I learned to love spicy foods because I am a show off

And maybe masochistic.

When I was in elementary school, I ate whole hot peppers to impress my friends.

I’d hold up a burning hot pepper of doom (the dreaded JALAPEÑO) and then, CHOMP! Bite off the whole thing, up to the stem, and chew it up.

Keep a straight face.
This is fine.
I am not dying.
My mouth is not lava and I am totally ok!

I’d keep a strategic slice of bread or chips and/or milk handy for my performances, to help stem the tidal wave of burning pain.

Since kids are impressed by stupid shit, this schtick totally worked for me. I became the kid who chomps hot peppers.

(Aside: In case you’re wondering, my family had jarred jalapeños and banana peppers in the fridge at all times because we lived in Southern California and that is what you do there.)

Wanna know my crowning pepper achievement? Good. Here it is:

After an aggressive pepper eating performance at a friend’s house, his parents started buying jars of evil hot peppers to keep in their fridge FOR ME when I came over.

Like these people didn’t even want these peppers.

They bought them because they thought I liked them and, let’s be honest, so they could enjoy the spectacle of Showoff McJason getting face sweats at their dinner table.

I LOVED that.

So yes, I’m an attention whore who enjoys pain and will still, to this day, chomp a hot pepper if I think people are going to enjoy the show.