Some of you may know, I recently was at the Montreal F1GP. It was the tenth year my dad and myself attended. After the first one, that was it, we were addicted. Rock and Roll! I’ll write more about the weekend another day, but first I have a quick belated, story to tell for father’s day.
After so many years of going to Montreal, we’ve narrowed down the best restaurants and takeout places close to where we stay. One of our favorite’s that we save for our last night, is a Chinese/Thai place. I mean completely LEGIT Chinese/Thai, not some commercial, made for western palates place. This is the Real Deal. They don’t have chicken balls in red radio-active sweet sauce. The menu is in Chinese ( with english translation) and I don’t understand what the hell anyone is saying, nor do they understand me. Order by the numbers is the only way to get it done. It’s always a good sign when the place is packed by Asians and looks like a dirty hole in the wall that you’d walk right by.
This year dad phoned in and was having a real hard time placing the order. It literally took 20mins. Dad enjoys hot stuff….really hot stuff. Growing up around it, I enjoy it to, but in moderation. I don’t like it so hot, it distracts from the flavour of the meal. But, you know the phrase “I can drink you under the table” ? That’s me with chilli peppers / hot stuff. So dad is asking for any kind of hot sauce on the side( important later)……it just wasn’t working. At the end he’s yelling into the phone “GIVE ME ALL THE HOTSAUCE YOU GOT!!! GIVE ME IT ALL, YES, CHILLIES / PEPPERS ! THE HOTTEST YOU GOT! This went on for several minutes, the girl on the phone even went and got someone else because she couldn’t understand. After getting off the phone, dad was pretty worked up. So was I. But believe me, the hassle is well worth it. We tried to relax, and had a drink waiting for the food, while watching the race replay on TV. This is the best Chinese/Thai I’ve ever had….I love this stuff…can’t wait!
Finally, we hear the knock at the door. I greet the deliver guy and he has this weird look on his face. A smiling look of WTF? I got the feeling he was anxious just to pass the bag to me. Hmmm…must be in a hurry. Great, pay the guy and start checking out the order. No hotsauce. After all that. No hotsauce. Bummer. Oh well.
I hadn’t planned on eating for awhile, but wanted to sample the dishes. Try one……it’s ripping hot, ok….Thai is always spicy, try another, scorching, try them all…….everything is too hot to even eat…fire food. Because of the language barrier, the restaurant made all our food the spiciest they could. That’s why the delivery guy had a strange look on his face and wanted to get outta there quick, he couldn’t believe we ordered this. Crazy round eye!
Dad made his plate and I watched. I could tell even this fire mouth veteran was having problems, although he would make remarks such as, “It’s not that bad”, “I think I’ve had hotter”, while struggling to breath and talk. I was scared knowing the world of pain that lay ahead, but I had to eat this food. I was graving it since last year.
Throwing caution to the wind, I dug in. My brain reacted first. FIRE! Don’t eat this! I soldiered through……pausing after each bite, leaning back and taking deep breaths. My scalp tightened. My body tingled. My lips and throat swelled. My eyes watered, an all out anaphylactic shock via capsaicin. But no, I couldn’t stop, it was so damn delicious. Strangely, I didn’t sweat.
If any of you have seen the Simpson’s episode where Homer eats the chilli pepper and goes on a psychedelic trip, well bingo! I had been slightly drunk, now I was in some weird sort of sobering high. My senses were heightened, light was more intense and changing, I could hear every sound no matter how small. I was now wide awake….vibrating. I had passed a gauntlet. My thoughts were more focused…….I was glad I had taken the plunge.
Around 7am, I awoke with a start. My body wanted this fiery poison out, NOW! I broke into a full clammy, body sweat and trembled while doing my business. I felt faint. Luckily, as quickly as it came, it left.
Now your wondering, what does this have to do with Father’s Day?
Well, I had been abit disappointed when I first realized the scope of volcanic hottness I was going to have to deal with…I’m sure you noticed by now, I was really looking forward to the meal. I keep saying things like ” I don’t think I can even eat it…I’m gonna have to warm up the left over pizza”, “Man, why did you have to yell into the phone ‘Give all the hotsauce you got! The hottest!’ “ For some reason, I was trying to make my dad feel bad. I don’t know why, I didn’t want to. I knew it wasn’t really his fault. Luckily, I realized what I was doing and started to back-peddle, reverse the vibe I was giving off. I could see I was making him upset, more then what he already was. Why? Was it a father/son thing? I don’t know, but at that moment……..I realized again, how lucky I am to have a dad that I enjoy spending time with. A dad, other’s would be jealous of. A friend I didn’t want to hurt.
One of the things I said to lighten the mood was, “Don’t worry, we’ll laugh at this tomorrow”. And we did, and I’m laughing right now too.
Really, what more could you ask for?
PS…the spice had one final surprise up it’s sleeve. I had forgotten to wash my hands thoroughly, before removing my contact lenses when going to bed……and in the morning, after they marinated all night in saline solution and finger chilli oil, when I put them back in….Damn You Hotsauce! Laughing again.