So on the hot peppers episode of Good Eats
, Alton Brown tells the story of how he once put in his contact lenses shortly after having handled jalapeno peppers.
"And it sounded something like this..."
(Cut to house exterior. Bloodcurdling scream is heard.)
Well, I've done Alton one better.
So at work one day, a co-worker had a pepper he grew in his garden. It looked like a miniature bell pepper. He offered to cut off a piece for me to taste. I asked if it was a sweet pepper or a hot pepper. He said it was a little of both.
So he cuts me off a piece, and as I was cautious that it might be too hot, I proceeded to remove some of the inner membranes before tasting the pepper.
As you can guess, there wasn't anything at all sweet about this pepper: it was all-out hot. I spit it out, then went to the bathroom to wash my hands.
It was in the bathroom that I made an unconscious decision that doomed me. Yes, you guessed it... before I washed my hands, I used the urinal.
So, some minutes later, back at my desk, I felt an odd discomfort. I shifted around in my chair, but the discomfort grew more and more profound by the second.
My crotch was on fire.
I realized in an instant what I had done, so I quickly fled back to the bathroom, grabbed a handful of paper towels, moistened them, and attempted to extinguish the fire burning in my loins.
Not a chance. Capsaicin will not be defeated by mere paper towels.
Walking very oddly, I made it back to my desk, and attempted to tough it out for the rest of the day.
Nope. The burning could not be ignored. It was downright painful. I finally went home.
Home at last, and soap did what water alone could not.
So the moral of this story is: wash your hands, fool! Hot peppers are freakin' dynamite!