Home > Uncategorized > A Public Service Warning from a Moron Unanonymous

A Public Service Warning from a Moron Unanonymous

Let me tell you something about us morons. There are two types of morons out there: morons anonymous and morons unanonymous. Morons anonymous like to hide their mistakes as if they had an alcohol problem: they stealthily fix their zipper when no one is watching, they pretend they’re rubbing their eyes while their finger is digging for bats in the cave, and they have a way of waking confidently away from where they accidentally ran their shopping cart into the Lexus SUV parked a few cars away.

Morons unanonymous though are not so much self-confident as self-abusing. We feel the undeniable urge to wave our dirty laundry like a white flag, to proclaim our inadequacies and foolishness to all who will listen (or all that take pity on us). We are all-too aware of our constant mishaps and fear deeply that others might follow in our footsteps. We proclaim our errors from the rooftop since those that have been warned must warn their neighbors. Plus, part of being a “moron unanonymous” is not being able to think of a better title than “moron unanonymous.”

So in the spirit of frank revelation, here is my nugget of wisdom, obtained in the furnace of my own affliction:
Do not, aboslutely do not under any circumstances, cut up chili peppers without gloves.

This, of course, might be common knowledge to most of you, but for me, this was a revelation, a sort of “burning of the bosom” I will never too quickly forget.

I didn’t think much of it when I had started. I had chopped up bell peppers before and even a few jalapenos and never had much trouble except for maybe watery eyes. This time, though, I was dicing up a huge amount of spicy peppers we had gotten from the co-op farm. Still, without a second thought, I chopped and diced away (I even meticulously scrapped out the seeds with my fingernails). And I felt fine. I had moved on to something else when I notice my hands starting to feel a little funny. Thinking I just need to wash off some of the residue from the peppers, I ran it under some soap and water and figured it would all go away.

It didn’t. It got worse. I washed harder. The hot water only made my hands burn more, like I was lighting them on fire from the inside and out. What I hadn’t realized was that the pepper juice had seeped into the cracks and wrinkles of my skin, filling each tiny pore like a well with their acidy poison.

And it burned. With Speedy Gonzales as my witness, it burned like nothing else.

By now I was panicking. I was typing gingerly and furiously on the laptop, trying to Google my way to a solution. Soon, I was trying out every home remedy that could possibly be imagined. I tried, in particular order:

Rubbing alcohol
Hand soap
Laundry detergent
Baking soda
Lemon juice
Hand lotion
Body moisturizers
Tomato soup
Vegetable oil
Sour cream

None of it worked, at least not permanently. Most of them did absolutely nothing except make me more frustrated. Sour cream felt great at first, but the effect quickly wore off. Milk dulled the pain while it was in it, but made it sting even worse the moment I pulled my hands out. All the Internet warnings proved true: if your hands are already starting to sting, there’s nothing left to do but wait it out. And wait I did. After 5 episodes of “30 Rock,” a Zach Galifanakas comedy DVD, and one “Raising Arizona” later, I finally passed out around 3:30 am, whether from the pain or my own exhaustion I’ll never know.

By morning every was fine, though my hand felt a little funny in the sun. Still, let this be a warning to you: unless you sadistically enjoy searing pains engulfing your hands for up to 8 hours, always wear gloves when you cut peppers. Or make your wife do it.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Liz
    September 16, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    YOGURT. I swear by plain yogurt on hot-pepper hands, but it has to be applied before the stinging becomes unbearable. I usually pour yogurt in the bottom of a latex glove and then put my hands in the glove, and then sit there looking like a moron for a couple of hours.

    I am a proud moron unanonymous. I hope this overcomes that whole Lakers/Blazers gulf.

  2. September 16, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Wait, I think I tried yogurt–is that not on the list? Either way, I don’t know how it would be much different than milk or sour cream.

    Oh, trust me, this Lakers/Blazers thing is long from over. Even if you were to repent and forsake the Fakers right now, penance would still go on for a while. These things take time.

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