I confess freely I’m a sushi sissy. I can’t handle the raw fish, but the cooked sushi? I love delicious spicy shrimp wrapped with sticky rice and seaweed, shrimp tails on rice logs, and crab and avocado also wrapped with rice and seaweed. Yummy! No, really, it is. Don't make that face.
However, I know a hardcore sushi fanatic. She can clear a sushi platter with the greatest of ease and obvious enjoyment. And she likes this particular sauce — wasabi — on her sushi. Lots of wasabi. What I didn’t realize was that her taste buds had been surgically removed many years ago after a freak flame swallowing accident. Now she could drink boiling battery acid and say it had just a bit of fire.
Anyway, recently I bought a sushi platter for me and my roomie and decided that I’d try wasabi. How hot could it be? I would soon learn.
Wasabi is a chalky green. That should have been my first clue, but hey, she liked it so obviously it was good. Never trust women.
So I took a piece of spicy shrimp sushi and ladled the green sauce on. If only I had noticed the plastic spoon was melting, you wouldn’t be reading this, but I didn’t until much later.
Without a pause – which goes to show that my overwhelming brilliance does not extend to survival instincts – I popped the sushi piece into my mouth.
The world went white.
I couldn’t breathe. My entire body shuddered. My tongue actually attempted to tear itself out of my mouth.
You know that little thing that hangs down at the back of your throat? Mine caught fire.
Then I made the mistake of gasping. The wasabi fumes rolled up my nostrils and down into my lungs. My sinuses responded to this assault by producing a flood of snot. My eyes wept like they haven’t wept since Old Yeller died.
My face turned a shade of red that is only appropriate for the butts of lusting baboons.
Meanwhile, the bite of wasabied sushi was traveling down my throat leaving a line of fire. My stomach tried to dodge, but it wasn’t quick enough. It received the food with much grumbling.
After I recovered, I turned to my roomie and with my voice as steady as I could manage, I croaked, “Hey, this is really good. You should try it.”
For some reason, he didn’t believe me. People just don’t trust other people anymore. It’s quite sad, I think
(Copyright 2015 by Stephen B. Bagley. All reserved. Excerpted from Floozy And Other Stories by Stephen B. Bagley.)