"Hey Kids, It's Nachos, Flanders-Style: Cucumbers And Cottage Cheese!"
Let me start out this post by affirming that I am a thoroughly Midwestern soul: I like a simple, slow-paced life...the sort of life that can be narrated by Garrison Keillor on qualudes; I consider it a joy and an honor to help out a neighbor when I can; and I don't care much for your fancy book-lernin'. There is one thing, however, that frustrates me to no end about residing in the Land of Bland*: I'm consisently let down by the area's feeble attempts at hot sauce.
This disappointment is usually brought on by friends. "Be careful," they'll say, offering up some so-called hot sauce, "just use a tiny bit because it packs a whallop."
I'll tell them that I really like hot sauce, so I'm sure I'll be okay. They assure me that they love hot sauce too..the hotter the better, they'll say. They beg me to trust them and just use miniscule amounts.
I used to take their advice, now I just dump the sauce on with abandon as they watch, wide-eyed and horrified, squirming ever so slightly in their seats with typical Midwestern restraint. As I take a bite, they wince and avert their eyes.
"Eh...it's sorta hot, I guess," is my inevitable reply.
I remember one day my eighth grade Spanish teacher brought in some authentic Mexican salsa and chips. Our desks were arranged in a big circle and she brought the tray around to each student at their desks. She cautioned everyone to take just a little, as it was very hot. As the chips and salsa made their way around, kids started wailing, tearing up and jumping up and down in their seats, and sucking air into their mouths in a vain attempt to cool the burning in their salsa hole.
When she got to me, I tried it...it was sorta hot, I guess.
*One of the funniest stories I've heard about the Land of Bland is from my neighbor. Apparently, her grandmother used to make her own ketchup at home because "that store-bought stuff is just too spicy!"