The Chilli Factory - Setting the World on Fire!
Introduction to the Reaper Paste
Introduction to the Reaper Paste
By: Brett Schneider
CHAPTER ONE - The Reaper appears
It is the winter of 2017 and Queensland is currently experiencing a record-breaking heatwave. “A heatwave in winter?” A lot may say, however this heatwave was to continue well into the night. It was a beautiful 28-degree day and I had spent the weekend celebrating my 42nd birthday with family and friends. Like any grown adult I got excited when I received a gift-wrapped envelope containing a family pass to Brisbane’s iconic Ekka Show. A day I could not wait to share with my children and wife hoping to experience the same excitement as I used to as a child. I was not to know however that this memorable day was one that I would remember for the rest of my life…for all of the wrong reasons.
As I worked my way through the flavoursome delights of the Chilli Factory’s tamer range of tasty hot sauces and pastes, I found myself munching at the top of the ‘Scoville Heat Unit’ scale. Out of the corner of my eye I could see the owner of the business’ attention quickly shift focus on me and fast tracked his chumpier order.
I swear I caught a glimpse of him skip a little as he eagerly made his way up the stinger scale in my direction. As I caught his eye I noticed a slight smirk on his face as he proceeded to explain to me in a ‘matter of fact’ opinion that yep you’re at the business end but his expression spoke more than words…I’m not giving you the time of day unless you go all the way. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!
By this time a small crowd had gathered, people purchasing hot sauce with the look on their partners faces clearly stating “you’re a real man.” Then they would turn, look at me with a wink and walk off holding their heads high, peacocking and almost show casing their bottle of burn like a trophy to the surrounding crowd. I realised then that most of these people hadn’t even tried these ‘business end’ sauces and my tongue was at this stage painfully on fire and I could not even murmur to them what to expect.
Two strapping young guys stood beside me after watching me chow the 10/10 hot scale delicacies. After manning up they decided to take up the challenge themselves, with a bit of encouragement on my behalf of course. As an older and much wiser man I started to explain the effect this would have on them and also the pallet of the sauce. I continued to the 15/10 scale and my eyes welled up…I had to get a hold of myself, these guys need to try this and I explained casually that I think the 10/10 was actually hotter to entice them. Before I knew the owner was dishing up the boys with so much passion for his creation while still trying to hide that smirk. I had recovered by this stage and I was able to laugh at the effects the boys were experiencing, one of them you could tell was not enthused about being there and was only doing this challenge under sufferance.
As we painfully giggled together I heard the main man explaining to Stacey, my wife about his hottest sauce, “The Reaper.” It was almost demeaning to me that he was not giving me the attention. Look at me buddy, over here, remember me I am the guy accomplishing all of your bum-burning feats! The wife looks over at me convincingly “You should at least try it. You’ve come this far” I came to the conclusion at this stage that this man was the devil, he produces these molten delicacies to watch people suffer at his pleasure but also had this burning desire to turn partners on themselves.
I scanned his head looking for horns but a single cracker getting shoved into my face quickly impeded my view. No sooner had I grasped it and he was spooning a copious amount of death onto the un-expecting shrivelling cracker. I swear I could see smoke rising from it. With all eyes on me and myself presuming that I am playing mentor to my two young new friends, I opened my mouth. As I looked around everyone else was wide eyed and opening their mouths in anticipation and almost forcing it in. We all shut our mouths in sync. STOP!! Let me just say now that if I had known what was to come I would have death-stared Stacey, picked up my show bags and walked (yes, I said walked…remember this bit for later).
Before my throat got a chance to close up, I signalled to my counterparts a thumbs up like “it ain’t no thing” and they too got served up. I realised two things at this point. That I myself had also become evil and that also if I couldn’t get at least a single breath in soon I was going to pass out. My friends were experiencing the same thing I’m sure but the weirdest thing happened, they started just walking away without letting us witness any effects. As I looked at them I noticed instantly that these two strapping young men were walking away almost grey in appearance, slightly buckled over and a frail portion of the men I saw walk in. With an initial investment of the delicious Fiery Frillneck hot sauce under my arm it soon became clear that I was not man enough to purchase the reapers devil's elixir today. I looked at the devils creator in the eye with blurred focus, shook his hand, puffed out my chest and walked to the exit of the stairs of the pavilion of pain.
CHAPTER TWO – It has begun
Making my way down the stairs I believed that I had acquired new chest hairs that were not yet grey in appearance like some of my others yet still singed and burnt looking. I made it not more than ten metres from the stairs when “it” had begun. “It” had made its way down into my stomach lining burning everything in its path. Involuntarily I took a knee. Stacey and the kids turned and looked at me, their faces said it all. “Are you okay?” As to not look stupid I pretended to tie my shoelace but I just looked up and all I could muster was “I’m in a bad way.”
Now, let’s go back a little. Remember when I said if I had my time again I would have walked…now both my stomach and legs were stubbornly conspiring together against me forcing me into submission.
We quickly formed our strong family bond and struggled to the closet seat. My heart cooled a little, feeling my young son William’s hand rubbing my back and stroking my hair. “What can I do?” my wife asked. This was weird I thought. What must I look like? Am I dying? My wife would never normally ask this! “Let’s just go,” I said and we powered towards the train stop, hoping I would get straight on a train and directly home and all would be fine.
With my head pressed deeply into my hands at the platform I had this urge to go somewhere. I got up and just walked, I don’t know where I was trying to go I just needed to exorcise this demon but I was confused because it felt like it was going to escape from every orifice of my body. I found myself buckled over on the stairs on my way to the nearest toilet, hand on stomach with my face shoved into an empty show bag trying in some way to relieve myself. Head spinning, I looked around in slow motion to see a concerned woman ask, “You ok love?” “Sick” is all I could muster. “Do you need help?” she asked. “I have my wife” was my only response.
This feels like a dramatic war scene where I am the casualty. Somebody pick me up and throw me over your shoulder and run me to the safety of the thunder box. Crawling to the cubicle I broke into spasmodic, uncontrollable, stand up, turn around, and sit down fits. I found myself profusely sweating and stripping off all of my clothes. With this I also felt an overwhelming urge to call 000 for an ambulance to commute me hastily to the closest emergency room. Then the texts started.
Stacey: 7 minutes until the train. Are you ok?
Me: In toilet sweating hard buckled over
Stacey: Anything you want me to do?
Me: Send Will in case things go bad
Stacey: You want us to come down now? We are staying together.
Stacey: 3 minutes until train
Still no response
Stacey: What are we doing?
Brett: Can’t go, so buckled.
A quick glance to Heaven forces a voice into my head “Pull yourself together man, you can’t miss this train!”
Side stepping out of the toilet I see Stace and my two boys Will and Tom marching towards me concerned, again I take a knee resting my collapsing body against a vending machine. Coming into consciousness I can hear Stace saying we have missed the train it’s already on the platform. No!! I straightened myself and left them running back up the stairs towards the train. I could hear their thundering footsteps trailing behind but quickly gaining on me. Reaching the top of the stairs I could hear the conductor’s whistle blow! Passing him (I think he was trying to throw his arm out to stop me but there was no way) I had now transformed into the devil, it was a part of me. I turned to see Stacey’s bum get pinched by the closing doors after thrusting the boys in and diving in behind me.
I was at peace with the fact that the whole train full of Ekka commuters would be witnessing me involuntarily defecate and vomit my way through a near hour long ride back to the Gold Coast. Instead, with my head pressed firmly in my hands defeated, I again felt the soothing comfort of Will’s hand rubbing my pain away all the way home and Tom’s loving stare from the seat in front asking concerningly “are you OK Dad?”
I have awoken this morning with both my stomach making strange noises I have never heard before and a refreshed adoration for my family. Unwilling to make sudden movements I lay here with a desire to write of my summons from the Devil. I have written this for one of many reasons not only as a re-evaluation of my own life for the future perils that I may face but also as a warning to all of The Chilli Factory’s deathly ‘Carolina Reaper Hot Paste’.
By Brett Schneider
Note: The Chilli Factory
Thanks Brett for sharing this awesome story with us mate!
Alex de Wit 27/08/2018
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