One of the complaints that I often hear about movies is that they use some unbelievable plot devices. Sometimes this is literal, and there is a specific device that seems to exist only to further the plot along, even though nobody in their right mind would have such a device. Like the big red self-destruct switch on the evil overlord base. Comedies have their own kinds of devices, like the machine that throws the pie onto the plate for dessert, which you know is going to be activated incorrectly before the end of the show. If my life was a comedy, (and I'm not convinced that it isn't), then one of my unbelievable plot devices would definitely be the hot sauce.
So, last night I was going to make some chicken and cheese quesadillas. I heated up some olive oil in the pan, and though Tom was using the big knife (we only have one) to chop up some healthy vegetables for himself, I managed to borrow it long enough to dice up some chicken. I tossed the chicken into the pan, and began frying. As I got the tortillas out of the fridge, I thought to myself that chicken and cheese wasn't quite enough for a quesadilla, and noticed the fabled hot sauce on the shelf. "A few drops of this will help spice up the dish a little," I thought to myself, and went to put a few drops onto the chicken.
Glug glug glug.
Glug glug glug is not the sound that the insanely hot sauce is supposed to make. Let me take a moment to explain: I have had the hot sauce for roughly two years, ever since it was presented to me as a gift. During this time, as you might expect if you've had a bottle of any sauce in your fridge for two years, a crust of dried sauce had built up at the top of the bottle. This blackish crust composed entirely of hot sauce had formed a fairly effective regulator for hot sauce flow, with the result that only a tiny hole in the center was available for hot sauce to go through. Hence, one could tilt the bottle and a drop would slowly trickle out, followed by another, another, and if you were daring, a few more.
To return to our story, after hearing glug glug glug (and yelling in horror) I examined the bottle to find that the crusty-hot-sauce regulator had entirely disappeared. Gone. Vanished. Where and how it went is a complete mystery; it was not the kind of crust at the top of the bottle that could just be pushed out by a glop of sauce, but a crust that had molded itself to the neck of the bottle in the fridge, reluctant to move. Someone must have cleaned it out, but neither of my housemates ever touch the stuff, and I would never remove the regulator.
Anyway, the El Pollo Diablo continued to cook, and I realized that quesadillas were out of the question. I was going to need to add a lot of not-spicy food to make this chicken edible, more than would fit in a tortilla. I took the big knife to my own two ears, of corn, and added the corn to the mix. My doubts that this would be sufficient were confirmed when my housemates complained of stinging eyes and noses and had to open the kitchen window. I then searched in my pantry and found a can of black beans, which I also added. After a small bite and a glass of water, I realized that I still needed more. Tom suggested some fishsticks*, so I nuked and added a few. Still too hot. He suggested ice cream, but the hot sauce hadn't addled my brain so much that I was willing to listen. Then he suggested white bread, so I took a few slices and threw them in.
I could tell that I was getting somewhere because I didn't need nearly as much water after trying it with the bread. I added four or five more slices of bread, all chopped up, and a bunch of cheddar cheese for good measure. (Everything is better with cheddar). Finally, after frying it all a bit more, I tasted the spicy taste of success. I had managed to reduce a flaming bowl of pain to the point where it was only as hot as a very spicy dish you might order at an Indian restaurant that serves very spicy food. I ate it for dinner, and then very assiduously washed the pan.