now, I mentioned how bread or dairy products are the only way to get the heat off you when you've been exposed to hot peppers. Let me relate a story my friend Rob told me about something that happened when he was working as a chef at a big-city restaurant.

the restaurant was famous for its spicy foods, many of which were made with peppers. One of the dishes had as an ingredient Scotch Bonnet or habaņero peppers. These are the hottest peppers in the world, ten times hotter than the hottest jalapeņo. Ridiculously hot. The owner had an old Mexican woman who would come in and peel the peppers for the dish, removing the seeds.

like the kitchen in any restaurant, this one had a pecking order, and those on the bottom rung got the worst of it. While the upper staff---the chefs---got to drink a bit of beer while they were working, the kitchen workers didn't. They also felt they deserved a beer more than the chefs, because they worked harder. One of the kitchen workers who complained loudest was a very large brown man from the South Pacific. He was constantly asking the owner why he couldn't have a beer, too. One day the owner devised an elaborate practical joke.

i'll tell you what", he said, "I'll let you drink as much beer as you want if you do a job for me. Mrs. Lopez can't come in today, and we need someone to peel the Scotch Bonnets. If you do that for me, I'll give you as much beer as you can drink."

done. The owner went off to get some beer and the large brown man sat down to peel the peppers. So there he sat, peeling peppers and drinking beer. And being a very large man, he drank a lot of beer. Nature took its course, and before too long, he needed to go to the bathroom. As he stepped out of the kitchen, the owner could be seen almost turning purple, trying to stifle his laughter.

What's so funny?" someone asked. "You'll see", said the owner.


afew minutes later, the big brown man came out of the bathroom, walking in a very strange and uncomfortable way. "Is anything the matter?" asked the owner. The man just looked very upset. He was sweating visibly, and tears were forming around his reddened eyes. "No, nothing", he replied. "Something's the matter", the owner insisted. "Did you wear gloves when you peeled those peppers?" The man, barely able to speak, shook his head no. "Did you hold your dick when you took a leak?" The big man looked surprised at first , but finally got a word out. "Yes.." "Well, that's your problem! You got pepper juice on yourself! Is your unit burning?" The man nodded violently. "Well, there's only one cure for that. Only one thing that'll fix it."

With that, he went to the refrigerator and pulled out a half-quart container. "Yogurt!" he proclaimed, holding the tub aloft. How much of it should I eat?" asked the big man. "You don't eat it, you apply it to the affected area! " "You mean..." "That's right. Off you go."

So the man went back into the bathroom and after what seemed like a really long time, he came back out, looking sheepish, but much better. He always wore gloves whenever he peeled peppers after that. And from that day on, the staff broke into hysterical laughter whenever they conjured up a picture of this large brown man, sitting in the bathroom, his pants around his ankles, sticking his dong into a half-quart of yogurt.

What have we learned from this?