When I eat spicy food, I hiccup uncontrollably. And when I cook spicy food in a frying pan, I use way too much cayenne, create homemade pepper spray, and choke in my kitchen. Despite these problems, I constantly order and make spicy meals: chicken vindaloo curry, mango habanero wings, ghost pepper salsa, and more. You can frequently find me at a bar with tears rolling down my cheeks as I stuff more hot wings into my mouth. It is not an attractive sight.
I pretend my affinity for spicy food is because spicier means tastier. Mild curries are bland and boring, and honey barbecue wings are an affront to my tastebuds. Ultimately, habaneros are way tastier than bell peppers.
But I think “flavor” is the excuse I use to justify my foolishness. Nowadays, I won’t order the unbelievably ridiculously spicy types of food that can leave a man deaf. However, I do feel emasculated if someone at my table orders something spicier than my dish. Spice is the battleground in which we battle one another as well as our own bodies. I love spicy food because I like the challenge. And I don’t necessarily think there is anything wrong with that mentality.
Modern life is easy. Our ancestors had to hunt and scavenge for their food. If they failed, then they starved. Now any unfit moron can pick up a bag of Doritos and a box of Twinkies at a grocery store with no effort.
Spice returns the challenge to modern day existence. Instead of killing your prey, you have to conquer the heat. The challenge is nowhere near as dangerous, but it is a reminder of the struggle over nature that mankind once had to face.
On the other hand, all I am doing here is justifying my own masochism.