good. And then later in the evening we went to bed.... and things got spicy, and well, he started to touch me in, ummm, intimate places, and ..... "holy girl parts, Batman!" I was on fire! Seems the stuff stays on your hands unless you don something to neutralize it! That is still a story for us, years later.

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  6. Eek!! I also love peppers. I add tobasco sauce to my pizza since I love spicy things.


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