Image by Brian Minkoff - London Pixels

So what do our two illustrious title men have in common? Spice! One likes to deliver shocking, nightmarish scenes that stay forever in your head and the other likes to shock the taste buds out of your mouth!

I was watching dear Heston the other day sample the hottest chilies in the world. I have never so much disgusting sweat run down a bald man’s head. Suffice to say, the chilies were hot! Damn hot. Why do we do this to ourselves? What is it about spicy food and the burning of taste buds that gets us all worked up? Heston looked at what chilies do to our brain and he said the pain and pleasure parts were going off the chart. So when we experience this type of pain, it’s actually pleasurable? Interesting. I wonder if it’s a universal thing cos I don’t like incredibly spicy foods. Does that mean my brain is dysfunctional?

I also wonder what people see in Freddy Kruger movies? Even the spoof Scary Movie gives me the shivers. I just don’t understand the appeal of watching people get murdered by a deranged lunatic. It’s got to do something freaky to your brain. Perhaps it’s a chilli thing. Is the scare button next to the pleasure section of our brain? And if so, why don’t I find scary things fun? Why are there rollercoasters and Towers of Terror and have you see those insane rides that only two people go on? They rise high in the air and then hurtle down low to the ground! Seriously?!

Then you have: swimming with sharks, bungee jumping, parasailing, wrestling, eating monkey brains, going on holiday with Bear Gryllls, sky diving, sharing secrets, cuddling the uncuddlable and dying. Scary stuff for most of us. Yes? But there are so many out there who don’t give a hoot! Scale a building without any ropes? No problem. Sing in public… yes I can! Cartwheel into the pool? Three times a day. Show offs.

What is it about burning mouths and images? Is life so boring that we have to create excitement by doing weird things and watching disturbing and ‘unreal’ scenes? I like adventure like the next person but I prefer to sleep well at night and avoid all avenues of paranoia. Perhaps what I need is a tougher skin. Where do I get me one of those?

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