The Difference Between the Side for Shaking and the Side for Spooning is Substantial

Here’s how I remember my first (or maybe second) Thai meal. One time I ate Thai with Coble and Sarcastro and another time I ate it with JR and Elias. I just can’t remember which order.

Anyway, I was in Colorado for work. But I was hanging out with JR and Elias in my spare time. We went to this little Thai restaurant and Elias ordered everything hot. I remember the waitress trying to dissuade us. I remember it being delicious. And then I remember my eyes watering and snot involuntarily running down my face and my skin melting off the back of my head and all my whole upper body just disintegrating into a beacon of fire. Viggo Mortensen saw me from a distance and was like “Crap, are they filming another Lord of the Rings without me?” Hunter S. Thompson came by our table. He was riding a cheetah named Betty Grable. The ghost of Jerry Garcia was wearing a tutu and singing “Sugar Magnolia” while my arms turned to jelly. The cooks from the back room came out to laugh at us. I started speaking in tongues. In the language of angels, I predicted the world would turn into a giant bread pudding. How many lifetimes did we sit at that table? How did we get home? Did we really dance down the aisle at someone else’s wedding set-up at the Stanley Hotel or was that part of dinner?

I have no answers.

But I was reminded of that experience a little bit last night, because I made stir-fry for dinner. I marinated the skirt steak in Coke, as is my new favorite trick, and I meant to add a few shakes of red pepper. But my stupid hand shook two or three times before my stupid brain realized that the flap on the red pepper flakes I had open was not the one with three holes for shaking on your pizza but the one with one, big gaping maw, which no one ever needs, ever.

It wasn’t as hot as hallucinatory Thai, by any stretch. But it was hot enough to make my teeth feel strange in my mouth.

And delicious.



8 thoughts on “The Difference Between the Side for Shaking and the Side for Spooning is Substantial

  1. You broke your Thai cherry with us. That was why we did it. Because you admitted you hadn’t had it and one or the both of us made fun of you and/or expressed incredulity. Then we bonded over Thai.

  2. See, the problem with a lot of Thai restaurants is there’s medium which is nothing and there’s spicy which is what you described. There’s no in-between. You try to get something “a little spicy” which I think were the exact words I used, you end up with jelly all over the table. Some places have a 1-5 scale which seems better but there’s often still a precipitous dropoff between 2 and 3.

    I don’t remember Viggo, but I do remember the entire staff gawking at the stupid white people. It’s no wonder you don’t visit more often when all we do is torture you.

    Oh, and +1 to nm’s first comment.

  3. Elias, I feel like such a terrible friend! I don’t visit often and, when I do, I’m literally like “Can I just sit at the bottom of things and eat ice cream?”

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