Tales of Relative Courage #37

March 5, 2011

Here, they don't just say it to be saying it.

When at 12:45 on a Sunday afternoon in Austin Texas a very hung over Chris Wentlow’s enchilala plate arrived, he asked his dining companions-friends from college who’d come in for a football game-if they dared him to put his tongue on the edge of the plate. His dining companions-all of whom were now married and heading towards middle-aged, all of whom had turned in early the night before-said no. They did not dare him. It was, they said, a stupid idea. Because the plate was just out of a 400 degree oven. The woman had handled it with a potholder. And told him the plate was hot. They suggested, in fact, that he not do it.

Just before Chris’s tongue made contact with the plate, he thought to himself what the fuck do they know? They’re already dead. They just don’t know it yet. He saw himself, in that moment just before his tongue made contact with the plate, whose heat was radiating onto his lowered face, a pleasant kind of baking warmth in the chill of the restaurant, as a kind of Christ figure. Giving himself up for the good of his fellows. A selfless act.

Later, when people asked him what the fuck were you thinking? He couldn’t properly enunciate this. Not least because his tongue was burnt to shit.



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