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That’s Not a Bean
Originally uploaded by MikeOliveri.

A friend told me this Chinese restaurant in Peoria had killer kung pao chicken, and that it was so spicy she could hardly handle it. That sounded like something I had to try, so when I was in town to pick up a computer for work, I made a trip over to the place.

I stumbled onto one hell of a deal: their lunch special included the kung pao chicken, fried rice, 2 crab rangoons, a bowl of egg drop soup, and a pot of tea for $5.65 out the door. Hard to beat that!

The kung pao was familiar but for these two bean pods on top of the mound of food. I can’t stand beans, so I pushed the two pods aside to get at the good stuff.

The kung pao wasn’t spicy at all. It tasted great, but there was definitely no heat. Bummer. As I ate, though, I kept glancing over at these bean pods. They didn’t look too appetizing, as shriveled as they are. But hey, I’m a big boy, it’s time to try something new. I speared a piece of chicken, some rice, a bit of green pepper, and one of the bean pods and popped the shebang into my mouth.

I may as well have eaten a lit match.

I love hot food, and this is the first time I’ve regretted eating something. I sucked down a glass of water and fortunately the waitress spotted me for the refill. For a moment I wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to taste food again.


Lesson learned: if someone tells you a dish is hot, the shriveled-up bean-looking things are not beans.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

No comments

  1. JohnU says:

    It looks like a parasitic alien bent on world domination and/or destruction. First, it gets inside you, it gestates, it pops out your stomach and/or takes over your mind and goes on a murderous rampage. When they finally gun you down, the parasite’s children spread through the sewers into the minds and/or guts of a hundred unsuspecting people regardless of whether or not they eat Chinese food and begins again, and then each of those pops out a hundred more babies, and so on, and so on, and so on…

  2. Mike says:

    Right now its first offspring are blazing a way out the back door.

  3. JohnU says:


  4. Troy says:

    I’m sorry, Mike, but that looks like what Carl (Bill Murray) found at the bottom of the swimming pool in Caddyshack.

    Too funny and take care,

  5. Mikey says:

    That’s what you get for thinking a pepper is a bean. Damn Sicilians. We’re gonna have to school you proper on this, ya know?

    From the itty bitty pic on my cellphone I’d guess that you ate a sport pepper. They can be nasty, especially raw. One time I dared a guy to eat a small handful (half a dozen raw peppers)…he did it. When he ran to the walk-in freezer to get his bottle of ice water and lifted it up to quench the heat, he found I’d rimmed it with more peppers. Now his lips were getting puffy and red and he was crying. So was I, it was so damn funny.

    Don’t think for a second that he didn’t get even. He did.