Friday, June 23, 2006
it feels so good when it hits your lips
When I was five, my brother used to be in charge of our after-school snacks. We lived in Plymouth Gardens at the time, a rambling apartment community surrounded by an imposing metal fence. Sometimes we would have to climb that fence which would scare the bejeezus out of me. After school, I would walk with my brother to the 7-Eleven down the street where he would buy us a slew of candy to tide us over until dinner: Poprocks, Bubblicious, Blowpops, Ringpops, Now n Laters. Then to round things out nutritionally, Slim Jims for himself and a Firecracker for me.
A Firecracker, for those who grew up in some remote village far from civilization, is a processed sausage that usually sat right next to the cash register, unrefrigerated and theoretically fully cooked. It was packaged in a plastic sheath that was clear on one side, looking a bit like a used condom--though certainly I didn't think so at the time--marinated in a fiery, vinegary, heavenly brine that you could see through the loose plastic film.
Oh how I loved the Firecracker. Having been raised almost exclusively on a breakfast of scrapple, I had a very refined palate when it came to processed meat products. This particular sausage was milled to a wonderful smoothness, like a hot dog, but with a powerful kick that marked the beginning of an inexhaustible affinity for eating spicy foods. I would eat it slowly, one meaty bite at a time, gently pushing the sausage up through the wrapper until it was gone. Succulent. Then I'd tilt the wrapper upside down and let the hot vinegar seep into my mouth... And if my memory serves correct, I proceeded to suck that thing dry.
Somewhere along the way I seem to have lost my tolerance for heat. This was made abundantly clear the other night at an Ethopian restaurant where a stuffed jalepeno kicked my ass, a change in me that has only occurred in the last year or so, making me suspect that my tolerance for spicy foods is somehow tied to the viability of my eggs, if it is true what Max B. says about my declining years of fertility. He informs me I have at most 4 good years left. But at this point, my greater sense of loss is not over my unborn but over whether or not I will be able to enjoy a Firecracker in the same way ever again. But I daresay, it's worth a try.
It only now strikes me, after writing this, belching cheap and watery sentiment, that maybe I'm not writing about Firecrackers at all but about sex and blowjobs. In the process of recounting this story, I seemed to have lost my bearings and for an instant I really thought that I was telling you a revealing and affectionate story of my childhood. I should know better by now... a story about sausages is always about sex.
Posted by babibi at 8:27 PM