MT VOID 07/25/97 (Vol. 16, Number 4)

MT VOID 07/25/97 (Vol. 16, Number 4)

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Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society
Club Notice - 07/25/97 -- Vol. 16, No. 4

Table of Contents

Outside events: The Science Fiction Association of Bergen County meets on the second Saturday of every month in Upper Saddle River; call 201-933-2724 for details. The New Jersey Science Fiction Society meets on the third Saturday of every month in Belleville; call 201-432-5965 for details.

MT Chair/Librarian:
              Mark Leeper   MT 3E-433  732-957-5619
HO Chair:     John Jetzt    MT 2E-530  732-957-5087
HO Librarian: Nick Sauer    HO 4F-427  732-949-7076
Distinguished Heinlein Apologist:
              Rob Mitchell  MT 2D-536  732-957-6330
Factotum:     Evelyn Leeper MT 3E-433  732-957-2070
Back issues at
All material copyright by author unless otherwise noted.

URL of the week: Home page of author Walter Jon Williams, in which he describes (among other things) his ongoing legal dispute with WIRED magazine over the name "Hardwired.") [-ecl]

Wings of Death:

The last two weeks I told how I came to go to a restaurant that had legendary hot chicken wings called The Wings of Death. Last week I told how I managed to down the cursed things, nearly destroying my mouth in the process. I won. But the ordeal was just starting. I had forgotten that really hot sauce was painful to more than just the mouth.

I got though most of the sandwich, left most of the fries behind and just at that point the hot sauce hit my stomach. Well it probably had hit it quite a bit before for it was at that point that it burned through the insulation. This may have been worse than eating the wings. I had not expected this. Rarely to I find hot foods hurt my stomach. These did. I paid the bill. We asked the server what percentage of people actually finish all four pieces. She said it was about 25%. The problem is that eating the wings was just not pleasurable since they were so darn hot. Luckily the burning stopped while I walked proudly from the restaurant a victor. Some victor. Just as I hit the car, the grinding pain in my stomach started again. The chicken wings were trying to burn their way out. I remembered a certain scene from the film ALIEN. I had to treat my stomach with chocolate milk, picked up from a convenience store, the whole trip back. Even at home I would get grinding stomach aches for the next three hours.

When I got home I put a film that I recently had gotten a keeping copy of, recorded off of cable. The film was THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS. There is some irony there, but only for me. With many films you can see them multiple times, but one viewing will stick with you. Whenever I see THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS, I remember seeing it as a child. I had stayed home from school because I had a strep throat. The doctor had just come and taken a throat culture. (Yes, I know I am dating myself. Doctors did make house calls in those days.) So here I was in pain and I eased the pain by watching a monster movie on TV. That is twice for this film. Once again it was here to take my mind off of my pain.

Oh, the other side effect was that if I touched my nose I would find in a few seconds my nose was burning. This is spite of the fact that I had washed my hands multiple times. There still was pepper extract on my hands that would not wash off. I was like Rappaccinis daughter. The poison had become an integral part of part of my being. It no longer burned me (much) but what it touched it killed--well burned anyway.

I think I mentioned in this column that Evelyn and I had listened at one point to a radio dramatization of "Leiningen Versus the Ants." That is the famous story in which a man protects his Brazilian plantation against an attack by twenty square miles of soldier ants eating everything in their path. George Pal adapted it into the film THE NAKED JUNGLE with Charleton Heston, if that reminds you of it. Evelyn asked my why didn't Leiningen just give up his plantation? After all his defense pretty well ruined everything anyway. I thought about it for a minute and told her "It's a Man Thing." So was conquering the Wings of Death worth the pain? It depends on whom I am talking to. If I am talking to a woman, no. It was a stupid thing to do. If I am talking to another guy, sure. Sure, it was worth it. Even 75% of people who order The Wings of Death--knowing that it is going to be an ordeal--still are not prepared for how much of an ordeal it is. These are people who have discovered their limit. When it comes to hot food, I still have not found my limit. And if I am lucky, I never will. But I never want to come this close to finding it again. But I am proud that I passed the test. It's just a Man Thing, I guess. [-mrl]

                                   Mark Leeper
                                   MT 3E-433 732-957-5619