I held it up, careful to only touch the rough green stem. Its dark red surface glistened, slick with oil. The sheen seemed to bleed out into the air around the pepper, making it undulate like heat waves off a desert road.
“La Sangre del Diablo,” I said, reverently. “The Devil’s Blood. The most violently hot pepper you can legally find in America.”
“Are…are you sure this is a good idea? We don’t have to do this.” Whimpered Kevin, at my side.
“No!” I hissed. “This stops. I will not spend another year letting those jocks tease, humiliate and abuse us.”
I slipped it carefully into a paper bag and paid the concerned looking man behind the table.
As we walked through stalls of the farmer’s market, I smiled a wicked smile.
“So what are we going to do with it?” Kevin inquired.
“We’re going to dice it up…,” my voice trailed off, lost in the moment.
“And?” He urged, spurring me on to hear the rest of the plan.
“…then we’ll rub it all over their gym towels.”
For the briefest of moments, I swore I could hear the pepper hum, low and furious, approving of the plan.
Despite our reputation for being America’s fattest city, Memphis has a surprising number of farmers markets. There’s one downtown, two in Midtown, and a few more as you head into the ‘burbs. All of them showcasing the best in fresh, regional produce. Believe me when I say this, you haven’t lived until you’ve had a fresh Ripley tomato. Have. Not. Lived.