Easter, Chillies, Frogs, Princes and Dr Who
This story is one small event that combines past and present experiences. It was part of our trip to Sydney and Canberra in Easter 2017. Many wonderful things happened along the way and they’ll be the subject of another short story.
So we went to the Sydney Easter show. I’d been there a few years earlier and had tried some very hot chilli – so hot in fact it caused me to collapse near the Dodgem cars in sideshow alley. A memory painful for me but hilarious for my brothers who were there with me and watched the chilli king turn into a jelly king.
This time, with Joe, Helen and Joe’s cousin in tow for this trip to the show I thought I would take some pictures of the various locations that led up to this rather painful but hilarious series of events that occurred on that fateful day.
First of all was the chilli stand itself. But before that on our entrance to the show I saw the dodgem car ride where I’d collapsed at and also saw a number of fresh lemonade stalls which were to play an important part in my recovery.
As we walked around I also noticed the more than adequate St John’s ambulance support crews with their little golf carts decked out with the stretcher and medical supplies.
After taking some supporting pictures of these elements or props which made up part of the event so I could recreate it, Joe decided that he would also try the chilli. Normally the three hottest chillies are not allowed to be consumed by people under the age of 18.
The chappie on the stand said that because my son was with a responsible adult, a fact disputed by many people, I could in fact give permission for him to try the chili.
With Helen watching on with a worried expression on her face, Joe extracted one of the small white chips upon which the chili would be placed. Joe opted to go for the Carolina Reaper, currently the hottest chilli in the world. Although he didn’t have the insane amount of chili which I placed on my corn chip all those years ago, it was still considered a manly dollop.
Unlike last time, the man behind the counter prewarned Joe what would happen and also indicated where he could buy 2 L of flavoured milk to take some of the pain away. Five seconds after consuming the chili Joe took the man up on his offer and became closely acquainted with some Farmers Union chocolate milk.
Destroying the myth that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, I didn’t participate in the chilli eating event. It turns out the milk wasn’t enough for Joe and in fact the fresh lemonade purchased shortly afterwards provided a milk curdling stomach easing event which had Joe back to normal in no time.
There are no shortage of people who are willing to try the chili eating challenge at the Easter show.
With just six coupons left out of their stash of tickets they had used for rides throughout the day, Joe and Cecilia decided to pair up on – you guessed it – the dodgem car.
Memories of me staggering around sideshow alley dressed in a yellow Goodies T-shirt with a fawn coloured three quarter length trench coat came rushing back. I pushed the thoughts out of my mind as I filmed Joe and Cecilia driving around in the dodgem car. I use the term driving rather loosely.
It was with great surprise when I looked over my shoulder I saw someone actually collapsed behind me on the plating supporting the dodgem car area in a location that I had been some years before. The group of security and medical personnel plus the victim’s friends were crowded around so I couldn’t catch sight of who or what had happened. I could only imagine they too had succumbed to the chili challenge.
I was about to rush off and get a fresh lemonade to help them when the St John’s ambulance golf cart turned up with stretcher and three additional staff. I must admit I did have this morbid curiosity to find out who in fact the victim was.
When the crowd parted for a moment I gasped as I saw who it actually was…
I couldn’t have such an iconic character pass before my eyes. So I did the thing that any normal person would do and ran to the TARDIS to go back in time so that I could warn Kermit about the dangers of eating chili.
I wish back when I had eaten the large mound of hot chili placed on the chip all those years ago someone had come back in the TARDIS and warned me what a foolish move it was.
Not being the first or last to overstep the chilli pain threshold, while writing this my mind cast back to the mountain mists of West Papua in the early naughties and a colleague in the Freeport Mine, Dan, an affable Canadian who against Dave’s pleas lathered too much of Dave’s Insanity Sauce onto his steak at Dave and Anne’s place in West Papua. After the second bite the chilli intensity registered first in the mouth, then the stomach and finally the brain. This was before Dan was seen staggering onto the balcony in the rarified air of the highlands, reduced to a quivering liquid gasping sponge… but that is another story .
No frogs or humans were permanently harmed in the making of this tale.
Joe is now the “Prince of Peppers”.