Dare! Slim Jims of PAIN

This evening I am going to take a break from work to discuss beef jerky. But my loves, this is no ordinary beef jerky. This is beef jerky that will fill your mouth with blistering heat and pump you with so much sodium that it will turn your shoes to sandals with a minor explosion of water retention. That’s right, tonight the good people of Slim Jim have introduced to me a new line of beef jerky that has three distinct levels of heat starting with chili and ending with habanero in what promises to be a dry meat chewing inferno of bliss. It is my pleasure to bring you “Dare”, by Slim Jim.

I have always been on the fence with beef jerky because, while it is delicious at first, it gets old quick. There’s so much salt and chewing involved that before you know it, you need to drink anything insight otherwise you’ll turn into this:.

But that’s when they get you. There isn’t a beef jerky eater alive that can quit with just a few pieces. The salt brings you back for more and before you know it, an entire one pound pack of dried cow has been ingested and your sodium intake for the year has been maxed. It’s a vicious cycle and to avoid such a fate, stick to dried bananas. Lucky for us, Slim Jim has added a bit of pain to mix things up.

There are three varieties of the Dare Slim Jims starting with “Kinda Hot Chili Pepper” then to “Freakin’ Hot Jalapeño” and finally the king daddy, “Really Freakin’ Hot Habenero”. Unfortunately the cruddy gas station from which I bought the said beef jerky only had the “Kinda” and “Really Freakin’ Hot”. To be fair, I don’t like reviewing the middle child. What could I say about it other that “hotter than but not as hot as…”. So, I will review the opposite spectrums and we will just assume jalapeño is…medium? Okay, let’s begin.

Kinda Hot Chili Pepper looks pretty benign from the green packaging and the fact that it’s only rated one chili out of three on the illustrated heat scale. But what do I know? My entire sense of what is hot and what is not is a bit skewed since I put ghost pepper sauce on crackers. Makes you wonder why I would review spicy food and who would even listen to me?

Well, I opened this green bag of chewing meat and tried a piece or…erhrm…five pieces and though it was dried to the point of wood, after ten minutes of chewing, it was really good! I was a bit surprised that the heat-sense only really presented itself after you swallowed. It’s more of a back-of-the-throat sensation than mouth or sinus sensation which I like. I wasn’t expecting anything in the way of heat but was quite surprised that this tasted so good! Now don’t get me wrong, the sodium levels and mandibular workout is intense like any dried food item with the same little packet that states “do not eat” but as far as a different and mild taste, this is a happy place.

Now we jump to the other side of the Scoville Scale and take on “Really Freakin’ Hot Habanero” and it’s bag or red. I know this will be hotter than the Chili but I hope it doesn’t go for the hot but no taste. Sometimes food can lose it’s way and forget that spices are there to complement and not kill.I forget this too. Actually the other day while at a business lunch we were at a Tai restaurant and the waiter accidentally confused my Panang Tai-heat 5 with my coworker’s Panang Tai-Heat 1. The result was fist hiccups, followed by sweating, followed by exasperation and then profuse swearing. He had to go home by 1:00. Everyone in the office thinks I now have a problem.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the bag was a smell that reminded me of doggie daycare. I know that sounds terrible but facts are facts and the oder of habanero spices on dried meat just hits the olfactory and brings up memories “Arf House: School of the Gifted”. So when you get this pack and open it, turn your head.

Another noticeable difference is the texture. The Chili Jerky is extremely brittle and dry like bacon that has been frying while the cook gets caught up in another episode of Big Brother only to be reminded when the smoke alarm brings him back to reality. This Habanero Jerky is much softer and not nearly as tough. But that’s not what makes this beef jerky sexy. It’s actually a bit spicy! My first piece I swallowed the juices a bit prematurely and had quite the episode. After a swig of beer I was right back on top and can say, while not as tasty as the milder sister, this one has a kick that will make up for the 460mg of sodium and 35mg of cholesterol.

So, overall, this was a shitty review. I had to do it because when I saw “Really Frickin’ Hot” beef jerky, I just couldn’t wait to find the middle flavor. Had I known that Chili would be such a winner, I probably would have held out. Overall between the two I have to go against my entire being and say the milder wins. Although I am fascinated by peppers that can put a grown man in the hospital when all he wanted to do was zest his burger, this time taste won out. That doesn’t mean that I won’t still fill my mouth with Habanero beef jerky and three spoonful’s of ghost pepper sauce just to say I did! I ain’t no Nancy!

I can’t believe I called beef jerky sexy.

I’m In A Mood

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Most of my life I have been in a pretty good mood. I always try to see the bright side of life and even in times of strife, there is usually a tinge of happiness to be found. Call it optimism or call it stupidity, I call it a survival mechanism. But even us “glass half full of beer” people can have moments of “fuck my life”. (That’s my new exclamation. Like it?) Here are some resent MRAAHHH’s!

I love NPR. For those who don’t know what NPR is, it stands for News…ahem…National Public Radio and most liberal arts universities have a relay for it on their campus. I particularly enjoy the evening program, “All Things Considered” which along with news, they have stories on topics rarely discussed in the crap we call news on TV. You can be driving in the most desolate areas of the country but in mind, you are in a hospital far off in the Congo or a kitchen in south Bronx listening to a 15 year old girl who raises all her siblings in the midst of gang violence. This program allows us to understand what many choose not to.

But there is a segment that makes me want to jerk the wheel into a goddamn bridge abutment. It is when they allow authors and poets to read their own work. People who write shouldn’t be allowed to read their stuff, especially those who All Things Consider’s, well, consider. You wouldn’t want Stephen King narrating his stories, would you? He’s as close to a human beaver as it comes.

A particular poet/reader had me fidgeting like a day three meth-trip. She spoke so softly I had the radio volume turned all the way up as she over enunciates every single word. I could only liken this to a woman trying to teach a deaf person to read lips by repeating “EGG! MC! MUF FFFF FFF IN!” This made my patients dip so low I took a huge swig of my boiling coffee, completely forgetting I just bought it and still, as I type, I taste only cardboard. Oh! I forgot, you could hear her nose whistle come through loud and clear. Fuck my life!

I know this is petty but still, given the choice between listen to a smug poet read her work from the next room of a recording booth or having a fat guy eat an apple out of anger over a megaphone in a small bathroom, I would choose the latter.

Text messaging is a great invention. Those of you who read this and actually know me in “real life” know that I abuse texting. To me, it is to the point and it leaves out opportunities to be stuck in a conversation about how someone’s dog ate blueberries from the kitchen table and shit a Jackson Pollock on the living room carpet. But there also is a time and place.

Recently I went out to dinner with a friend. She’s a good person but she is also one of those people who have little regard for other people. I guess everything has come easy to her and it doesn’t occur to her that there are other people on the planet. I tolerate her.

Well, about halfway through dinner she gets into a texting battle that lasts the rest of the meal. My phone went off at least six times but I would never think of that disruption at dinner. She just didn’t get that when two people are at dinner and one is on the phone, that makes the other feel bad. And look bad. By the time she was done I had drunk two shots, had three beers and spelled “suck my ass” in peas upside down on my plate of Pad Tai. Like I said, she can’t help being who she is. That’s why I tolerate her.

Nonverbal facial gestures with eyebrows from someone I don’t know makes me want to reply with nonverbal hand gestures with my middle fingers. I was next in line at the bagel shop and when it was my turn the tattooed, pierced, blue haired dude gave me an eyebrow gesture as if to say, “You are next retard”. I didn’t thank him after the transaction. Showed him. Wait a minute…he didn’t thank me!

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Got my car totally fixed! But in the waiting room I had to watch “The View” on their TV. Don’t even get me started and don’t get me wrong, I am all about women and 100% equality but this show actually removed very important brain cells. When the mechanic was finished he asked for a form of payment and I responded, “Yes. Have some.”

If this makes some people angry, I am sorry. I just lied to you. I’m not and I don’t care. Whoopie needed to stay in the 1980’s. I am still disappointed in Ted Danson because that’s gross, man. That officially killed Cheers.

It just hit me that I am a 31 year old guy, living by myself with a cat in Idaho. I am Jon Arbuckle. Fuck my life.

*Back on track with the Fall theme tomorrow folks! I’ll be in a better mood by then. ;)*

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