The day of the scorpion: A lesson learned


Gazebo Photo by Maggie McCullough

Will Baxley met the scorpion … and the scorpion won.

Will Baxley, Gazebo Guest Columnist

It was just a normal Wednesday. I was sitting at my table in the cafeteria during break. A few sophomores I hang out with came over and asked if I wanted to sit at their table during lunch.

“Why? What what are you going to do to me?” I said, jokingly. They said I could eat these really hot peppers called scorpion peppers.

My response was “No!” Normally, I do not like spicy foods.

Then again, I’m an adventurous person. I like to try new, daring things — as long as they are safe. A few of my friends said they were going to eat a scorpion pepper, too. There is strength in numbers, so I agreed.

It wasn’t peer pressure. It’s just more fun to have a couple of your friends try something new, too.

John Bickley, Will Deal, and I were about to try the second-hottest pepper in the world.

At lunch, we all went over to their table. We were nervous, but excited. The student who bought the peppers off of Amazon pulled out the package. Inside were about five or six shriveled-up red peppers. We all took one. I smelled it. It was a very strange smell, so strange I can’t even describe it.

We all were waiting to see who would take the first bite. After a minute or two, I put the pepper in my mouth and began to chew.

After John and Will took bites, everyone at the table began to freak out. I swallowed the pepper. I looked to my left. Will and John were trying to cool off their mouths.

It wasn’t spicy. It was more like something that had too much pepper. Then my mouth started to heat up very quickly. I began to sweat. It got worse and worse.

I ran to where the milk is usually kept, but the cooler was locked. I felt like I was on fire, and my mouth was a fire pit.

I grabbed an ice cream sandwich and ate it quickly. It only temporarily cooled down my mouth. I ran outside, and Will and John came with me. We were all overheating,

Some students came outside to take “Snapchats.” They were laughing with us, realizing how funny this looked. My mouth was still getting hotter. My stomach felt like someone had punched me right in the gut. (And because it was on my hands, I had to be careful not to rub my eyes.)

After about 30 minutes, the spiciness in our mouths started to go down. People were bringing us ice and milk.

In the end, we all got sick, but we felt much better. John and Will went back inside. I stayed outside because my mouth was still hurting.  Mrs. Ferrari and Mrs. Brogdon asked me if I was OK.  I told them about the peppers, and we all began laughing.

We cleaned up the area around us where we left all the ice cream wrappers on the ground. Then I went to my next class, Creative Writing, and shared the story.

In the end, I guess I’m glad I tried it.

But let’s be real.

I will never be eating a scorpion pepper ever again.