Happy Birthday to Me! Tomorrow’s my birthday, and Josh picked me up a delightful raw-fudge-brownie-dough-crust cheesecake. It has an official name, but that’s what it is, and it’s delicious. So I cut myself a slice and sat down to watch Glutton for Punishment. I’m a little apprehensive, I must say. The spots have been less than appetizing, but little for me to have never seen a show that airs on the Food Network. I have to see at least this first one, right?

A quick website search says Bob Blumer (Bob Blumer?!) will be competing in a hot chile eating contest. Next week, he’ll be in a oyster shucking contest – he has a televised week to practice. It seems like everything that can be awful about NFNS and Food Network Challenge, with none of the good bits. But I’m sure that the delicious fudgy cheesecake will get me through! So will the spots for the new Dinner: Impossible….I’m so excited!

Anyway, so the episode starts. The intro is pretty crazy. Adrenaline-seeking, ultra-competitive….foodie? What? Don’t we just eat the food and enjoy it? So confused. I thought CHEFS competed to see who was the better, y’know, chef. I am a better foodie than you! er, what?

This guy is just as disingenuous as the Deen brothers, but not as helpful. He says blatantly scripted things, and then he just stands there, trying for 5 minutes to eat a habenero the first time he’s presented with one. Later in the show he’ll just pop a large bite without really even hesitating.

Of course, besides the expected “Welcome-to-NM” culture fest, there were a few tips for him to handle the chilies: Gargle olive oil? (Coats the pain receptors so you don’t even notice the first few) Eat a habenero first? (Yes, lets totally jump off a cliff before beating yourself up, it’ll hurt less that way) Have a tequila or four? (You’ll be too smashed to notice) Wow, this contest is stupid, but the tips are even worse. Except for maybe the olive oil, even though that’s disgusting.

The only thing that sounded even remotely interesting out of the whole thing was a habenero margarita. But my cheesecake did, in fact, get me through, and now I think I need a glass of milk.

(Which, by the way, is much better than water at cooling the mouth off, as is plain white bread.)