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It’s called Flashbang, and the name alone is intimidating enough. It’s one of the spiciest hot sauces in the world, and it’s one that I sample sparingly. At about 3,000,000 on the Scoville scale, I tried my best not to be a bleeding idiot.

I had ordered the mango habañero wings from a local D.C. spot, as everyone I knew had said that they were ‘to die for.’ I knew I’d be the perfect match for it.

I pulled out my phone. I pulled up the delivery app. I tapped the screen in all of the right places. Fast forward 20 minutes, and I had wings in my hands. So I dug in, tongue first.

I wasn’t surprised by my disappointment.

When most people warn me that something will be ‘too hot for you,’ I roll my eyes. I get it, I don’t look like a spice tank.

But appearances can be deceiving. And when it comes to spice, as a wise man once said, “I can’t get no satisfaction.”

So, I teleported to my spice cabinet. I was feeling downhearted by yet another false spice claim… with just a pinch of bravery.

So, I pulled out a slim tube of green sauce; the mighty Flashbang.

I only put a tiny dab on two of the wings. I’m no fool, I know my body’s limits… Thankfully, this hot sauce lived up to the hype, delivering a splendid and fiery feast.

It had been a big food day for me, so, I thought that I should balance it out with some exercise. I was already hot on the inside, and I wanted to attempt to look hot on the outside, too. So I decided to go for a quick run.

There’s a trail that I frequent, and I know it like the back of my hand. I’m aware of the exact point that I will break a sweat on these runs. Like clockwork, I hit that mark.

My mouth was drying, so I licked my lips, when I tasted something… sinister.

The sweat on my face was dripping with residual capsaicin. But I didn’t realize it yet.

It was just on my lip, so I figured I just had a little bit of leftover hot sauce around my mouth from the wings.

Boy, was I wrong.

The longer I ran, the harder the sweat poured out of my forehead, until one fateful drop of sweat dripped down my eyebrow, onto my eyelash.

The eyelash had failed me, with it’s one and only job of keeping foreign bodies out of my eye, and the drop landed straight onto my very fragile cornea.

Then, my eye spontaneously combusted into flames.

I started crying instantly, and could feel my eyeball cursing me for eternity.

I shouted in pain, stomped the dirt, and viciously wiped my eye with my hand and my shirt until the pain stopped.

My body was attacking itself! On the inside, fire, fury, regret, and remorse.

On the outside, a crazy, sweaty bitch shouting at nothing with one eye open while stomping to the ground. Somebody must have seen me.

Once my face had cried out all of the danger sweat, I walked cautiously back home, where I greeted my reflection as the Eye of Sauron.

Fiery, horrid, scarlet and terrifying.

I didn’t go back to that trail for a month out of pure shame, and I haven’t jogged after a hot wing-binge ever since.

My vision was blurry for the rest of the day, but I ultimately recovered, just not emotionally. I often think of that day and how I can avoid it from happening again.

I do get these spicy thoughts occasionally, such as making passionate, sweaty love with someone and then accidentally maiming them with my evil sweat. Somehow it gives me chills.

So, I’ve learned my lesson, both in my mistake and in human biology.

You’ve heard of the meat sweats? Well, it’s not nearly as bad as… the heat sweats.

Sydney Walters

Copywriter, fiction author and PR professional from D.C. who scribbles in answers on trivia night and shouts at her Playstation on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Sips hot tea or coffee from a Studio Ghibli mug. Paces while brainstorming. Conquers hot sauce.

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