Thursday, April 21, 2005

my asshole becomes a flamethrower:
film at 11

NB: I updated the Ratzinger post, adding some links and quotes. Scroll on down.

I met Charlie the KimcheeGI for a very late dinner on Wednesday evening and had my very first encounter with bul-tak, or "fire chicken."

The bul-tak craze apparently started up some months ago, and bul-tak restaurants have proliferated. I saw my first bul-tak resto in Kangnam while working at EC, but never went inside. I remember asking an EC partner of mine, D, what bul-tak was all about. "Really hot stuff, man," he smiled. I nodded without appreciating what he was saying.

Korean food is spicy by the standards of Americans with wussy palates. It's not spicy to people who've tried anything with habanero peppers in it, nor is it spicy when compared to some African dishes.

But let me say this: bul-tak is spicy.

Charlie wasn't that hungry, so we shared a single W12,000 order of bul-tak. Turned out to be a good idea: I don't think I could ever have finished a full order on my own.* Charlie and I spent some time trying to figure out what kind of pepper they were using; it didn't taste like habanero, and it certainly wasn't the standard gochu chili pepper.

Bul-tak is the dead chicken's revenge. It creeps up on you. You get a metal plate with sizzling, bite-sized pieces of chicken on it. The first few pieces go down easy; they don't seem spicy at all.

Then it hits you, slowly but inevitably, overwhelming you with the same dawning horror that accompanies the realization that your lover's been faking her orgasms for the past year.

Fire chicken. Acid poultry, slathered in Satan's armpit sweat. It's too late now; there's no going back.

You're not given any napkins, but thank Jeebus you get forks. There's no way in hell you could ever touch a piece of bul-tak with your hands. Imagine rubbing your eye after touching bul-tak. Might as well imagine using a dull pocketknife to carve your name into your eyeball.

No napkins. I sweated. Profusely. Wiped vainly at my face. This despite having just come into the restaurant from a very cool evening outside.

Then the snot began to pour out.** I did what I could to stop the pain, eating sweet pickle slices, drinking Coke and water, but nothing seemed to help. I had to ask for a pile of napkins. That helped a bit, at least cosmetically.

I decided I'd need milk-- something to counteract the raging lava flow in my mouth and stomach. We left the resto, I got some, and everything calmed down.

I'm just worried about what's going to happen when I whip out my sawed-off asshole to take my ritual dump in the morning.

Fire chicken. If you're in Seoul and haven't tried it, give it a try. Men: it'll reduce your sperm count and turn your scrotum inside-out. Ladies: it'll make your tits crack and wither your ovaries. But damn, the taste experience will be worth it. Dat's some good chicken.

*Though that might make for an interesting photoblog sometime.

**Out of me, not out of the chicken.


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