18 August 2009

Me vs. Green Veggie

Okay, so true story.

Today, I decided to venture out of my usual skipping lunch and scribbling ineffectually away in my notebook and went to eat with my friend Cari. She suggested that we go to this Thai restaurant over on Woodland Street, and after thinking to myself that I hadn't had anything other than preprocessed, heat lamp cuisine over the past couple of weeks, I agreed.

It's this little rundown shack of a place that I've driven by a million times and yet never realized was a restaurant. And, come to think of it, I'm wondering how it passes health inspection codes. There is plywood for walls, one of them spray painted in a black and white polka dot fashion and a giant outline of what I thought was someone's representation of a window, but we all know that all artists are misunderstood. Through an actual window from the patio where we ate, you can peer into the kitchen, which looks clean enough, but you kind of have to overlook the 85 different appliances plugged into one ancient-looking outlet next to the stove. I mean, this is just a blaze waiting to happen.

The meal went normally enough, with a very friendly waiter and quick service. The spring rolls were awesome, and my sweet and sour stir fry dish (it had a name, but I'm not about to try and remember the spelling of pronunciation) had the perfect mix of fruit, chicken and veggies. I've never really liked pineapple until this afternoon, if that says anything. I even got to try Cari's drunken noodles, which I will be ordering next time I go there. I finished off my rice and then started picking at the remaining bits of my lunch.

I came across what appeared to be a green bean; I thought, that's strange, and then proceeded to bite down. And I'm not even speaking in hyperbole here, within milliseconds, my mouth erupted, and I frantically searched for anything that might calm my poor tastebuds. I had no more rice, I had drank all of my water, and the only thing left on my plate were a few bits of chicken, which does nothing at all for an extremely hot pepper in your mouth. I started sucking on ice cubes, but not even that helped. The poor waiter couldn't really do anything except bring me more iced tea, so I suffered for about 15 minutes with this weird limbo between numbness and extreme pain in my mouth. Cari was laughing with me, especially after I had to tell myself not to wave over the firefighters driving by. Our waiter gave me a to-go cup of water and a little bit of rice to take off some of the edge of that damned pepper.

So, even nearly twelve hours later, the roof of my mouth feels like it was burned with scalding coffee.

There's no moral here, except maybe not everything that looks like a green bean is a green bean. But, the more you know ......

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