I’m sorry to have kept you waiting so long for the results of the poll (scroll to the end of the entry … but along the way, slow down a little to enjoy the photographic parade of lunches!) regarding the exploding chili sauce, but my panel of esteemed -ologists has been out of the country for an international summit and could not tally the results until this evening, when at long last its work was done and each member counted the votes on a brightly colored abacus while sipping thick, dark coffee from an impossibly tiny cup.
Of the 44 people who voted, 27 (61%) had faith in my desire to avoid possible sickness, death, or worse by choosing to toss the chili sauce. Seventeen people thought I would live dangerously and use the sauce despite possible contamination. Well, I chose to LIVE, if not dangerously, then for a longer period than I thought I would if I dared to let the death sauce into my digestive system.
Funny, though. When I tossed the jar into the trash, it didn’t land with a thud on impact. Instead, all I heard was a harp glissade and a delicate *poof*, and then, there before me, appeared a beautiful genie who granted me one wish.
“I wish I would’ve picked a jar that wasn’t tainted!” I said.
“Most people wish for, like, ten kabillion dollars,” the genie said.
“Damn it!” I said. And when I stopped punching myself in the throat, I said, “OK, so I take that wish back. I want the moolah.”
“No can do,” she said.
“OK, so maybe I can just have a new hot sauce,” I said.
“Sorry,” she said.
I dove into the trashcan, poured the possibly-disease-ridden hot sauce down my gullet, and waited for death, which never came. And worse, I didn’t even get sick. But I comforted myself with the knowledge that even if I was out ten kabillion dollars, at least the $1.79 I spent on the hot sauce didn’t go to waste.
P.S.  The genie was no Barbara Eden, that’s for sure. And she didn’t even have light brown hair. In fact, she was quite portly and, excuse me, shouldn’t have been wearing diaphonous harem pants with those thighs. I mean, really. Please.