The Soothing Virtues of Nivea Cold Cream
In my salad days, I spent a lot of time in Sheffield (which, for the information of you Americans, is an industrial city in the north of England). It was my frequent pleasure to get beastly drunk on the fine local ale, followed by a curry on the way home. However, when one is in the company of friends in a similar state of inebriation, a certain amount of ritualistic posturing is expected; and should someone shout "Compulsory vinders!" when a curry was proposed, then everyone had to consume a curry of at least Vindaloo strength or suffer derisory accusations of effeminacy or homosexuality.
The local Indian restaurant was used to us appearing at about one AM, when most restaurants had already closed. But curry-houses know their market, and if it wasn't for drunken young men, they'd go out of business. Because of this they usually accommodated us, no doubt finding us English idiots amusing.
Tthere is a scale of curry hotness. And although there are many variations of curry, some of equally varying strength, it goes like this in general:
- Korma -- mild
For most Englishmen, a Vindaloo is itself an endurance test, as the Anglican palate is used to blander food. But on this occasion, a bellyful of Old Peculiar had a detrimental effect on my sanity; and when we staggered to the restaurant they agreed to cook for us, despite the fact that they had officially closed for the night. Someone shouted "Compulsory vinders!" so, while guzzling the Cobra beer, everyone ordered vindaloo, except me. I was determined to prove my toughness. In the typically English way, I asked the waiter if they had anything hotter than a Phal, to great shouts and cheering from the chaps.
A Phal is ridiculously hot, and usually, when an Englishman orders one, it's to impress his friends. If one does, the staff will often mutter amongst themselves in Hindustani something along the lines of, "Here we go, Ranjit, we've got another one of the stupid bastards…"
The waiter said they hadn't, but the cook was nearby and gestured to him to come over. They chatted for a moment or two and returned, smiling. I should have known by the chuckle of the waiter that I was about to be punished for being an ignorant drunken English wanker with no more of an appreciation of good food than a pig (Guilty m'lud!).
"Well sir," he said, "it's not on the menu, but our chef has agreed to cook for you a special Chicken Phal XXX. We will essentially make you a chicken Phal, but we will put in three times as many of the very hottest spices as we would do normally for such a dish, and include the chilli seeds. Would that be acceptable?"
I should have known better, but the lads were cheering and I couldn't lose face. So as I agreed, with a nod and a smile the waiter and chef went into the kitchen.
After initial poppadoms and another beer or two, we were all getting raucous and drumming on the table like arseholes. The waiter brought the food. When he put mine in front of me with a snigger, it was bright red -- and I mean lurid red -- as opposed to everyone else's orangey-brown, and steaming. I looked upon it with trepidation. My chum Craig sensed my foreboding anxiety. Craig, I should add, comes from Manchester and is so hardened to curry that he scoffs a vindaloo without breaking a sweat. He asked to dip his poppodom into my dish for a sample and of course I assented.
He dipped for the smallest possible bit of sauce and put it in his mouth. All was well for a few seconds, but then he went red, shouted "F-f-fucking hell…" and reached desperately for his beer, swallowing it in its entirety before complaining that his mouth was on fire. He then grabbed great spoonfuls of rice to stuff in his mouth, trying to calm the burn. When he had calmed down sufficiently, and I had still not tasted the meal in front of me, he admitted it was the hottest thing he'd ever known. Sweating profusely, he suggested that I don't eat it under any circumstances. Indeed, he began eating his own vindaloo and complained that he could not taste a thing because his mouth was still stinging from my curry.
However, since one cannot look like a coward in front of one's peers, or the waiter and chef who were now sitting at the bar, looking at us, and grinning, I dug in.
There is a technique for eating a really hot curry, and it's SPEED. It must spend as little time in the mouth as possible, so chewing is out. One must ignore the rice and tackle the curry only, swallowing as much of it as one can as quickly as possible, preferably without pausing for breath, and then calm the tongue down with rice and lager. NEVER have a mouthful and then a sip of drink, as you'll make it worse.
I shovelled in the first spoonful, swallowed quickly, and spooned more into my mouth. As the seconds passed and each mouthful descended, the burn in my mouth felt like swallowing molten steel in a sauce made from drain cleaner. I was almost spasming in pain, turned bright red while sweat poured from me, but I held my breath and shovelled on. After a while my mouth went numb to all sensations other than burning.
I swallowed the last of it, my whole body shaking as the waiter sat there laughing his arse off, filled my mouth with rice, which was also swallowed without mastication, and eventually drained my beer. The waiter brought me another on the house but I could barely touch it, as my guts were doing the polka, rebelling like an army of partisans against a brutal invader; and I couldn't form words, as my red-hot mouth failed to work. I was actually weeping, but the sweat helped disguise it.
Feeling guilty at my discomfort, the waiter brought me some complimentary ice cream to calm my palate. I must admit it helped greatly, but I felt sick and daren't vomit. I knew that if I did, it would burn coming out and probably get up my nose too, which would make for a very uncomfortable night.
Eventually we went back home to the lads' shared house where I was staying that weekend; and, feeling a little calmer (and a curry master), I settled into a troubled sleep, fearing that when the curry emerged, it would sting like fuck.
I woke up with a tremendous pressure in my bowel. "Oh no!" I feared. "This is going to be hell…"
With caution, I sat on the toilet. A vast, sloppy, beery turd emerged. It was slightly spicy and had a twang of heat to it, but was nothing out of the ordinary for a post-curry shite, and I smiled as the last few inches descended into the bowl. My arsehole closed easily. I wiped normally and was smugly pleased with myself, vowing to have another curry just like it next time, to prove that I'm the not the sort of guy to be fucked with. I finished it off with a hot and evil smelling fart, but figured that if this was a 'curry-arse' then I must be the hardest bastard around, because I was showing no ill effects whatsoever.
I went downstairs, made tea, and flicked on the TV feeling very smug. All was well for perhaps fifteen minutes, despite a few sulphurous farts in that time -- this was not unusual after a night of drinking. But suddenly my innards were gripped with devastating pressure and pain as if a diarrhoea attack was imminent.
That first poo had lulled me in to a false sense of security, and my guts spasmed in protest. I could feel the heat inside my arse as if trying to clench a hot coal with my anus, and I ran upstairs, lowering my jeans as I went. The pressure became too much, with hot shit beginning to leak out before I'd made it to the toilet. I sat down with a thud -- not a second too soon -- and my bowels were projectile vomiting.
I had no control over the quivering expulsive spasms as wave after wave of watery red-hot lava exploded from my arse. And then, the heat increased. It began with an eye-watering burn about twenty seconds after my anus opened fully. I felt like I'd been buggered with a dead porcupine and someone was holding a blowtorch against my hoop, cooking it like a char-grilled squid ring.
I screamed. I screamed louder than I ever had before as the heat spread throughout my bowels and the spasms kept coming, sometimes with shit being coughed out by my choking quivering Khyber, sometimes not, and I woke the rest of the house. I sat whining and shaking on the toilet, unable to get up, as my legs failed to answer. My belly rumbled, I farted out an enormous moist hot pouch of arse gas, and another final spasm came over my guts as my bowels spewed another scorcher.
It was at this point that Craig bust open the door to see what the fuck was going on and why I was crying with agony. Suffice to say, he understood why. Being a decent chap, he decided not to give me the I told you so… lecture; even despite the appalling stench, he was sufficiently enabled to help me stand up.
My arse was in agony and hanging open like the mouth of a thirsty dog, completely unable to close. Touching it with toilet paper to wipe away the shit -- shit which had smeared itself across my buttocks and on the toilet seat as I writhed in agony -- was more pain than I could bear. I could do no more than rest the backs of my thighs on the bath with my arse hanging over and use the shower attachment to hose my rear end with cold water. Bliss.
Eventually I left the bathroom and Craig presented me with a tub of Nivea. As tender as my bum was, I still dabbed it on my o-ring while wincing in pain and grinding my teeth; and I have to say, it was like magic. The Nivea cooled it down immediately to a dull sting. Although I had another molten hot shit an hour later, similarly painful but not quite as traumatic, the knowledge that that cream was able to sooth my cares away made it bearable.
Although one cannot do anything about the initial burn, I have found that Nivea cream works beautifully at calming the nipsy after a poo with high chili content, particularly if it's been in the fridge (the cream -- not the poo). One has to apply a fair bit AND smear it inside, but it enables one to carry on with one's day instead of hobbling back to one's desk, whimpering like a squashed puppy with a hole too traumatised to stay shut.
That afternoon, after my bowels had calmed, I had a date with a lass named Sue, a date which I should have cancelled but didn't. I sat there in the pub with her, trying to suppress a hot spicy fart while chatting, which is a difficult thing to do at the best of times. But with my arse being in its dilapidated state, it was next to impossible. I apologised for rather embarrassingly creating a stinky atmosphere, but being a fairly sporting lady, she seemed to find it mildly amusing. "Result!" I thought. "A chick who digs farting and shitting!" So I told her of my experience the previous night and that morning, which she listened to with the odd look of disgust, but as I was getting to the end of my tale -- extolling the virtues of Nivea and suggesting she tried it herself if suffering ‘curry arse' in future -- my bowels started to move again.
"I'll be right back…" I told her, and hurried off to the bathroom. Although still uncomfortably hot and stinging, I waddled back into the bar area twenty minutes later, and was dismayed (but not altogether surprised) to discover that she'd disappeared. I never heard from her again.