Thursday, April 12, 2018

Thunderclap Headaches

About five years ago in this space, I wrote about the official announcement of the world's hottest pepper - the Carolina Reaper, with a heat index of up to 2.2 million Scoville units (for comparison purposes, a good old jalapeno pepper checks in at between 5,000 and 15,000 Scoville units).

This is, as we say, a seriously hot pepper.

Well, Dear Readers, the Carolina Reaper is back in the news in this article, which reports that a man in Cooperstown, New York, was hospitalized with a debilitating "thunderclap headache" after eating one of the brutally hot chilis in a contest*. A thunderclap headache is so called because it strikes with the force of a thunderbolt, often without warning. It can be caused by any number of triggers that drive the body to a sudden reaction ... like chowing down on a pepper so hot that people who handle them usually wear protective gloves.

According to this summary from the Mayo Clinic, other signs and symptoms of thunderclap headaches include fever, seizures, and an altered mental state**. One might argue that you need to be in an altered mental state just to consider eating a thermonuclear chili pepper, but I guess it takes all sorts of people to make up this sad old world.

So, Dear Readers, if you feel a thunderclap headache coming on, run quickly to the nearest emergency room (if you have unwisely ingested a Carolina Reaper) or to your local polling place (if you have voted unwisely in a past election).

Who needs headaches, after all?

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


* Reminds me of the old joke that asks what a redneck's last words are ... "Hey, y'all, watch this!"

** Which can be brought on either by excessive belief and trust in a manifestly unqualified and erratic president, or by excessive fretting over ignorant and unbalanced tweetstorms.


eViL pOp TaRt said...

I'll stick to Tabasco sauce or, at most, jalapeƱo peppers!

John A Hill said...

I enjoy a good burn and can eat foods a bit spicier than most, but I've never been one to try to prove just how hot I can eat and I've never been in a contest to compare to others.

Mike said...

No thanks.