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A recipe for burning, stinging disaster

August 26, 2012
By KELLY VAN DE WALLE ( , Times-Republican

Sometimes life can be so grand, for instance when your child embraces you after you walked in from an adjacent room like you've been gone for six months at sea. But then, sometimes, life has your wife walk in with you moaning softly on the kitchen floor, shirtless, with your face covered in yogurt.

Our tale of sadness and woe begins where most disasters begin: with our hero (me) attempting to do something. Our hero should know better by now. The gallant hero was chopping vegetables for a Mexican dish - because this diet has turned him into a half food-chopper, half rabbit mutant of darkness - when suddenly he found his handsome nose and upper lip and nose beginning to tingle. The following is the inner monologue of the series of unfortunate circumstances:

This is uncomfortable. I wonder what's happening? Maybe I'm coming down with something. Can you become ill from chopping too many vegetables? Maybe I'm overworked. I should probably lie down and nap again.

Oh I see what happened here. When I scratched my nose, I must have inadvertently transferred some of the jalapeo juice. I've heard this can be uncomfortable. It's not bad at all. I'm so glad I'm so tough and manly.

Well now. This is getting worse in a hurry. I'd better just wash it off and be done with it.

There all betthang on a second. Did I wash my hands before doing that? No? So I just rubbed even MORE on? This is probably the opposite of good.

Ahh! This is exactly what it must feel like to have a staring contest with a dragon!

Sacrebleu! Now it feels like I have a mustache made of fire bees! I'm starting to sweat a little bit and my eyes are watering!

Quick! Internet! Help!

[pulling out cell phone]

Siri! Help me!"

Siri: "You can say things like, "Tell Susan I'll be right there" or "Email Lisa about the trip."

"Who's Susan and Lisa?! Can they help me? What are you doing?!"

Siri: "Trying to guess what you want me to do."

"You don't have to guess! I'm telling you! Help! I've got jalapeno juice on my face!"

Siri: "I don't know that. But I could search the web for it."

"Yes! Do that!"

Siri: "Searching the web for 'Yes, do that.'"


[checking Internet manually]

Cooking oil! Yes. That! Where is it!?!? There it is! Saved! Well that comes out fast. Face covered in oil. Problem solved.



Great Scott! It helped about 1 percent. Thanks for nothing, Internet! Now what?!




OK. Internet says to put milk on affected area!

[opening fridge]

Oh nooooooo! We don't have milk! Stupid diet!

What about mustard? Let's try that! OK!

Wait. SPICY mustard?! What's wrong with me!? WHY AM I DOING THIS TO MYSELF?!

Ah ha! Daughter's yogurt! Yogurt is milk-based! Does it matter what flavor?! Strawberry-banana!?!

That feels a lot better. Warm, but manageable. Crisis averted. Let's wipe off the tears and what's left of my face and get back to work, meaning coming up with a story about how dinner nearly killed me to gain sympathy to watch football on the upstairs TV.

Wait. Did I wash my hands before I wiped my ey.AHHIIIIEEEEEE!

[Rush to bathroom to extract contact lenses, removing shirt for some reason. Remembered to wash hands.]

Removing contacts must help! My eyes refuse to open. I'll pry them open! Wait MORE STINGING!! It's like a jellyfish is living under my eyelids with tentacles of liquid magma! But I washed my hands! THIS SHOULDN'T BE HAPPENING! Is someone using a voodoo doll?!


I'm sorry eyeballs!!!

[rush back to the kitchen to scoop more yogurt onto eyes. Yogurt now on eyes, yogurt, mustard, baby food and oil on nose and dribbling down cheeks, landing on a puddle of curdled sadness]

[collapse on kitchen floor]

Two minutes later my wife and sister-in-law walk in from shopping.

And this is how my wife found me on the kitchen floor, shirtless, moaning softly with my face covered in strawberry-banana yogurt.

"What's wrong with you?" my wife asked in a tone less "oh-my-poor-sweet-hunk-are-you-OK?" and more "oh Lord what NOW?"

"Everything," I muttered, pathetically. "Everything is wrong. Just leave me. Save yourselves."

"Did you get dinner made?"

"I couldn't."

"Why not?"

"It tried to kill me. I'm lucky to be alive. Embrace me."

"Are you going to get up?"

"I don't see why not."

"You're not getting up."

"You could've fooled me."

"What happened?"

"Cut a jalapeo. Rubbed my nose. Then later my eyes."

"Well that was stupid."

"I appreciate your loving concern, wife."

"You did that WITHOUT gloves?"

"I know. I tried to be a hero. Am I standing yet?"


"OK. Let me know when I am. Also, you may not want to use the sour cream or yogurt as it might have pieces of my face in it."

Apparently a guy with a burning face covered in yogurt can't get any sympathy in my house.


Kelly Van De Walle is the senior creative & marketing writer for Briscoe14 Communications ( He can be reached at or via the plastic bubble he's trapped himself inside to protect him from the outside world. Follow Kelly on Twitter @pancake_bunny because following his thoughts makes you feel considerably more normal about your life.



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