BlogA Different Kind of Challenge

A Different Kind of Challenge

By Gary Stokes
September 2nd, 2021

If your office is like ours, every so often someone cooks up a challenge that other team members eagerly take on, only to experience  “buyer’s remorse” afterwards. Last week, out of the blue Michael threw down a challenge that was taken up by James (of “Where’s James” fame) and Cassie. It was the kind of challenge that other people are fascinated to watch, and so our crowd gathered with a buzz the next day when James and Cassie took on the Paqui OneChipChallenge.

For those not familiar with the challenge, Paqui invites you to eat one 6-gram tortilla chip and wait as long as possible before eating or drinking anything. No big deal, right? But..

Carolina Reaper and Scorpion Pepper? They sound delightful, right? I guess so, that is if Old Scratch himself is making dinner for you on your first night in hell.

How It Started

Anyway, it started out pleasantly enough. Cassie was armed with a banana which was supposed to help with the heat, James had a big jug of water at the ready, and Sai thought he would add to the ambience with a small tub of strawberry ice cream as a counterpoint to the chips.

Yours truly had warned Cassie the day before that she was probably going to regret it, but she jumped in quickly when Michael first posed the challenge and wasn’t going to back out for fear of the derision that would have inevitably followed.  James is a well-known hot sauce aficionado in our office, so it was almost a foregone conclusion that he would participate. In any case, there were only minor indications of any nervousness on the part of either Cassie or James.

Both James and Cassie dove right in, and a short time later, they had both finished their one chip.  Things were fine for a little bit.  Cassie relied on her banana to cool the heat, and James used water and intermittent spoonfuls of Sai’s ice cream.  They both finished their chips. No problem.

How It Ended

Things then took a decidedly more sinister turn.  In a heartbeat, we were reminded of Cousin Eddie’s classic contribution to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (language warning), as first James, and then Cassie had to deal with intestinal distress of Olympic proportions. To keep it delicate, let’s just say that their bodies found multiple solutions to the problem of getting that stuff out! And when not praying to the porcelain, staying upright was out of the question.

You can imagine the delight which with these developments were met by the bloodthirsty spectators (with the exception of your humble author, who felt nothing but empathy and compassion for the poor souls). Michael grinned at what he had wrought. Sai casually finished his ice cream. Steven made sure to record the whole thing to preserve their misery.  Mike gazed on in disbelief. And Bill, who once recorded himself for his Youtube followers eating an entire ghost pepper and living through the aftermath, smiled knowingly.

But all’s well that ends well.  Happily, both Cassie and James survived the ordeal. They are still amongst the living and back to normal. And they at least have the satisfaction of knowing that, so far, they are the only two on our team with enough, cough cough, guts to take on this most incandescent of challenges.