Lemony Snicket ain’t got shit on me.
It all began earlier this afternoon, innocently enough, with a craving for Sabra hummus. Sabra hummus—in my opinion—is far and away the best on the market. If you haven’t tried it, you’ll have to take my word for it. If you have, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The trouble with Sabra is that it’s scantly available, even in Queens, where I live, and where it’s allegedly produced. Further, the best variety, Jalapeño, is only available in one supermarket—on 34th Ave. in Astoria, if you’re in the neighborhood.
Living only 7 blocks away, you’d think I wouldn’t have a problem taking the short 5-minute walk to purchase it. You’d be wrong. Instead, I routinely buy plain Sabra hummus around the corner, along with jalapeños, and make my own. Even though it’s more work. And more expensive.
I suppose, given my sloth, I deserve what happened next. Shortly after making the hummus, I noticed a slight, shall we say “twang” in my nose. Within a few minutes this twang became what I can only describe as, Satan and his minions setting fire to my nostrils.
Before too long, the pain was unbearable. I quickly googled my condition: “jalapeño in nose”, and hit “I’m feeling lucky”, even though I wasn’t. Not surprisingly, I arrived at the web’s premiere destination for horrible advice, bad puns, and wise-ass 14-year-olds: Yahoo! Answers. It’s usually the first result on Google when a question is posed that would never affect a respected, moderately-functioning member of society.
Here’s the question, word for word:
“OMG, HELP, I am on fire. Jalepeno juice? I cleaned a bunch of jalepenos, yes, I wore gloves. But some how it still got on my nose. My god, it burns like hell. Does anyone know how to stop the burning? OUCH I look like a drunk with a RED nose.” -Cheryl
Pretty spot on. I felt “Cheryl’s” pain, and sensed the amalgam of utter dread and anguish in her hurried words. The answers to the question were varied. Most were helpful. You can see for yourself, here. I began running down the list—completely at the whim of the Yahoo! Answers community—willing to try anything. This is never a good place to find yourself.
I ignored the guy who said to “put tomatoes or catsup” up there. First off, anyone who spells ketchup like that can’t be trusted. I also skipped over milk, for the time being, opting for vinegar. Maybe using balsamic threw it off, but it sure as hell didn’t work. I tried lemon juice next, soaking a Q-tip with lemon juice and swabbing the inside of my nostrils like a doctor testing for strep. No dice. Nose still on fire, I read the next piece of advice:
“I hear that sticking bread up your nose will stop the burning, but it may interfer with breathing...whatever
AND please do not pour milk down your nose! This is a case where the cure is worse than the disease! :-)”
“May interfer with breathing”? I figured doing the opposite of what this guy said was probably my best bet. So I started sucking milk with a straw, strait through my right nostril. If there’s such a thing as gargling milk with one’s nose, I think I achieved it today. Unfortunately, it didn’t have the desired effect. The nose-fire persisted.
Running out of options, I tried the last advice: soak a paper towel with water and sugar. “Fuck it,” I thought, as I jabbed a wad of saccharine tissue into my nostril. I hate to leave you hanging, but that’s pretty much where I stand as I write this. I figured I’d jot this whole mess down before I forgot the agony. The pain seems to be subsiding, as the sugar’s mostly dry, and seems to be forming a strange, inflexible shell around my nose and mouth. I’ll let you know how it goes. I'm not terribly hopeful.