Humans are Weird: Spices
Alien: Today in my “Human Studies” book, I’m reading about human foods.
Human: Ooh, cool.
Alien: But I’m not sure this is accurate. It says here that humans purposely ingest a plant high in a pain-causing chemical, capsaicin.
Human: Oh, peppers? Yeah. Spicy.
Alien: But why would you want to eat something that causes you pain?
Human: Some people like the burn. I think it causes the same sort of reaction as drinking alcohol…?
Alien: That activity doesn’t make sense to me either. Can we discuss it after?
Alien: So, these “peppers.” Do you enjoy eating them?
Human: Me? Well, not by themselves. But I do like somewhat spicy foods. My brother, though, he likes them much hotter. He’s eaten some really spicy peppers, even ate a ghost pepper by itself.
Alien: Ghost pepper.
Human: Yeah, it’s the spiciest natural pepper. His face got pretty red, and he got the hiccups.
Alien: That… doesn’t sound like a healthy reaction.
Human: It just means that it’s a really spicy pepper. I mean, if I ate one of those, it might kill me, but he was fine.
Alien. Why would it kill you?
Human: Too spicy. You have to have a tolerance for capsaicin or it can literally kill you. And the ghost pepper is so hot that to handle it, you gotta wear gloves.
Alien: Your planet has plants that can KILL people, and which you can’t handle directly, and your brother ATE ONE, by ITSELF??
Human: He says that when he gets desensitized to ghost pepper, he wants a Carolina Reaper.
Alien: I’m almost afraid to ask.
Alien: What’s a Carolina Reaper?
Human: A pepper scientifically engineered for spiciness. It’s currently the world’s hottest pepper.
Alien: *stares at human in disbelief*
Alien: *stares at human studies book*
Alien: *stares at human again*
Alien: *whispers to self* How… how are humans real?