Where Jalapeños Go When They Die

Can we talk?

I turned 55 two days ago.

When one passes this milestone in the ‘ville of Kerr, one is entitled to certain “senior” discounts. Discounts of which this Young 55-Year-Old will gladly avail himself.

Here and elsewhere–of course, where the local establishment does in fact honor this Distinctive Earned Right–I can eat more cheaply at:

  • Arby’s
  • A&W All American Food
  • Church’s Chicken (yes!)
  • Chick-fil-A (Proverbs 20:29 says, “The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair,” and since I don’t have gray hair, I’ll take my splendor in the form of my #1 meal at 10% off, thank you very much.)
  • Chili’s (I’ll pass)
  • El Pollo Loco (cable TV scholars believe this to be the real-life chain parodied as “El Pollo Hermanos” in “Breaking Bad,” and was a money-laundering operation for one of the largest methamphetamine operations in New Mexico. I don’t know. I may stick with Chick-fil-A if I’m jonesing for poultry.)

And we’re only at the E’s. The list continues.

For me and people of my Esteemed Age, there are approximately 33 local discounts, from dining to retail to lodging. This is surely the Promised Land that I have entered herein.

But yesterday I had a great lunch with Karen at Rita’s Famous Tacos. The one on Earl Garrett. (Today I had a work lunch at the Rita’s out on Junction Highway, north of town. You use the word “out” followed by the preposition “on” or “in” or the conjunction “where” when indicating a location away from polite society. Like “out on the outskirts of town.” Or, “Johnny, please go out back, behind that bush.” Or, “They live out in Brooklyn.”)

But it is not this word out that vexes me. It is Rita’s quite good salsa roja, which of course must be applied to every breakfast taco and lunch burrito one orders, without fail. It’s kind of what you do. Because of this culinary and cultural discipline, it follows that all consumed food items must eventually return to whence they came. Which includes hot sauce and all the separate ingredients that go into same, whether those ingredients be mild tomatoes or feisty jalapeño peppers. But return they must. The return route might involve metabolizability and a years-long journey, or it can be a quick and direct escape route from the body, involving two main portals.

One portal is quick but doesn’t hurt the surrounding area. One is slower yet does.

When one turns 55, one may want to revisit whether to adhere to the local folkways regarding hot sauce.

Photo taken with Focos
I admit, I *am* intrigued by something called “Jack Fruit.”

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